What makes a successful entrepreneur? Is it hard work, luck, talent, or something else? It’s easy to be an entrepreneur these days because there are so many tools and resources available for anyone with an idea. However, that also means there is more competition in every industry. So, what do those who seem to be crushing it do differently? David Shands, a content creator, entrepreneur, and podcast host, has been through all the phases of running a business, so he knows a thing or two about being a business owner. Shands is the founder of The Morning Meetup, an exclusive mentorship and accountability group for the most ambitious and driven entrepreneurs. He is also the co-host of “The Social Proof” podcast, an entrepreneurship arena helping individuals transition from their 9–5 jobs to their dream careers.
A self-motivated individual, Shands began his foray into entrepreneurship at an early age. In fact, there’s nothing he hadn’t done to get ahead between the ages of 9 and 25. However, everything he tried fell through and left him doubting his capabilities as a business owner. That changed about 12 years ago when Shands designed and launched his SleepIs4Suckers t-shirt brand geared toward entrepreneurs or anyone willing to lose sleep doing what they love. At the time, Shands was working at The Cheesecake Factory, but his dream was to run his own company one day.
After two and half years, Shands felt ready to step out on his own, so he quit his job to pursue his dream full-time. Shands opened a t-shirt stand at the mall and began working his way up. Gradually, he scaled his brand and diversified to include more products and services. In 2013, Shands began doing entrepreneur workshops and meetups to bring like-minded business owners together. The success of these events motivated him to do more, and that’s where the idea of starting a podcast came from. A naturally charismatic and empathetic person, Shands quickly became the most popular podcast host. His podcast attracts over 14M monthly listeners, and he has been rated the number 1 podcaster by Black Enterprise.
From his interviews and personal journey, Shands says mentorship, accountability, and resilience are the three keys to success in entrepreneurship. As a young business owner, it’s common to feel like you have everything figured out, which Shands says is the first step toward failure. Instead of trying to do it on your own, he advises plugging into a network of like-minded individuals within your industry. Alternatively, you can tune into podcasts like “The Social Proof” and learn from veterans across multiple spaces. The lessons are pretty similar anyway and will help you discover common pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Accountability is another aspect many budding entrepreneurs underestimate. While there is nothing wrong with being a lone wolf, Shands believes you can do better if you are accountable to someone or a community. Shands runs a community purposely created for that reason called The Morning Meetup. This is an exclusive mentorship and accountability group for ambitious and driven entrepreneurs from all industries. The purpose of this community is to help entrepreneurs begin their day right and empower them as they scale their businesses.
Lastly, Shands emphasizes the power of resilience and determination. Instead of folding when things get tough and starting over, he believes you will gain more by holding on and implementing the lessons you learn from failing. “If you stick to a bad idea long enough, improve on that bad idea, and perfect that bad idea. If you stick to that bad idea long enough without quitting, you can get rich,” he says.