There are some “rules” of business success most entrepreneurs abide by. But many also have their own “secrets”—things they do or believe that helped them achieve success. In “Secrets of Success,” a weekly interview series here at Web.com’s Small Business Forum, I ask some of today’s smartest, most innovative, most successful business owners to share their insights and success secrets with you.
Meet: Haran Yaffe, an award-winning entrepreneur, musician and motivational speaker. Haran has traveled around the world as an advocate for self-empowerment and innovation. He’s a vet who was severely wounded but, defying the odds, made a strong recovery. He continues to speak on behalf of disabled veterans, hospitals and related organizations as a partner of advocacy groups and support agencies.
Haran’s latest project is the launch of Ollies Blocks, a line of unique wooden building blocks for kids. The tactile blocks interlock, allowing children to create various objects and explore their creativity while playing with eco-friendly products with a nostalgic design. He raised money for the launch via a Kickstarter campaign.
You can find him on Twitter @haranyaffe.
Rieva Lesonsky: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Haran Yaffe: A naval architect.
Lesonsky: Why did you start your own business?
Yaffe: I wanted to spend more time with my daughter, Olivia. We love playing with Ollies Blocks and I want to reintroduce a simplistic and hands-on approach to playtime. The first blocks were created by my father’s small toy company. Now working together, my father and I want to bring that family tradition of playful learning to the latest generation of children.
Lesonsky: Did you experience a pivotal moment on your way to success?
Yaffe: Seeing my daughter engaged with Ollies Blocks was the “spark” I needed to a launch this company. My generation was privileged to grow up with toys like Ollies Blocks and we’re so excited to pass down something we had yesterday to the children of today.
Lesonsky: What’s the best small business advice you ever gave and/or received?
Yaffe: To go with your gut even when you’re tired and lacking motivation. Trust yourself.
Lesonsky: What’s one “best practice” more entrepreneurs should be embracing?
Yaffe: Trusting in your instincts as an entrepreneur is a must. It’s also great to refer to the experts—having my dad as a resource and expert to help relaunch Ollies Blocks has been invaluable.
Lesonsky: Do you have a prediction for small business?
Yaffe: The free-thinking spirit that is present in entrepreneurs will live on and grow!
Lesonsky: What’s your favorite book?
Yaffe: Shibumi by Trevanian.
Lesonsky: Is there a quote you find particularly inspiring?
Yaffe: “You only live once, but if you live right, once is enough.”
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at [email protected], follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.