Jeremy Hanks grew Doba, an e-commerce drop shipping software company, to over 3,000 percent in four years. Doba is ranked #23 on the Inc. 500 and #1 on the Utah 100 as the fa
stest growing company in Utah. Hanks, founder and current president and chairman of Doba, spoke to approximately 75 students on Thursday at the Ralph Nye Lecture Series at Weber State University. The topic of Hanks’ address were six tips for success as an entrepreneur.
Topping Hanks’ list of success is luck. According to Hanks, luck is when preparation meets opportunity or “looking before you leap.” He says one can learn a lot more from one’s failures than successes. “Ideas don’t make any money; actions make money and success,” Hanks said.
“Define your own success,” ranks as No. 2 on Hanks’ list. He explains that entrepreneurs shouldn’t base their success on the same standard as other who have or have not been successful. “Define what is success for you and then go after it,” he said.
Third up is survival. Hanks explains that’s it’s really survival that matters. “Many people say fail fast but I say that survival is more important,” said Hanks.
Fourthly, Hanks suggests that solutions do not find problems. “When somebody comes to me and says they have a solutions, I ask them to define the problem first,” Hanks said. He further elaborated that being an entrepreneur is about first recognizing a problem and then define it with a solutions, and that so many companies have come up with solutions and products that failed because there was no real problem or need.
No. 5 for Hanks is roadblocks, namely “no roadblocks … only hurdles.”
“There are no roadblocks in life only hurdles with unique and different ways to get past them,” Hanks said. “I like the analogy of a hurdle because you can jump over it, climb through it, pick it up and move it, go around it, or take it apart.”
Lastly, success is largely a matter of who holds on the longest, Hanks said. “There is a disclaimer that goes along with this as well, you have to know when to quit,” said Hanks.
Lance Wight, a WSU senior studying business administration said, “I enjoyed the six tips that he gave, they are very real and simple and can be applied to both business and life in general.”
Wight, who already owns a Christmas light company with his brother called Light It Up, said that he was in the process of starting a distribution company. “I hope to be able to apply these six tips to my businesses,” said Wight.
Hanks also mentioned two main macros or trends he sees happening in the workplace today. First, Hanks referred to an acryonym –F.U.D. — which he defined as fear, uncertainty, and doubt.
“When I look at magazines covers, this is the world we are living in right now,” said Hanks. “As an entrepreneur you can not let F.U.D. impact you.”
Hanks said that smart people who work hard will always get ahead no matter what is going on in the world around them.
In response to Hanks remark, John Hoffman, the business department faculty adviser in the over the Nye lecture series said, “It is nice to see someone with a more optimistic view and approach to the current situations in the world.”
The second macro Hanks defined was “magnitude.” This is a time when huge magnitudinal changes are impacting our lives; magnitude shifts mean opportunity where you can find opportunity in change, explains Hanks.
Aaron Peterson, a WSU junior studying accounting said, “I really loved the point he made about magnitude because it really puts into perspective the opportunities that are available in a way I have never thought about.”
At the end of Hanks’ presentation, he challenged students thinking about being entrepreneurs to sign his poster and write down their email addresses and school on a sheet of paper. Hanks informed that crowd this is a tradition he has been doing for about 10 years. “One day I am going to email all the people on the list and find out what they are doing and if they have been successful,” Hanks said.