ronn torossian
No matter where you hang out a shingle or what your area of expertise happens to be, there are several truths all startup entrepreneurs need to know, says Ronn Torossian. Some of these can be learned by experience, but any of them, if ignored, could also doom your enterprise before you even get it off the ground.

Be Better Than You Can Be

Everyone goes into any enterprise with
a general idea of their own capabilities, and, in most cases, limitations. And everyone also believes they will have more ability, more money, and more time in the day. To succeed, you have to be better than that. You have to understand where you can stretch, but you also have to be a better manager of your time and resources than you ever thought possible.

Get The Right Help

Speaking of limitations, you are likely only going to go as far as your team can take you. This is the inherent limitation of any enterprise. Now, we’re not saying people can’t grow. Let’s face it, you either grow and get better, or you wither and die. But, just because someone CAN do something does not mean they SHOULD be doing it. This is one of the toughest lessons any entrepreneur needs to learn. If you are bad at something, bring someone in who is good at it. But, on the flip side, don’t just bring in a bunch of people who you like and try to fit them someplace. It’s great to work with a team you enjoy being around, but it is better to find people who can outperform anyone else at any given task.

Earn That Ivory Tower

You do not need to have the best or look the best to be a success. You need to be focused primarily on the best ways to make money, not accumulating the trappings of success. In the beginning, ALL of your available resources need to be invested in the best ways for you to get – and keep – the money rolling in. A great looking office and posh decor might impress prospects, but it won’t win the ones you need to make it all work. Put the most effort into first deciding EXACTLY what you do, then figure out how to make the most money possible doing that.

Be Flexible, or You Will Break

There is no such thing as a business plan that won’t change, or a marketplace that isn’t always changing. With all these variables, it should be clear that a business person that refuses to grow and change will find it difficult to achieve lasting success. You would THINK it would be clear, but, apparently, it is not. Far too many people expect things to keep going as they “always have” (another misnomer), and, if change does happen, they think they can instantly adapt. Both of these assumptions are business killers.

Assume, But Verify

Speaking of assumption, we’ll close with one of the worst kept dirty little secrets of the business world. You WILL come to a point where assumption is necessary. Sure, it’s better to know, but there will be MANY times in which you will have to make crucial decisions based on the best information you have at the time.

Taken together, these truths may not guarantee success, but leave them undone and you are definitely setting yourself up for failure.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.