Financeit’s CEO and Co-Founder, Michael Garrity, was invited to host a session of MaRS Mornings, an entrepreneur speaker series at Toronto’s own MaRS Discovery District.

MaRS Mornings is a monthly breakfast series that celebrates creative founders in the innovation community.

Speaking to his experience in turning inspiration into disruptive companies, Michael broke down his 5 key learnings in running a startup.

    1. It is likely to be very hard (like, really hard).
    2. Pick a really big problem to solve, because the way you think you are going to solve it is likely wrong.
    3. Everyone likes to see your skin in the game (you will be pushed, and pushed hard).
    4. No matter what anyone tells you, it’s really all about sales. Michael offered 3 key learnings for leading successful sales:
      • Pain avoidance: at its simplest, your sales pitch to customers should be “buy X so Y doesn’t happen to you in the future.” Build the narrative.
      • Pound the rock: persevere, survive, improve and grind your way through every day. Just about everything will be against you and your startup, it’s your job to keep pounding the rock.
      • Beat inertia: make it easy to say yes (trails, freemiums, pilots…), don’t settle for inaction. You are not up against a competitor; you’re up against inertia. It’s easy for people to say ‘No’.
  1. Regardless of the outcome (which, to be clear, by the odds is likely to seem near impossible to succeed at times) being an entrepreneur is about getting below the tip of the iceberg. Get into the nit and grit of your business – it’s a cold, hard, and awesome place.

You can read more about Michael’s talk over at the MaRS blog.

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