Today I had lunch with Joel Peterson (wildly successful real estate and private equity investor) and later had a dinner with two more recent entrepreneurs and classmates: Jenny (owner of a wildly popular midwest desert chain) and Erik (founder of a series of popular - and profitable - e-commerce web sites ).
Some interesting tidbits from both events:
- Both Joel and Jenny listed "confidence" as the number one trait of a successful entrepreneur. Jenny went into some more detail, labeling herself as an "insecure egomaniac." She is confident she can do anything, but is always paranoid about what might go wrong. I thought that was a great phrase.
- Jenny's keys to hiring great retail salespeople: 1. Make sure your shop is the best place in town to work (her company is inundated with resumes every week). 2. When hiring high schoolers, find the ones who lead clubs, team, etc., at school. Also look to see what colleges they are applying to.
- Erik's unorthodox hiring tip: Take a look at the state of the inside of their car. If you are hiring for non-creative, execution-style positions don't hire someone who's interior is a mess.