The most successful founder in history Bill Gross
Business, Leadership
September 24, 2019

The most successful founder in history - Part 2

Bill gross shares more secrets to success

Tony Robbins always advocates learning from the best – finding mentors, surrounding yourself with success and feeding your mind the right fuel. Bill Gross is one of the best entrepreneurs on the planet, growing seven companies from zero to an astonishing $1 billion in value or more. In part one of the podcast, Bill talks about making employees think like owners by letting them share in the upside of your success – plus the biggest lessons he learned from setbacks in his endeavors.

This is part two of the podcast, where Tony gets a chance to talk with him about finding joy in fixing broken things, his advice on raising money and what Bill would like to be remembered for.

Bill Gross offers Tony many of his secrets to success in this interview. One is that to have a successful endeavor, you need to find the truth you know that no one else knows. This requires having trust in yourself and building trust in your workplace so your team will follow you even if everyone is telling them you’re wrong.

The heart of a true entrepreneur

Ever since he can remember, Bill wanted to fix things. He says, “I would go around in life and look for things that were wrong, and instead of complaining about them, try to fix them. And that just gave me great joy.” He’s always had big, bold ideas – and lots of them. In fact, he started the first incubator ever because he had so many ideas and he didn’t want to pick just one.

Bill has also always had passion for his work. He knew that investors are buying a story, not a product. “They saw I was going to go through brick walls if necessary to make this thing happen.” Bringing that kind of intensity to everything he does is what sets Bill apart.

How to raise equity

Bill has raised funds for a number of companies, so of course Tony asked for advice to share with others. Bill’s first piece of advice is to show passion to your investors and demonstrate that you believe in your company so much that nothing will get in your way to grow it. This demonstrates that you will use fear instead of letting fear use you – and it has a powerful impact on potential investors. He also suggests raising small amounts to achieve progress before going on to raise larger amounts of equity.

Getting your timing right

Bill has 60 failures, and he says that 25 have failed on timing alone. “We weren’t that successful at the beginning,” he says. “Making a start up is hard. There’s no magic formula.” It’s more than having an idea and being passionate about it. You must get your timing right. Look for outside factors that might block your success. Stay up to date on the latest innovations and current events. And be honest with yourself about the signals you’re seeing so that you can enter the market at precisely the right time.

Building camaraderie through incentives

Bill strives to make all his companies talkably different by building strong camaraderie. He’s found the best way to do this is to make everyone feel like they’re all in it together by offering them stakes in the company. He says, “You want people to feel like owners so that they act like owners.” You want them to care about the company just as much as you do. You want everyone to equally celebrate the company’s success because it has a personal impact on them.

Part 2

[02:20] Tony introduces Bill
[02:46] Where Bill’s optimism comes from
[03:25] Finding joy in trying to fix broken things
[03:48] Update on Carbon Capture
[04:30] Story of selling his company to Lotus
[05:13] Find a truth you know that others do not know
[05:55] Ben Rosen takes story back to Lotus
[06:25] Bill gets inspired by Multimedia PC
[06:55] How Bill created Idealab incubator
[07:45] When entrepreneurs should look for venture capital
[08:47] How Bill funded Knowledge Venture
[09:15] Showing your passion is important to show investors
[09:33] Bill’s advice on raising money
[10:36] Don’t try to raise what you need forever
[11:20] Bill’s philosophy on incentivizing employees
[12:15] Building camaraderie through incentives
[12:55] Importance of being generous in business deals
[13:20] Sharing the downsides before closing a deal
[14:16] The reasons companies succeed vs. fail
[14:45] Timing and execution matter the most
[15:36] How to know if it’s the right timing
[16:20] Missing the timing signals at
[16:45] What separates Idealab from other incubators
[17:24] Bill’s biggest failure that’s turned into success
[18:25] Navigating through the dot com crash
[19:00] When you should and shouldn’t take outside money
[19:31] Example: Sharing the story of EnergyVault
[20:03] How EnergyVault customers are changing the energy landscape
[20:38] The three technologies that will change our lives in the future
[21:48] What Bill would like to be remembered for

Bill is an entrepreneur at heart, and the way he would like to be remembered is as someone who showed that you can use entrepreneurship to make the world a better place. In the end, what does he think matters the most? It isn’t the idea, or the business model, or the money. Bill now thinks that execution matters the most, allowing you to change your mindset to overcome all other problems. He spent a lifetime learning this, and now he’s sharing with you so that you don’t have to.

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