Listening to your Core People

Alexis Ohanian

Lesson time 07:41 min

Few entrepreneurs achieve success by themselves. Alexis instructs you to seek feedback from the people around you—beginning with family, from whom you can draw inspiration, support, and a reliable sounding board.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Look for Peers Not Mentors • Choose a Co-Founder (Or Don't)


[MUSIC PLAYING] - As an entrepreneur, the people in your circle are vital. The people you spend the most time with are naturally going to have an impact on everything you do, professionally and personally. And one of the greatest assets I got was having a pair of parents who both showed me a way to do entrepreneurship, with my dad, who weathered some pretty tumultuous times as a small business owner, especially at a travel agency. And from my mom I got an unflappable conviction. I mean, I still remember the day I told her that I was not going to law school and instead I was going to start a startup and I needed-- I needed an idea, I needed a co-founder. All I knew was that I was starting a business and her immediate reaction was, that sounds great. What do you have in mind? That gave me the conviction and the self-assuredness to know that even if it was a total failure, they would still love me, they would still support me, and things would be fine. I feel so grateful for the fact that I had folks in my life like my mom and my dad who gave that bit of foundation that I see has played out and is responsible for everything I've accomplished. And I realize how lucky I am to have that foundation. And I realize a lot of people-- maybe you watching this-- don't. I'm grateful for the fact that the conversations around everything from mental health to career development to just physical wellness are becoming more and more common in business, because the more people are able to talk about it, the sooner they're able to do the work, and every one of us has work to do, myself included. If you have access to those resources, take full advantage of them. If you don't, it's one more challenge for you to overcome, one more thing that you can absolutely get through. But know that the work that you're doing on your business, the work that you're doing to build these networks and make an effort to surround yourself with people who are additive to your life, right, will have a huge impact on your outcomes, both professionally and personally. [MUSIC PLAYING] I get asked a lot to be a mentor. And what I tell founders is, I am not the right mentor for you. And the reason is I don't believe the person you need right now is someone who's five years or 10 years ahead of you. That's helpful, for sure. It's someone who's like one or two years ahead of you. This isn't just CEOs, right? This could be a head of marketing who wants to develop her skills and be ready for a role that they aspire to by connecting them with a CMO who's a few years ahead in their career. And that pairing is actually where I see tremendous value. Because the advice that I could give you, if I'm five, 10, 15 years ahead of where you are, is only so relevant. There are things-- believe me, don't go turning off this MasterClass-- there are plenty of things I can tell you that are relevant and valuable. But if you're getting down to the nitty gritty and the tactics a...

About the Instructor

In 2005, UVA undergrad Alexis Ohanian envisioned a place online where users connect over subcultures—enter Reddit. That was only the start: From growing billion-dollar companies to championing female founders, Ohanian shaped culture. Now he wants to lead tomorrow’s innovators. Learn how to turn an idea into a startup with advice Alexis has shared with other entrepreneurs through his VC fund, Seven Seven Six.

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Alexis Ohanian

Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian teaches you how to turn an idea into a startup. Get the advice he’s shared through his VC fund, Seven Seven Six.

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