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25 things with Xero's Craig Walker, part three

Xero's longtime CTO Craig Walker knows things, wants things, predicts things, worries about things and improves things. In this third installment, here are five things he wishes were done to support entrepreneurs.

5 things to support entrepreneurs

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PEOPLE.

Hiring good people with complementary skillsets is the key to building a sustainable business. It’s also a lot more fun. Try to build a team that has a balance of skills and diversity of thought. The “can I have a beer with this person?” or “does this person have the right academic training?” tests are not enough. Always ask instead “how is this person's life experience different to mine in a way that will benefit our customers and our organisational culture?” 

JUST DO IT.

Starting something is scary. I hear the “I had that idea years ago” statement all the time. There’s a myth that ideas are scarce, but ideas are everywhere. It’s the execution that is scarce and execution is everything in business.

ADAPT.

Fostering a tolerance for disruption within an organisation is hard, but it’s also massively rewarding. Instead of resisting change, try to build a culture within your firm (and yourself) that adapts early and often. Success takes time, and early failures are okay. What you learn through failure will make you better the next time.

LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

Find what you’re truly passionate about and go for it. Passion is a key driver of success. 

FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS. 

Don't fall in love with your own product, technology or way of doing things. You need to fall in love with the outcomes of your customers. It's a very difficult undertaking, but one that allows young and nimble companies to compete with larger companies that are too big to manourvre. The fast eat the slow.

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