Peter Thiel’s top tips include “Do one thing uniquely well”.

Peter Thiel success tips Non Executive Directors Virtualnonexecs

There are not many people on the planet as successful as Peter Thiel. He’s made ¬£billions from various tech companies and follow on investments. When it comes to business, he’s no mug.

Here is his Top Ten tips on being successful. Our thoughts follow the vieo below:

  1. Do one thing uniquely well.

Without any doubt, this stems from the CEO but non-executive directors are excellent sources of information and skill that allow CEOs to avoid the pitfalls; use their advice to “do one thing uniquely well”.

2. Don’t be a fake entrepreneur.

I have to say, this is my favourite! How many people use the term without any real sense of what they are labelling themselves. So many times, in non-executive roles, the NED will re-focus the CEO and Board on what it is they are truly great at. On many occasions, acting as a “critical friend” to the CEO means focusing their skills. Too many spend too much time trying to be entrepreneurial when ultimately, you either are or you are not. If you have to tell people that you are an “entrepreneur” then the likelihood is, you are what Thiel labels as a “Fake Entrepreneur”!

3. Valuing substance over status.

See above, as I believe it ties in nicely! However, his line “If I spoke to my younger self , I’d still go to Stanford and probably still go to Law School!” HA! Some could say this was valuing status, somewhat!

4. Don’t lose sight of what is valuable.

This is much easier to stick to when you have the “benefit of hindsight” and that’s what Non-Executive Directors certainly bring!

5. Don’t dwell on the past.

Someone once said a Historian is a Prophet looking backwards. This is what a non-executive director does!


Ian Wright VirtualNonExecs

Ian Wright is the Founder and CEO of and has worked with 100s of companies to appoint non-executives and chairs.  He sits on the boards of three privately held companies as non-executive and has had multiple businesses that have gone on to sell to private equity.

VirtualNonExecs is a membership network and all members receive consultations with Ian personally.  He works with all members to craft the perfect non-executive director CV.


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