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Thought Leadership

Mark Cuban, Sara Blakely, Daymond John, and More Share Entrepreneurial Advice

What makes for a quick business pivot? We quote some renowned business leaders who share their best entrepreneurial advice.

Mark Cuban, event speaker, entrepreneur, and Dallas Mavericks owner
Advice from entrepreneur Mark Cuban: “Be as successful as you possibly can, and take care of your customers as well as you possibly can. Those strong relationships...give you the best cushion when things go wrong.”

Many of us have never grappled with things like hybrid work models, sanitation strategies, or remote onboarding before. But 81% of small businesses said shifts in business operations have changed dramatically, and it’s looking like the only constant is the promise of continued changes ahead. So, what entrepreneurial advice should growing businesses follow as we continue to reinvent and pivot our business?

We started asking the right people, and we have answers. We’ve been lucky to host conversations with some of today’s most respected business leaders through our Stories of Resilience virtual event series. Here, we’ve curated the best entrepreneurial advice from these sessions, and included key strategies for small business success.

Relationships — with your customers and your team — matter more than anything

No matter the size of your business, leadership is about building and cultivating relationships with your customers and team. How will your working world change? Many of the leaders we heard from spoke of the ways they enjoy gathering input, emulating tactics, and seeking feedback.

Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner 

“As you lead your team, you should also want to know what they think. Ask them: What is your vision? Where’s your head at? Your team has to help paint the picture as you think about what it will look like for your customers or industry.” 

“Be as successful as you possibly can, and take care of your customers as well as you possibly can. Those strong relationships, having a strong foundation with your business, give you the best cushion when things go wrong.

Daymond John, FUBU founder and Shark Tank judge 

“I learned that I had to be obsessed with my customer, absolutely obsessed.  I learned that entrepreneurship was a team sport and that I need to trust other people.”

Angela Duckworth, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” author and psychologist

When you start meetings, go around with a very quick, ‘How are you feeling?’ Create a norm where people are constantly on the same wavelength about how other people are doing emotionally.”

Technology can help you be more human

Technology helps small businesses connect with customers. Now that we’re emerging from lockdowns and closures, savvy small businesses are doubling-down on those tools to build deeper relationships. As counterintuitive as it sounds, these leaders explain how technology helps them run their businesses more efficiently, which lets them build the kind of customer connections that inspire loyalty and growth.

Sara Blakely, Spanx founder and CEO

“We use Tableau, a Salesforce company, and it’s been really instrumental in helping us decipher the data on our website and make sense of all of the information we’re getting from consumers so that we can serve them better.”

Meggie Palmer, PepTalkHer founder and CEO

“For me as a small business owner, growth is super important. Salesforce helps us keep prospects and customers really engaged. Which is important all the time, but particularly at the moment….No one really knows what the future will look like, but one thing I know for certain is that relationships will continue to matter and technology helps us foster them.” 

Roadblocks are a necessary part of success 

Every leader faces setbacks, which makes it tempting to throw in the towel or lower your standards for success. But as we return to our offices and events, it’s important for leaders to look for the silver linings. Success – especially when you’re a small business – is a journey. While the highs may be the most fun, the lows make the positive results worthwhile. Overcoming those challenges helps you grow and pushes you toward your goals. 

Mark Cuban, serial entrepreneur and Dallas Mavericks owner 

“You’ve got to recognize that you’re going to take some losses and you have to always be preparing for how you’re going to rebound from those losses. To me, resilience is always learning, always improving, and asking yourself what you can do to get an edge.”

Sara Blakely, Spanx founder and CEO

“Resilience is like a muscle. The more you gut through challenges and not let them defeat you, the stronger your resilience will be.”

Balance is key

The leaders we spoke to during Stories of Resilience are larger-than-life figures with plenty of success. They also shared the need to recharge, step away, and find balance outside of work.

Joanna Gaines, Magnolia co-founder and co-star of HGTV’s Fixer Upper

“I’ve learned to run the business and not let it run me. I make space to do things at home that bring me life. Then, when I go to work, I feel full and energized.”

Morgan DeBaun, Blavity, Inc. founder and CEO

“I’ve encouraged my employees to take vacation and self-care days. For me, the past year has been an art of letting go. As long as we continue to hit our milestones, I try to be flexible on how people get their work done. COVID has forced me as an entrepreneur to focus.”

Salesforce brings customers and companies together, helping small businesses grow faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Eric Bensley is the vice president who leads marketing for small and medium business (SMB) solutions at Salesforce. He loves taking complex ideas and making them both simple & sticky. Through his career, he has had the pleasure of working on incredible products and market launches: GoToMeeting, HDFaces, Customer Success Platform, Salesforce1, SalesforceIQ, Salesforce Essentials. Day to day, his work consists of positioning, messaging, packaging, competitive differentiation, sales enablement,t and campaigns that get technology products in the hands of people who need them. Eric is a proud husband and dad who takes the art of dad jokes far too seriously. You can find him on the basketball court or hiking in the mountains in his free time.

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