Brian Honigman is a marketing consultant, freelance writer and professional speaker. He works with both startups and brands like Sumall, Dell, Adknowledge and others focused on marketing, business and technology. He’s spoken at NYU, UNICEF, Huffington Post Live, the American Advertising Federation and for other organizations and conferences. He is a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, the Huffington Post, Forbes, the Next Web, Mashable and others. Follow him @BrianHonigman.
Who is your hero?
Barbara Corcoran is my absolute hero both in business and in life. First and foremost, she’s a good person that doesn’t take life too seriously and has a positive disposition no matter what she’s doing. I’ve never met her, but I’ve watched every interview she’s done and show she’s on, including “Shark Tank.” She’s funny and likes to add humor into her professional life. Her personality and outlook on life are very present in her business approach, which is probably what I appreciate most. Life’s too short to get caught up in the little details and feel bad for yourself when you’ve experienced a failure, which are key lessons Mrs. Corcoran has taught me. I’d recommend any entrepreneur or anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit to read up on Mrs. Corcoran. She has the hustle, the smarts and the experiences to help each of us navigate the highs and lows of running a successful business with integrity.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
The apparel powerhouse Nasty Gal maintains a no-a**holes policy as a part of their mission statement. Honestly, I practice this every day as I run my business. I only work with genuine people who add value to the world and avoid everyone else.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
Initially, I priced my services much lower than I should have. In order for potential clients to place value on what my business has to offer, I must place value in my own expertise by framing my business as an essential resource with competitive pricing.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
In the morning, I check my email and answer anything that’s time-sensitive. I read a few articles from Twitter or Facebook while I take the time to respond to interactions on my social accounts and schedule content to be shared on each channel. Answering emails and managing my social channels is light-weight work that doesn’t take too much thought for the very beginning of the day. I’m still trying to wake up and get more focused for more difficult tasks later in the day.
What’s your best financial or cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Before starting your own business, set aside three to six months of salary from your current job to help ensure you have enough buffer to get your company off the ground in the coming months. You don’t want to worry about paying the bills and putting food on the table while you’re embarking on the difficult journey of starting your own business.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Start blogging about your opinions on your industry and expertise. Over time, it’s a surefire way of generating influence and establishing you and your company as an expert at your craft.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success to me is achieving happiness in your life by doing the things you’ve always wanted to do, both professionally and personally. I’ve already succeeded in my business because I’m able to support myself and I love what I’m doing on a daily basis. Maintaining that balance acts as a driving force to help keep me focused during the ups and downs of running my own business.
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.