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.

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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.

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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 & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.