In September, serial entrepreneur and BlueCat Networks Co-Founder and CEO, Michael Hyatt, delivered the keynote address at Elevate SaaS Masterclass, a one-day event during the bigger Elevate Tech festival. As part of his remarks, Hyatt explained how success comes from opportunity and why all successful people come from the same place. He also described why building a business is a marathon and not a sprint, the importance of hiring and how to get it right, and where so many companies make mistakes when trying to raise capital. In this post, we’ve rounded up 14 of the top takeaways from his presentation.

On Success and Opportunity

  • There’s no success without opportunity. But opportunity isn’t granted or bestowed, it’s earned.
  • The first rule of opportunity and success is showing up. Most people can’t keep showing up to anything, but those who do will prevail.
  • Success is all about consistently taking a series of small steps. It’s not one big hire or quarter that will make your business, it’s consistently taking little steps toward your goal.
  • One of the keys to being successful in life is being able to delay gratification.

On Getting Better

  • Don’t try to make major gains at anything. Instead, focus on getting one percent better at everything. Over time, those gains will aggregate to make a huge difference.
  • Pay more attention to eating, sleeping, and exercise. If you can make small, incremental gains there, you’ll be in a much better position to be successful.

On Hiring

  • Hiring A-players isn’t enough to be successful. You’ve also got to be able to retain them.
  • People want autonomy and purpose more than they want money. They need to be allowed to be creative to do their best work.

On Leadership

  • Leaders bring armies. If you want to know if you’re a great leader, ask yourself how many people would follow you if you left your company. If you want to know if you’re hiring a great leader, see if they can bring at least three A-players with them.
  • Get out of your own way. Do the thing that you’re best at and that has the most impact on your business. Everything else is a distraction and taking you away from what you need to do.
  • Nothing good happens at once. Just as you can’t climb Mount Everest all in one go (you’ve got to do it in stages so that you can acclimate), you need to grow your business the same way.  Don’t take on an entire market, but rather, carve yourself out a small slice of it.

On Raising Capital

  • If you want to raise money, think about what it’s like to be an investor. Investors want to see a return of their capital before they get a return on their capital. That means you need to do everything that you can to de-risk the deal.
  • Be very careful about who you take money from. You have to be prepared to be stuck with those people for the next 10 to 15 years.
  • Debt is much cheaper than venture capital. Do the math.

Hyatt ended his presentation by looking to the future, saying that the Golden Era is still to come. The world is getting dramatically better. He says that it’s a great time to be an entrepreneur because the world is getting better and everyone is a part of it.

Stay tuned for more blogs where we bring you the highlights from industry thought leader like Michael Hyatt.