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David Greenberg

David Greenberg

David Greenberg is the founder & CEO of Updater, the technology company revolutionizing how Am...

Danny Chavez

Danny Chavez

Danny Chavez is VP at SAEDF & Co-founder at Epux Dev – focused on creating jobs in San Antonio...

Daniel C. Rounds

Daniel C. Rounds

Daniel Rounds is an innovation strategist for Fortune 500 companies in biotechnology, tech, aerosp...

Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen

Chris Van Dusen is the CEO of Parcon Media, working with clients to concept, extend, implement and...

Mac Morgan

Mac Morgan

Mac Morgan is the President of Tonic Design Co., a design and development firm in Philadelphia. He...

Raad Ahmed

Raad Ahmed

Raad Ahmed is the Founder and CEO of LawTrades, a platform that connects businesses to world-class...

Mark Budgell

Mark Budgell

Mark Budgell Co-Founded Sparkcell Digital, a firm specializing in social media, digital and conten...

Nav Athwal

Nav Athwal

Nav Athwal is the Founder and CEO of RealtyShares, an online curated marketplace for real estate i...

Ajit Nawalkha

Ajit Nawalkha

Ajit Nawalkha is the Co-Founder of Mindvalley, an angel investor and the face of Zentrepreneur and...

Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer

A seasoned digital media entrepreneur, Andrew Fischer most recently co-founded and helms C...

Bill Lyons

Bill Lyons

Bill Lyons is the CEO of Revestor and an entrepreneur in the real estate tech space. Who is your ...

Tim Chaves

Tim Chaves

Tim Chaves is the founder and CEO at ZipBooks, free accounting software for small businesses with bu...

Matthew Paulson

Matthew Paulson

Matthew Paulson is the Founder of MarketBeat.com, Co-Founder at GoGo Photo Contest and USGolfTV, C...

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer

Sharam Fouladgar-Mer…

Sharam Fouladgar-Mercer is the co-founder and CEO of AirPR, a technology platform to increase PR p...

Justin Sachs

Justin Sachs

Justin Sachs is the CEO of Motivational Press, an industry leading non-fiction book publishing com...

Kasey Kaplan

Kasey Kaplan

Kasey Kaplan is the Co-Founder, President and COO at Urban FT. Who is your hero? (In business, life...

Curtis Thornhill

Curtis Thornhill

Curtis Thornhill, CEO of Apt Marketing Solutions, has more than 15 years experience optimizing busin...

Verónica Sosa Córdova

Verónica Sosa Córdov…

Verónica Sosa Córdova is the Founder and CEO of Business Fit Academy, serial Entrepreneur, Interna...

Tim Chaves

CEO and Founder of ZipBooks, Tim ChavesTim Chaves is the founder and CEO at ZipBooks, free accounting software for small businesses with built-in invoice financing, time tracking and payment processing.

Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)

I have several, but someone who comes to mind is Samuel Johnson, who singlehandedly wrote A Dictionary of the English Language over the course of nine years in the mid-18th century. His dictionary was seen as canonical for almost 200 years after its publication. I think that amount of dedication, work ethic, patience and sheer grit is something all entrepreneurs can aspire to in building their companies.

What’s the single best piece of business advice (unorthodox tips welcome!) that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?

Don’t plan too much. No matter how much we’d all like to define exactly what’s going to happen to us today, this month, this year or in ten years, we just can’t see the future or plan for all the variables. While we can certainly set ourselves on a certain trajectory and be in situations that will help lead to success, allow for some flexibility, some pivoting and some fun from the unexpected.

What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?

In a past business, I made the mistake of thinking I could do everything on my own. And while that business excelled in the one area I was good at (product), it languished just about everywhere else. I realized that no matter how smart you think you are, no matter how much hustle you may have, there is too much to do for one person to create a successful business. With ZipBooks, I’ve focused much more on figuring out what I’m bad at, and bringing in excellent team members who more than make up for those deficiencies — and it’s made a world of difference.

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?

I spend the first hour of the day figuring out what has to happen today and what can wait. I have a list called “today will be a good day if…” and I fill it out each morning. It brings the most important tasks to the forefront and shows me what’s extraneous. The thing about answering emails is that it leads to more emails. A little planning up front helps me figure out where I am making the biggest impact possible and not just fooling myself into feeling productive.

What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?

If you are trying to get a tech startup off the ground, don’t feel like you have to start your business in Silicon Valley. I’m rehashing something that Sergey Brin said at a recent conference, but I think it bears repeating. Your business runway is going to be a lot longer when your office space is $1,800/month and not $18,000/month. I love the Bay Area and spent time living out there, but it’s not the only place to build a company. What’s cool is that you’re seeing other hot spots around the U.S. (and world) where there’s a ton of talent, venture capital and fellow entrepreneurs. When you’re figuring out how to finance a business, look around right where you are and you may see opportunity.

Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?

Don’t multitask, ever. Do one task until it’s completed and then move onto the next task. You will be amazed how fast the progress adds up over small steps. If you are really working when you’re at work, you may even have time to fit in a personal life.

By making the people you care about a priority, you will prevent burnout. If you wait to start living until after you have “made it,” you may never get there. Life is happening right now. Go out and live it!

What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?

I think success means that you are living life on your own terms. I’m passionate about building beautiful, useful software, so that is what I want to be doing professionally. When you have an idea and then actually build that idea into a product and hear from your users that it is as useful to them as you were hoping, it’s self-actualizing. It gives me the confidence to keep putting my ideas out there.

I will know that I have succeeded in business when ZipBooks is synonymous with great accounting software the way Google is for searching the internet.

The Young Entrepreneur Council, Proud Media Partner of CEO GOLF:

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. 

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