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The No. 1 Thing Corporations Can Learn From Entrepreneurs

If you lose this, then no matter how large your business, you will be obsolete as the market evolves.

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The number one thing corporations can learn from entrepreneurs is always to stay hungry. Have you ever met a successful entrepreneur who isn't hungry? Even the most successful entrepreneurs who have had excellent results in their careers can never wholly fulfill their desire for more. The insatiable desire to create, evolve, explore and create something different and new is the driving force that spurs them ahead.

To the outside world, entrepreneurs look like they are crazy. They're never satisfied and always in search of the next thing. Many of them even neglect their health and their families in pursuit of this satiation. Yet, it's that same drive that is their most powerful asset. When you possess that drive, you're never bored or complacent. Instead, you wake up every day and question how you can improve, grow and evolve. Not just for yourself, but your team, your customers, clients, industry and even humanity as a whole. It's that insatiable hunger that can propel economies forward. 

Related: 5 Ways to Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Large corporations can learn a lot from entrepreneurs. When a large corporation experiences rapid or immense growth, they often feel a false sense of assurance that their product or service is unbeatable. If we look at the history of some of the largest corporations in America, we know that that can often be an illusion. Take Blockbuster, for example. In the '90s, Blockbuster was on every single neighborhood corner in America. They even had the most famous supermodel of the day, Cindy Crawford, as their spokesperson. They had a fantastic tagline, Make it a Blockbuster Night. Blockbuster wasn't just a place, it was an event and it was a family experience. As in a verb, it was something that you did, not somewhere where you go, as in a noun.

It was so powerful that when this small disruptive company called Netflix started shipping DVDs in the mail, Blockbuster didn't even think twice about it, didn't even pay attention. Little did they know that they were witnessing a disruption in their entire industry. Today, Blockbuster is entirely out of business except for one relic store where you can go and take a picture for its novelty.

What happened? Well, this giant corporation lost its hunger. If they would have listened to what entrepreneurs know, that you can never become complacent and you can never take anything for granted. When you reach the top of your industry, that's actually where you can be the most vulnerable because now everybody is looking to overtake you.

This drive is ingrained in us from an entrepreneurial standpoint because it is a eat or be eaten mentality. The insatiable hunger of an entrepreneur is where passion comes from. If an entrepreneur doesn't have hunger, then they will never have the passion for fulfilling it. Entrepreneurs need to stay hungry so that they can continue evolving and growing. Most importantly, they need to keep looking at how the market is changing.

The market is changing faster than ever. We have never seen this rate of adaptation that we now see because of digitalization. We are connected by digital light 24 hours a day. That means communication is happening at light speed. You cannot assume that the people you're speaking to will be loyal to you tomorrow. Their desires are changing so fast that if you don't keep growing, if you don't keep listening, then you will fail.

The hunger inside the entrepreneur is what gives them insights into their market and how it's evolving. The need to continue to strive for constant growth and improvement is the key to fighting stagnancy. Entrepreneurs also leverage a massive advantage over giant corporations by being in touch with their market in a way that a giant corporation can't. Even if a large corporation were to go out and do market research or survey analysis or market analysis, by the time that data is collected, it is most likely obsolete. That’s how fast the market is evolving. We've never seen faster market evolution than we see today.

Related: How to Create a Growth Mindset as an Entrepreneur

Any product or service that is not on the edge of evolution and ahead of the curve, by nature, is going to become obsolete. If you don't have that insatiable curiosity and desire to perform, succeed, win and be the best, then the market will change around you and you won't even see it coming.

This hunger that the entrepreneur has, while it may seem crazy, it's very important. As the markets are evolving, you have to be ahead of this evolution. Gen Zs are coming into the workforce, and Gen As are close behind them. If you're not looking at where Gen Zs and Gen As will be in 10, 15, 20 years from today, then there's no way you'll be able to compete. Entrepreneurs get it. They are willing to leverage the evolution of the market to allow them to be successful instead of fighting against it. The hunger of the entrepreneur is what propels their vision into the future, to start thinking and to start seeing and to start laying the path, continue not just to serve the market, but disrupt the market and evolve the market, because, at the heart of entrepreneurialism, that's what it is. It is a disruption from the status quo.

As an entrepreneur, your journey never stops. While many corporate executives have goals and a vision of where they see their life and their career going and how many promotions they can get or attain, an entrepreneur has to have a sense of self-reflection and self-knowing because there are no awards or accolades. Even if you do reach the top of your industry, you know that it's only a temporary sense of gratification because things are evolving faster than ever. There are millions of other entrepreneurs who are also insatiably hungry, just like you.

This hunger inside of an entrepreneur, while many may see it as a never-ending cycle of torture, the entrepreneur sees it as our most significant value. Isn't it wonderful that we will never be satisfied? Isn't it fantastic that we wake up every morning and we see a possibility for something greater? Isn't it extraordinary that every barrier we break through only reinforces the mindset that there are no limits?

Any business can learn from the insatiable drive of an entrepreneur to be the best. It's something that can be learned and taught in today's day and age. If you don't have this, it's just a matter of time until your business fails.

Related: Entrepreneurs With This Mindset Are Most Likely to Succeed

Andrea Albright

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Andrea Albright is the founder and CEO of Beverly Hills Publishing, a publishing and marketing firm for thought leaders to ghostwrite and publish books in 90 days.