How I Succeeded is a regular series on Lifehacker where we ask business owners for the secrets and tactics behind their success. Today: Christian Mischler from HotelQuickly.
Current gig: Co-founder & CMO of HotelQuickly Location: Sydney, Australia Current mobile device: iPhone 6 as main device, iPhone 5 as travel phone Current computer: MacBook Pro 15" One word that best describes how you work: Multifaceted
What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Professionally: Asana, Slack, Skype, Dropbox, HotelQuickly, Uber. Personally: Line, Instagram, Spotify, Jefit, Soundhound, IMDb
What social network do you find the most useful?
Professionally, LinkedIn helps me a lot in finding candidates for open positions or to reach out to partners from different industries.
Personally, I like Instagram — simply because I like taking pictures myself and discovered many inspirational photographers by surfing on Instagram.
What were the most important lessons you learned while growing your business?
1) Go hard or go home: If you're considering starting a business, go all in, with everything you have. Your business has to be your first priority, everything else follows. This will come at a price, you might lose friends or hobbies along the way, but you have to be willing to pay the price.
2) Don't put all your eggs in the one basket. Frequently check on your progress. Don't rely on one revenue stream for your company. Don't bet on that one big customer that will save your business. Don't launch with only one killer feature, or one unique selling point. Diversify your chances for success.
3) People above all: Your team has to become your asset and a key differentiating factor from your competitors. Invest time into building the right culture. Personally, invest into building up your professional network. Build relations with powerful people instead of collecting business cards; the number of contacts on LinkedIn tells little about the value of your network.
What has been the most surprising part of your business journey?
The reaction of established travel agencies to our launch. While I thought they could not be bothered, we faced significant headwind from some of the largest companies on the planet. Luckily we've overcome these issues and are well on track.
What everyday thing are you better at than anyone else?
I can stay calm even in the face of a storm.
What's your sleep routine like?
Every day, I try to be in bed by midnight, but usually don't manage before 1am. I get up around 7.30am.
What advice would you offer to other businesses on how to succeed?
Running a startup is extremely strenuous and it will require a great deal of perseverance and motivation to keep pushing day after day. Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid having to work 40 hours a week. But: it's worth the personal investment, it will pay off. Just keep going and enjoy the ride.