From passion to profit
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.