Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joseph Jaffe, Founder of Alpha Collective, located in Connecticut, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Alpha Collective is a premium community that helps brands and creators partner and win at the business of Web3. Part mastermind. Part Think Tank. Part Conference. It's a safe, strategic, welcoming space with a mission to onboard the next billion wallets (and billion dollars) into Web3. I also have a business talk show (Daily Show for Business) called Joseph Jaffe is not Famous.
Tell us about yourself
Ever since I went out on my own in 2002, I have been determined to leave a "dent" in the marketing universe by elevating it to the position it deserves (and, as Peter Drucker once said), an essential function of business. Leaving my mark is a legacy that is less about ego and more about making a difference. Connected to this is helping people, and that's why I've written 6 books, have keynoted in 50+ countries, teach at NYU and via Alpha Collective, and will help foster partnerships and collaborations that bridge the divide between FOMO'ing in too early and missing the boat.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Probably selling my first company, crayon. I often say - self-deprecatingly - that I sold it IN SPITE OF myself, not BECAUSE. This is partly true. You don't know what you don't know when running a business... and perhaps that ignorance, naivety, and/or stubbornness is what propels you forward in your reality distortion field, where defeat is not an option.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I used to say the hardest thing I've ever done was sales (moving from the buyer side to the sell side), and then I updated it to being an entrepreneur. Now I've updated it to being a builder in Web3 (launching my own NFT collection in the form of a B2B membership-based community).
Another challenge is the loneliness of being a sole proprietor and owner. Which is why having a co-founder is so important. Remember, 100% of nothing is nothing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- As the saying goes, the best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago
the second best time is today. So start today!
- My formula for being "forever changed" (my new book) is to love what you do, be true to yourself and stay the course. Endurance is a superpower. Not "insanity endurance," i.e., doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result... but mixing it up all while staying the course.
- Know when to listen to advice and when to ignore it. It's an art, not a science. Sometimes taking advice at the right time, even from the wrong person, can be the difference between success and failure. Sometimes ignoring it from someone you love can have the exact same impact.
- As I often say to entrepreneurs/founders, your success depends on 4 things: 2 you can control, and 2 you cannot. Idea + Execution you can control. Timing + Luck, you can't. Of course, there are ways around this, e.g., Luck = when preparation (reps, 10,000 hours) meets opportunity (shoot your shot!)
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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