When he was just 20 years old, Andre Levie founded Box, a cloud storage service.
Chances are, you've heard of it. You may even use it regularly.
This was back in 2005, when the whole concept of cloud storage was still relatively new.
Today, Box is valued at over $2 billion dollars. It's a classic Silicon Valley success story.
But the success of Box didn't come easily.
It involve a lot of sweat, blood, and tears. Andre Levie worked hard to make the company the success it is today.
And along the way, he's acquired a lot of valuable wisdom.
He's dealt with all of the problems inherent in the entrepreneurial lifestyle — the burnout, the stress, the moments where you wonder if you've really made the right choice by starting a business.
In an interview with Entrepreneur, Levie dishes out some solid advice for young entrepreneurs.
Here's what he has to say about avoiding burnout, getting past a creative rut, and the advice he himself has gotten over the last ten years.
1. How do you prevent burnout?
It’s not the easiest advice for anybody to take, but I am constantly tracking the things I'm doing that I don't think I am good at. I try to delegate those things as frequently as possible, and get way better people to solve those problems.
I find the times where I'm the closest to burning out is when I'm doing a bunch of work I don't feel I’m well suited for. Also, being surrounded by people you enjoy being with, that you learn from, energize you and push you prevents burnout, too.
2. When you’re faced with a creativity block, what’s your strategy to get innovating?
It’s a combination of music and whiteboard or a notepad. I play some kind of classical music or Bob Dylan to get creative juices flowing, get a clean sheet of paper and brainstorm every possible solution to a problem.
I list out new ideas until I’m exhausted and can’t come up with anything else, or when I get to the point where I think I have the answer.
3. What’s the best advice you ever took?
Don’t hedge your bets. That has always been something I've reflected on. I make sure any time we need to make a hard decision, it's better to make that hard decision than trying to create a path that lets us optimize for multiple outcomes.
It's the only way you can really execute: put all of your resources behind whatever your strategy is. You can't dilute your resources and go in multiple directions.
4. What's the worst piece of advice you ever got?
The worst advice comes when you have a solution that you know is hard and it could work, but is reliant on some kind of long-term trend working in your favor. The advice in those situations is wait before you execute that plan, or maybe the world’s not ready for it.
I've always found that I'd rather be too early and continue to iterate than be too late and have missed the trend completely, because somebody else has exploited it before you do. So, I think relying on my gut instinct and making big bets has gone against a lot of advice we've gotten over the years.
You can check out the entire interview over at Entrepreneur.
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