YEC Member Spotlight: Ryan Shank, Co-Founder and COO at Mhelpdesk

Ryan ShankRyan Shank is the COO of Mhelpdesk, a company that helps small businesses manage their jobs, scheduling and invoices. Follow him @ryanashank

Who is your hero? 

Elon Musk.

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

I really appreciate the saying, "What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?" This phrase gives me so much inspiration and drive to do whatever it is that I want in business and in life, without the worry of failure. It encouraged me to chase my dreams and think big.

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

The biggest mistake I made was not going full time soon enough. I was spreading myself thin and trying to do to many things at one time. As soon as I was able to cut out all distractions and focus on the business full time, we started to explode. I wish I had done that way earlier.

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

First thing I do is check email and read tech blogs. This helps me stay up to date with current events and happenings throughout the tech scene, keep an eye on competitors, and keep a high-level view on everything that is happening. Once my first hour is over, I'm head-down in work and those things become secondary.

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

Don't create a business that needs VC money to be sustainable. Create a company that is able to run on it's own and generate profitable revenue. Venture Capital money should be used to throw fuel on the fire, not to keep food on the table.

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

Quit your job and go full time.

What's your definition of success? How will you know when you've finally "succeeded" in your business?

I define success by a $1 billion exit.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

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