Remember grade school? There was always that one kid in class selling something, whether it was a fundraiser for a sport, or someone trying to make a few bucks for unwanted Fruit Roll-ups. What happened to that kid?
One of them, Noah Devenport, shocked no one when he became a serial entrepreneur. Noah cannot remember a time when he was not interested in business. As a little kid, he made a name for himself by selling frozen Gatorade to classmates. This usually netted him several hundred dollars a day, which was probably more than his teachers were earning! The young Noah simply thought, “This is super cool! I love making money!” However, his early business model opened the door for multiple successful businesses – and all before the age of twenty. They say you can never stand in the same river twice, and serial entrepreneur Noah Devenport proves this in a recent interview, offering insight and lessons to entrepreneurs, whether they are first-timers or start-up addicts.
Patience and Practice
Want to be an entrepreneur? Be prepared to grind. Not just a little, and not a lot. “Be prepared to grind 24/7/365,” Devenport advises. Yet there are still characteristics that differentiate dreamers from upcoming business giants. For Devenport, successful people manage their time well and also do something every day to reach their goals. “Nothing good has ever come from just hoping and waiting, or from sitting around.” He even admits that a lack of patience, combined with some unrealistic ambitions, has led to setbacks for him. From his perspective, the best strategy in entrepreneurship is to strive to be wolf-like: To keep one’s head down, to strike during the most opportune moment, and to be prepared for a sometimes isolating marathon of grueling work in which only the best of the best survive to reap the rewards.
But this practice, combined with patience, is not enough. Devenport related an anecdote from an interview with Matthew McConaughey, in which the actor stated that his hero was himself ten years in the future. Devenport connects this to the value he places on staying focused, setting increasingly challenging or ambitious goals, and setting high standards for oneself. If an entrepreneur keeps setting new goals and raising the ceiling every time, then he or she is more likely to become a successful serial entrepreneur. Just as he sees his businesses as ever-shifting to meet clients’ goals and bringing increasing values, so too should other entrepreneurs maintain certain values at the center of all operations.
Devenport credits the advice of Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss for molding his business mindset and creating standards to live up to, and highly recommends their books for aspiring entrepreneurs. Yet he also credits his parents for instilling positive values in him, which drive his mentality of constant movement. Their work ethic, emphasis on excellence, and desire to instill excellence in others have all informed Devenport. Entrepreneurs should be open-minded in finding inspiration and mentorship, whether it is in the pages of a book, the face of a family member or personal hero, or somewhere else.
Meditation and Giving Back
Some of the most important aspects of Devenport’s life, however, are not related to business. He credits a daily meditation practice for keeping him calm, propelling him through difficult times, and enabling him to persevere even on difficult days. Giving back to his community is also important; he supports “5 For the Fight,” a Salt Lake City-based organization that accepts $5 donations for cancer research, which allows everyone to give. Focusing on mindfulness, generosity, and humility has helped him to stay centered and constantly moving to help his clients.