10 Things To Learn From Chris Sacca
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
In addition to being a lawyer, entrepreneur and company adviser, Chris Sacca is one of the most successful seed investors ever, with a keen eye for adaptability and growth. He invested in startups no one believed in and gave them his time, money and value; building a network of over 80 tech companies including Kickstarter, Twitter, Uber, Stripe and Instagram.
A self-made billionaire, Chris Sacca is someone who went out of his way from a traditional job at Google to build his own empire in the Silicon Valley. His firm Lowercase Capital has grown into one of the most successful funds ever.
Sacca’s methods and ideologies are well regarded in the tech community till date.
I had the opportunity to meet him last year and learnt several lessons from him. Here are some of his words of wisdom which can help someone to think from a different perspective.
Being cheap now means so much more freedom and choices later
Sacca saw through tough times for the freedom he now enjoys. Though I believe there is no formula to replicate being where he is, he advises to save and invest rather than spending in your early life.
Invest in a company that you can provide value to
In a regular job, a person works for anything that has been assigned to them; training their mind to work with whatever they have, by any means necessary. This also leads people to follow a similar ideology for investments. However, you should not invest in just any company you find interesting. Other than pure investment in shares, invest your time and ideas in a company you can truly provide value to. This way, you can help build the company up instead of just buying shares.
Be proud of what you do and stick by what you say
Sacca doesn’t compromise on his integrity. When he makes a decision, he stands by it and makes it work. The key is: always believe in yourself, and don’t let any regret push you back. Additionally, always research before you make a decision; by looking out for false claims, misleading ads, and anonymous content before investing in any way.
Simplicity is hard to build, easy to use, and hard to charge for. Complexity is easy to build, hard to use, and easy to charge for
It’s very hard to find people like Sacca who have a simple lifestyle, despite being able to afford mostly anything in the world. Similarly, while building a business for yourself, always work on the simplest of terms. Don’t try to over complicate things, instead just strike a balance between simple and complex things that would work for your business.
Good stories beat good spreadsheets
Sacca believes in ‘why’ you’re doing something rather than how you do it or what you are doing. Stories sell, spreadsheets don’t. A good spreadsheet may land you a job, but a good story could help direct you to an angel investor for your business. Work on your storytelling and expression; it will sharpen your skill set in over-shooting towards your goals. If you are confident in yourself, people are more likely to believe in you.
Become the best storyteller
Having one of the best tech portfolios, Sacca always advises to mainly focus on selling yourself, not your product. Keep a clear vision in your mind, let your investors know what you think, and always know your numbers. You must also be aware and take note of competitors.
You are allowed to be wrong
At the age of 25, Sacca had $4 million of debt owing to wrong decisions in investments. But this was no reason to give up. He was wrong many times, but continued working tirelessly for five years to become what he is today.
There should be no limit to your ambitions or desires to achieve things in life, and there is no right or wrong while building ideas. However, just the idea of being rich won’t take you places. You must have greater goals which you aim to achieve.
Sacca famously admitted to being insecure in his life, which was often misinterpreted with him being timid. Contrary to that perception, he is very confident and makes friends easily but doesn’t like being misled. Sacca believes in building honest relationships and keeping a clean book with people he works with.
Internal validation works wonders for self-confidence
In every sphere of life, Sacca believes in offering value. While most of his feedback does come from those who display loyalty and genuine gratitude, he does not rely on external validation. Rather, internalizing validation has helped provide Sacca more confidence to voice what he truly believes in.
Though Chris Sacca has now retired from investing in more companies, he has shifted his focus towards non-profit organisations working for environmental factors that are a threat to humanity.
There are a lot of things you can learn from him, and one that stands out the most for me is his main principle: ‘Believe in yourself even if nobody else does.’ After Sacca left his job at Google, one of the biggest tech companies in the world, he believed in himself while paving his own way to become one of the most successful self-made billionaires. If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is.