The Secret to Survival for the Startup Entrepreneur

Here’s one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received

Trevor Blake
4 min readNov 20, 2020
Photo courtesy of @_cecilencieux/

What is the number one skill entrepreneurs must have if they are to be successful? Adapt or die.

Globally every year, more than 30 million people start new companies, and the majority are single-person ventures like mine have been.

Yet the failure rate of startups is shockingly, and unnecessarily, high.

Of course, the reasons are varied, but I believe the most important are within your control.

I speak from experience…

Just get started

When I was just starting out on my first ‘start-up,’ I had the privilege of dining with the late George Rathmann, founder of Amgen and often called the Bill Gates of the biotech industry.

Today, some 15 years later, Amgen is valued at over $120 billion.

At dinner that evening, George gave me one of the best pieces of business start-up advice I’ve ever received:

“You don’t know what business you are in until you get into it. So just start.”

I didn’t fully appreciate his advice until the day after I finally started my first company. I say the day after because on the…



Trevor Blake

Perpetual student of life. Author of NY Times Bestseller, Three Simple Steps. Author of new book, Secrets to a Successful Startup —