Marius Kraemer

6 rules to becoming a successful entrepreneur in 2013

These are the 6 rules that I have extracted and lived by throughout my start-up journey. I wouldn't say I'm a 'successful' entrepreneur as such yet, but I think they are the most important rules you need to becoming one.

THINK BIG IDEAS1. Don’t do small ideas. Do big ideas

• Only big ideas can make you believe you can change the world. Only big ideas can energise you to smash through day and night and to shut out everything else.

• For the sweat and tears you have to shed when building a startup, you don’t want to be rewarded with $500/h for your work in the end, you could also earn that through consultancy in the same time. You want to be rewarded with $50,000/h.

• Big ideas probably take 4 months to build. Small ideas maybe 3 months. However, the reward for big ideas can often be 100 times higher than for small ideas. Do BIG ideas.

2. 50% of how capable you are is determined by how capable you think you are and 50% by how capable you actually are

• Take a super smart kid that doesn’t believe in himself. He will never be able to create something awesome even though he has the potential for it.

• Take a super dumb person, who thinks they are the greatest. These both are able to achieve the same; often the super dumb person even becomes ridiculously successful.

• Therefore, tell yourself you are the smartest person in the world. It’s not about IQ, it’s about capability.

• Ok, the most important thing is that you manage this thinking depending on what you need – I personally think I’m the smartest person in the world 99% of the day. In the moments where I need to suck up knowledge I block that thought out and tell myself I know nothing. Once that is over I think I’m the smartest person again. Easy… =)

 IDEAS ARE CHEAP3. Nobody will steal your idea

Well maybe someone will steal it but there are 4 reasons why it doesn’t matter

• If you tell no one, you will excite no one about your idea, no one will want to help you out for free, become part of your team, tell you about other startups attempting similar things or make your idea even more awesome.

• If someone needs to steal your idea, it usually means they are not smart enough to come up with their own ideas. How would they even be able to build a big startup like yours? They wouldn’t be, so don’t worry.

• Those with a capable enough mind to execute your idea, already have loads of other ideas they want to do. No one will drop everything just to do your idea.

• Ideas change. A lot. There is only a very little chance that the thief’s idea will be the same as yours months after starting it.


4. Be an open person, a very open person. Try to get as much as possible out of everything you see.

You have to be able to handle the boost you get from rule #3. Sometimes confidence can result in arrogance. If this happens, you run the danger of thinking you are actually the smartest person and know more than everyone else. But…

• You can learn from EVERYONE!

• You might only know 40% of what the awesome CEO you are meeting tomorrow knows. You might also think you know 95% of what most people know, but there is still the 5% you might be unaware of. Try to get that knowledge.

• Your knowledge is actually not yours. You as a person are actually not you. You are merely a combination of the knowledge and experiences of all the people you have talked to in your life.

• Everyone has a story to tell and wisdom to share. Try to find their talent and make it your own. This way you can become a wiser person – and the best entrepreneurs are the wisest.

5. You are always the average of the 5 people you hang around with the most. Choose for yourself.

• Hang around with people who are insane.

• Only they are the ones that attempt to do things without the fear of failure.

• Only they are the ones who help you think bigger and try the things others claim cannot be done.

6. It’s good to fail

• I always like to quote Bill Bartee here: “I wouldn’t trust any startup founder who hasn’t failed at least twice”

• Fail fast and fail hard. Fail all the way. You don’t want to waste half a year of your life before you realize your idea has been wishful thinking since the first day. Do everything you can to speed up your failing. But please, analyse every single bit of your failure, so that you don’t make the same mistakes again.

• Don’t be embarrassed to tell everybody about your idea, because it could fail, even if the website/app looks shitty. By simply building stuff just on your own, because you think it is awesome, you have achieved more than 99% of the population. If you don’t tell anyone, I can guarantee it will definitely fail.EMBRACE FAILURE


Posted by Mark Freidin, 6 June 2012

Great article, all true. Believing in yourself is more important than technical skill.

Posted by John Lynch, 6 June 2012

Great read, great points, the confidence comes through Marius.

Posted by Judy Darley , 12 June 2012

What a fantastic feature – inspiring!

Posted by Sian, 4 July 2012

Brilliant article, it's gone into my Evernote! Made me laugh too. :)


Marius Kraemer Matewire Marius Kraemer
Company: Matewire
Position: CEO
Founder at Matewire (@matewire). German bloke. Programmer. Likes being airborne.

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