Fleetwood Hicks is the Founder & CEO of Villy Custom and he is also a Shark Tank alum (Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran are investors in Villy Custom) who has mastered the art of mass customization of beautiful cruiser bikes for individuals, corporations, active living communities, hotel resorts, and more. I know you’ll appreciate his down-to-earth style and his key advice for Startup CEOs that he learned from his own experiences of success and failure.
1. Hire great people as early as possible.
2. Delegation was the key to his growth…even though he says he was never good at it…giving up the quality control role was the hardest for him.
3. There are three types of employees: a) Those that perform below average b) Those that perform average c) Those that perform above average (almost the work of two people).
4. The 60 day employee assessment…hire better earlier.
Ben Kusin was a smoker who realized there wasn’t anything on the market to help with odors on his clothes. From that was born Reviver. Ben Co-founded Reviver with his brother, Eric, and they both earned a deal with Lori Greiner on the ABC TV show Shark Tank. Ben talks candidly about some of his early mistakes and how his brother balances out the team’s skills. Now, he is marching forward toward international markets. He’s a great example of hard work, dedication, and commitment paying off. Plus, his thoughts on cognitive switching penalties…hmmm…you may want to listen if you are a multi-tasker.
I really enjoyed speaking with our five Shark Tank Founder/CEO alumni. They are smart, savvy, and motivated to make a difference. I thought I might take today’s podcast and focus on three actions that you can take to be a better CEO, after listening to these five amazing Founder CEOs. I also preview our next podcast. I invite you to listen. 🙂
Sara Margulis, Co-founder & CEO of Honeyfund and Plumfund, is a Shark Tank alum who struck a deal with Kevin O’Leary for an investment that did not include giving away equity. Sara and her husband, Josh, have built a powerful platform that helps couples kick off their new life together with great honeymoon experiences. Sara openly shares how challenging it was to hire their first employee and become the visionary and leader of the company and not do the “day to day” things. Her motto, “successful people do the hard things first.” I think it is wise advice. After listening to her interview, what do you think?