It’s not often you get to hear a top CEO talk about business and leadership.
That’s exactly what I did at the Millennial Week Unconference in DC earlier this month.
In addition to hearing social media experts and branding mavens talk strategy, I was fortunate enough to hear LearnVest Founder Alexa von Tobel talk about entrepreneurship and what it takes to be a leader in the field you’re in.
Continue reading for a recap of Alexa von Tobel’s Millennial Week Talk.
Speaking frankly to a crowded room, Alexa told the story of how she started LearnVest, a personal finance company that works to empower people by helping them take control of their finances. She said she started her company after she dropped out of business school.
She used money from her own savings account to create a platform that would later help millions of Americans become financially fearless.
“Passion builds the best entrepreneurs, she said. “Entrepreneurship is hard, everyone glamorizes it, but when you run your own company, you’re the janitor, you’re the secretary and you’re the accountant.”
Alexa outlined several ways businesses could be successful, adding that companies that evaluate the status of their current and future goals every six months almost always stay on the right track.
Here are the top things business leaders should ask themselves every six months in order to stay on track:
- In one sentence, what is your company? It’s important to modify and perfect your elevator speech. Be short, concise and don’t sound too rehearsed when talking about your business.
- How big is the market? How much do consumers spend in your industry each year? How much of the market does the competition take up in the space? Know the numbers and outline exactly where you fit in.
- What is the demographic? Define who your consumer is and why you want to reach that group.
- How are you getting consumers? Business leaders almost always under-think this question, but it’s important to always find new ways to reach consumers and spread your message. Both traditional and non-traditional public relations practices like content marketing, TV appearances, events and media tours all help to get the world out to consumers.
- What is your business? How do you make money? What are some new ways you can be profitable?
- Who is your competition? Outline why they’re there and how you’re different.
- Who is your team? Ask yourself, who makes up your team today and who do you need? It’s important to be honest with yourself with this question.
- What are some milestones you need to accomplish now and in the future? Write your goals down on a piece of paper so you can visualize them.
- Who are your advisors? It’s important to surround yourself with mentors to guide you in your efforts and cheerleaders to help support you along the way. Who are these people and what do they bring to the table?
Alexa said that setting goals is the key to success.
“Don’t just paint the picture of right now. Paint it for 10 years down the road,” she said. “Always paint the picture of ‘here’s where I’m going and here’s how I’m going to get there.’”