How are entrepreneurs made? Are they born prodigies? Do they possess Type-A personalities? Does their upbringing provide them with a wealth of networking opportunities? This may be the case for many, but not everyone is so fortunate.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, circumstances don’t necessarily determine success. The majority of the world’s most renowned tycoons share common characteristics which’ve helped launched their careers to stratospheric success. So, if you fancy yourself as the next Bill Gates here’s everything you need to know…
Without an ardour for your craft, how are you supposed to see a long-term future for any business you set up? Trying to grow a company requires prolonged hours in the office, difficult conversations with potential investors and the weight of failure on your shoulders – are you willing to stick it out in order to realise your dream? If the answer is yes, then you’re halfway to succeeding. If not, then collapse is a more likely event.
There must be a strong belief that you’re changing the world. There’s little doubt that Elon Musk – head of both Tesla Motors and SpaceX – would be as dedicated to his work if he wasn’t fuelled by the desire to change transport both on earth and in space. Commitment to a cause will stoke success.
If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s little doubt that you’ll fail at some point. We hate to be blunt, but it’s true. Whether it’s with your first 100 startup ideas or an update to your current business model, there will always be blips. However, while many will capitulate, only a select number can dust off the dirt and continue their pursuit. In fact, they’ll thrive off negative experiences. They’ll question, they’ll re-evaluate and, ultimately, they’ll fine-tune their plans.
People may even laugh at your proposals, but it can often catalyse future success. Need some proof? Although his classmates mocked him when he presented Snapchat as part of a class assignment at Stanford University, Evan Spiegel knew its potential and cut short his degree to focus on the app’s development. Today, the company is valued at around $25 billion.
At its very core, the entrepreneurialism industry is a creative one. Even if your organisation is seen to be “boring”, you’re still birthing something original and creating a brand image from nothing. And, like any creative, an entrepreneur must see opportunities in most things: they must have a constant eye for what could be done next. Take Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for example. Although his company made a name for itself as the largest virtual bookseller during the Nineties, it’s now grown into a global juggernaut that distributes everything from electronics to food.
An ability to sell
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, as a founder of a new company, you’re ultimately going to have to sell your idea. You’ll be trying to convince potential investors and prospective partners why they should part with their cash to help your firm grow. You’ll be persuading workers why they should quit their day job to work for your startup. You’ll even have to assure them to remain calm when things get turbulent. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll have to win over the public in an attempt to sell them your goods and services.
Finally – and quite crucially – if you don’t have the confidence to convince anyone to buy into your business model, then who will?
To stoke your entrepreneurial spirit even more, here are 5 lessons that every businessman should learn from Steve Jobs.