By Malena Carollo Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, Fla.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg was one of several entrepreneurs, business leaders and political figures to speak to budding business owners at a three-day bootcamp called the "American Dreams Academy."
Randi Zuckerberg's first solo project after leaving Facebook was a failure. The tech and media mogul had been asked by Bravo TV to be an executive producer on a show about entrepreneurs. It began with huge viewership on its debut. And then it ended with a squeak -- a marathon of its remaining episodes running at the same time as the Super Bowl.
"I remember turning to my husband and saying, 'How am I going to recover from this?'" she said. "My first project was a turd on the floor."
Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media (and sister of Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg), mentioned the anecdote to a roomful of entrepreneurs at the University of Tampa Wednesday morning as a measure of hope. As the old adage goes, don't be afraid of failures.
The entrepreneurs were gathered for a three-day bootcamp called the American Dreams Academy organized by St. Petersburg-based HSN. Zuckerberg was one of several entrepreneurs, business leaders and political figures to speak to participants about making it as a business.
Here are five pieces of advice she gave:
1. Get back up when you fail Being an entrepreneur comes with many rejections and failures. Don't let that deter you. "Things that look like failures and feel like crippling failures are sometimes a necessary step to get where you're going," she said.
2. Collaboration can be key Every project Zuckerberg embarks on involves partners. They can bring different skills to the table than she can and enhance her ideas with their own in ways she wouldn't have thought of. "I'd rather own 50 percent of something amazing than 100 percent of something that goes nowhere," she said.
3. Seek out mentors And don't forget to look within your own ranks for them. Your peers are the ones going through what you are, and can be especially helpful resources. "I wish I hadn't wasted so much time searching for that 'one' mentor and spent more time investing in my peer network," Zuckerberg said.
4. Have a thick skin Women in tech and business don't have an easy time, she said. Push to get meetings, look to places like crowdfunding if traditional outlets fail and don't stop trying. "We just have to have a really thick skin," she said.
5. Stay focused, but pay attention If there's an industry-shifting trend happening, make sure that you're not so focused on your company's mission that you can't adapt to a changing landscape. "You have to have this ruthless focus on what you want to do, but also be able to pivot," she said.