Josh Teigen is a young and passionate entrepreneur and investor. He began his career at age 13, investing in a variety of public securities. As a 17-year-old, he founded a weekly stock investments newsletter, which quickly gained interest, traction and membership. Most recently, Josh has founded Crossfox Innovation, where he has assembled a network of experts to consult on a number of specialized categories to help corporations grow their operations and innovate to stay ahead of the competition.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Doug Burgum.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The highest form of philanthropy is providing a well-paying job within your community.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
I learned that it is so crucial to be cautious of whom you go into business with. As an 18-year-old, I was offered a CEO position, but it turned out to be toxic because of one of the co-founders. As appealing as a position is on the surface, it is never worth it in the long run if the entire team isn’t a perfect fit.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I have a rule to always wake up before my clients, no matter what time that may be. I always spend the first part of my day reading a passage from the Bible, and then I move on to answering customer emails to ensure they are never waiting on me for anything. They should be able to begin their day with answers and insights from me for any questions or ideas that they had overnight. Sometimes the best ideas come to entrepreneurs during late hours, and I want to make sure they are equipped to act on them right away.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Today there are enough tools available for you to access capital without giving up a lot of equity to start. If you truly believe in your idea, defend every percentage of equity possible. There are too many entrepreneurs out there who have lost the passion for their business because they have given up too much along the way. This also means you are no longer your own boss. No matter what you have to go through, don’t get stuck in this position and don’t lose your passion. That’s not why you became an entrepreneur.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Find a mentor and bring them on board with your company in an extended capacity. Find someone who has already succeeded and leverage them as much as you possibly can to navigate the strategic growth stages of your company.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
I will know that I have succeeded in business when I can look out at what is regarded to be one of the coolest companies on earth, and say that I built it.
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.