By Tyler Dikman
Here I am, sitting in the green room after the taping of The Big Idea reflecting not only on the amazing experience today, but what it took to get me here. It is rare when I get a moment of
By Tyler Dikman
peace and quiet to pause and contemplate my adventures (and misadventures) since I first endeavored to independently put money into my pocket. I am incredibly fortunate to have achieved the success and accomplishment that Donny requires of his special guests. In no way could I have predicted that starting CoolTronics, once a humble out-of-my-house technology consulting company, would put me on a big time TV show only eight short years later. Yet at the same time, I can see how it did. Since the age of five, business just seemed to be a natural fit for me…of course, this concept of “business” seemed like something only people with a college degree, MBA, and tons of experience could do. Perhaps it was teenage audacity that compelled me, or the fact that there weren't any good movies out at the time, but either way business is where I enthusiastically wanted to be. This assertion is true to this day, and in its consideration, please allow me to share with you the sole maxim that I have consistently seen proven in the business world:
Business is successful only if you love doing it. From my lemonade stands, magic show business, working at Merrill Lynch, and founding CoolTronics, I saw an opportunity in the market for me to make some money and have fun. Every business I’ve run…every goal I’ve had… in some way I’ve failed…and caulked it up to experience.
On the show today, I was asked “What are the five things someone could keep in mind to make millions?” This was such a tough challenge to come up with only five things, as there are so many ways one can be successful. What it all comes down to is this: Have a great idea…get some mentors and solicit their advice…have fun with the idea…and most importantly: DO IT! Your great idea is completely worthless if you don’t give it a shot. You’ll never know what could have been if you don’t try. Plus, it's your idea. What could be more fun than taking something that you thought of and bringing it to fruition for the enjoyment of the city, state, country, or even the world.
I take the above advice to heart all the time. For example, last year a few friends of mine came to me and asked if I’d be interested in a venture-backed dotcom startup: Redux. The idea was for Redux to be the pioneer in the emerging People Discovery category. The company taps into the basic human need to connect, combining a unique software algorithm with a compelling media experience. I am not a web engineer, and didn’t have a wealth of experience starting a dotcom, but I did have experience running companies, creating partnerships, dealing with legal concerns, and finding the right people to which I could solicit advice. Despite the impressive business track record behind me, I was still a bit uncertain (and admittedly, nervous) about what was in store for me in this new undertaking. Today marks my eighth month at this company, and in those eight months I’ve learned more than I could have ever imagined while having an unforgettable experience I wouldn't trade for anything. Long hours are all part of the necessary process, but you only live once, and I know that I’ll only be successful if I seize the opportunities presented to me.