From pas­sion to profit

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - HOME -

WHEN we see some­one who is very suc­cess­ful, we al­ways imag­ine that they are ge­nius and they were fated for great things. But do you know that be­hind ev­ery suc­cess story there is al­ways an em­bar­rass­ing first ef­fort, a stum­ble, a set­back or a rad­i­cal change of di­rec­tion?

It is these first fum­bling steps on the road to fame and for­tune that cap­ti­vate writer many suc­cess sto­ries. Long be­fore the iPhone made him the god of gad­gets, Steve Jobs launched his tech ca­reer by hack­ing land lines to make free long-dis­tance calls. Bob Dy­lan’s band, the Golden Chords, lost a high-school tal­ent com­pe­ti­tion to a tap danc­ing act. Well that’s life!

Suc­ceed­ing as an en­tre­pre­neur takes hard work and per­se­ver­ance be­cause there is no busi­ness-start up fairy who mag­i­cally lends suc­cess on small busi­nesses and their own­ers. Most suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs fol­low com­pa­ra­ble pat­terns and share sim­i­lar ba­sic char­ac­ter­is­tics. Hun­dreds of on­line ar­ti­cles and pub­lished books claim to know the se­cret of suc­cess in busi­ness, but for the most part, they boil down to the same ma­jor points.

Pas­sion, per­se­ver­ance and a pos­i­tive at­ti­tude tend to set suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs apart tam­ing these at­tributes re­quires a in­nate skill set and some tips to get started.

Just as a re­minder, here are the main items to take into con­sid­er­a­tion if you are try­ing to de­velop a busi­ness plat­form.

These el­e­ments will sup­port a smart strat­egy for any new en­ter­prise:

Love what you do Pas­sion is key to keep­ing a busi­ness strat­egy mov­ing. Half-heart­ed­ness in an en­trepreneurial en­deav­our will chip away at your drive to suc­ceed. Per­sis­tency is the one thing that’s guar­an­teed to move any­thing over time, whether it is a per­son, a job or an en­tire com­pany. Abra­ham Lin­coln failed at most of his ef­forts un­til late in his life, but he never gave up.

Take baby steps Jump­ing all in is rarely ever suc­cess­ful. There are suc­cess sto­ries about peo­ple who in­vested ev­ery­thing once and came out win­ners af­ter six months or a cou­ple years, but those are un­com­mon. Risk man­age­ment is an es­sen­tial fac­tor in any start up, and bal­ance is crit­i­cal. You can ab­sorb losses more eas­ily if you take smaller risks in the be­gin­ning. Those will pro­vide es­sen­tial and pro­duc­tive lessons.

Learn from oth­ers Suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs of­ten worked for oth­ers in their field of choice be­fore strik­ing out on their own. Spend­ing a few years in the in­dus­try un­der an ex­cel­lent men­tor will pro­vide a good launch­ing pad. Learn from your pre­de­ces­sors’ mis­takes and brain­storm about how to im­prove upon their model. Find some­one will­ing to teach, and think about start­ing your busi­ness else­where when you leave.

Learn how to self-pro­mote - Con­fi­dence and a good el­e­va­tor speech or a brief speech that out­lines an idea for a prod­uct, ser­vice or project that de­liv­ered in the short time pe­riod, can take any pitch to the next level. The first mar­ket­ing any com­pany ex­pe­ri­ences comes from its founder. Spend time learn­ing how to share your vi­sion with­out com­ing across as “salesy”, or over ag­gres­sive sell­ing. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale, but re­mem­ber: the client is al­ways the fo­cus.

Con­stantly take ac­tion En­trepreneurs are movers and shak­ers. They can’t af­ford to an­a­lyse ev­ery de­tail or they never get any­where. There is no place for pro­cras­ti­na­tion in a startup. It’s a 24/7, no-va­ca­tion-or-sick­days kind of job that de­mands con­stant for­ward mo­men­tum. Make a brief as­sess­ment at ev­ery step and move on it.

Make a plan - Read about suc­cess­ful busi­nesses. Take in the wealth of knowl­edge that’s been pro­vided by suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and Jack Ma. A suc­cess­ful busi­ness plan does not have to be a book. A 10-page plan is di­gestible yet long enough to in­clude ev­ery­thing you need to start.

Never too late to start - Many suc­cess­ful en­trepreneurs started later in life. J. K. Rowl­ing and Sam Wal­ton (Wal-Mart) all started their wildly suc­cess­ful brands af­ter they were com­fort­ably along in their lives. Hav­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence that comes with age can give you a unique out­look on your busi­ness. Life ex­pe­ri­ences bring depth that the most ed­u­cated young adult, by his or her na­ture, is less able to fore­see.

Build your ex­cel­lent im­age - Find­ing the skill sets and at­ti­tudes that sup­port the cul­ture of the brand you want to pro­mote will nur­ture in­no­va­tion and en­hance your rep­u­ta­tion. In­clude folks from out­side the com­pany for the peo­ple you rely on. That will start a free mar­ket­ing chain re­ac­tion that can build con­fi­dence and rev­enue.

Watch your at­ti­tude - The at­ti­tude of the founder will set the tone for the busi­ness. Neg­a­tiv­ity, lazi­ness and en­ti­tle­ment waste time and money while they tar­nish your rep­u­ta­tion. Suc­cess largely de­pends on mak­ing mis­takes and ac­cept­ing blame in stride. Own­ing up to and fac­ing chal­lenges head-on is what makes a mere busi­ness owner a leader.

Start­ing a busi­ness can wreak havoc on the owner’s per­sonal life. While all the above tips are nec­es­sary for suc­cess, tak­ing care of you men­tally and phys­i­cally is paramount. Ex­er­cise, sleep and diet play a cen­tral role in en­sur­ing you im­ple­ment these poli­cies suc­cess­fully. All of them drive at­ti­tude, mo­ti­va­tion and re­la­tion­ships.

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