Entrepreneurship is an ivory dream, which thousands of people dream of. With all new start-ups coming and getting high valuations, it looks so fancy that everyone seems rushing towards it. Just another day I was wondering, what is it that makes successful entrepreneurs successful? I met a couple of super successful people and read about few more and realised that entrepreneurship is a gene. This gene has its own qualities and traits.
If we take a note of numbers, 80 out of 100 businesses fail to perform in first year of their business. Of the minority survivors, just 10 per cent make it to a sustainable growth over a long period. These numbers look shocking and they have great information hidden within them. There’s something very extraordinary that successful entrepreneurs do to beat the odds against them.
Every successful entrepreneur never fails to recognise the team behind their success. The first set of people they chose are passionate towards the core idea, have as much faith in the business model as that of the founder and are disruptive thinkers. For example – Steve Jobs and his first business ally Steve Wozniak. While Steve knew he is good at designing and putting things in front of others, he equally knew Steve Wozniak is a geek and they both can create and sell wonderful products. That is the power of surrounding yourself with thinkers and excellence.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Surround Yourself with Excellence
Before you launch, this is one question that you should ask yourself, "Do I know people who could help me with this venture?" We live in an ultra connected society and we meet new people daily. Plan to build those meetings into lasting personal relationships. Tag people you know with their strengths. You are not just the strengths you possess, but also the strengths of your contact list, your friends and family. Just a couple of days back I read about making a connection goal. This is a really nice way. Make a daily goal to connect with 5-10 (whatever number you want) people on a daily basis.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Churn your Personal Relationships and Contacts
You should never forget how you started. If you are planning for your first venture and short of funds, remember those days, and also how you live now. Success is a mix of your work, guts and luck. You never know when things just turn upside down. From that day, remember today; it will help you take risks. Remember the spirit of creating something new when you do not have anything in hand. This will help you remain creative no matter what happens.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Remember the time when you started. You would cherish this spirit in future.
Many businesses make amazing products, reach out to people with great advertising and marketing efforts, and make big headlines, but still fail. The question here: Why? The answer lies in customer curiosity. The product failed because the business failed to analyze the need of it. Tata is successful in India because they brought in right things at right time. Whether it is their airline business, which was later acquired by the Government or Tata Steel or their ultra luxurious hotels, they knew the need of that time. Apple won the game just because they created first computer for home usage. They focused on GUI for the first time in their designs. They understood the need for it and created curiosity in people. They all were first customers thinking of a solution to something they wanted and then thought of it as a business model.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Become the customer first and then an entrepreneur
I met a very successful entrepreneur and asked him the most important lesson he would like to give to new entrepreneurs. The answer was selling. No matter how good your product is, it is garbage unless people who need it know about it. Spread the word. Let people know by using press releases, making news, advertising and marketing it and connecting with people who can make a difference. With selling, it is equally important to put focus on collecting payments timely. Many times you would need to sell large orders and wait for payments to come in. As a business owner, it is important to follow up with your customer and keep the money in motion.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Remember the Super ‘S’. Sales!
Start only if you firmly believe in your idea. Never start with a sole motive of making money. Lot of people start just because they've seen someone making money with an idea and they think they can too make money out of it. This is where a lot of them fail. You can copy the idea and business model, but you can never copy the spirit. Your confidence in your idea inspires your team and investors. If you take example of Richard Branson, you would be surprised to know that he is known to rebel in every aspect and also for taking decisions based on his guts. I must say he is super successful. You just have to have belief in your idea. After all an idea is just an idea. There is nothing called good idea or bad idea. It is just an idea. So you need to listen to your heart and have firm belief in your idea before you start up. Having said that, don't embark on an idea which is not fulfilling any need. Focus on idea and live that idea. Money can be worked out later.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Sustainable business can never be built on just monetary inspiration
Are you planning to buy your Ferrari in another six months by this business? Or are you thinking of building the next Facebook in less than a year? Well this can be done, but not necessarily. Long lasting businesses are like trees. Some trees grow faster than other initially, but on a life span basis trees take time to give ripe fruits. Treat your business idea like a seed and keep working on it like you water your garden. It takes time. If you want to make a quick fortune, you should rather buy some lottery tickets.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Are you ready to wait? You've to be persistent
There may be several questions, but I personally like what Steve Jobs said in his popular speech: "You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, etc." You somehow certainly know what is right for you and you get that voice from within. Trust that voice and you shall see the results.
Genetic Trait Learnt: Do what you believe is right
I am not a geek at reading genetic codes, but I can, for certain, say that these personality genes are somewhere within each entrepreneur and it makes them successful (knowingly or unknowingly).