What They Don't Teach You At Business School
There are two types of entrepreneurs; the ones that are attracted to the lifestyle and the others, albeit few, who are inspired and passionate about building a great product/service and company. It's important to know which type you are before you take that plunge because when the going gets tough only passion and motivation can see you through.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work and not always is the environment conducive to running a successful business. Any business man or woman will tell you that creating a business is only half the battle, sustaining it in a resistant environment and turning a profit, of once what was an idea, brings a wealth of insight, intelligence, and innovation. If not businessmen or women, there are a plethora of articles online that will tell you just how to be a successful entrepreneur in the resistive land of change.
So then, how do you, as an entrepreneur succeed with resistive social goals and stiff financial constraints that aren't in your school course work?
"Change is the only constant"
More often than not, an entrepreneur tries to bring about a change that will benefit a specific group of people by altering a prevailing socioeconomic equilibrium that currently works to their disadvantage. To achieve sustainability, the product or service must stay relevant and updated in order to capitalize on beneficiaries. If an entrepreneur can keep up with the demand and align the business accordingly, resistance is futile.
Change isn't new, what's new is the degree of change. Entrepreneurs identify a problem in the system and then pour themselves into fixing it. However, finding a solution doesn't always guarantee success or sustainability. The key to ensuring that you're in the right direction is to figure whether you're solving a problem that a large consumer base will adopt and pay for. While it's great to cater to small market niches, it'll probablybe tough to sustain a business in the long run.
If you're re-imagining old solutions to be more efficient and working towards that, ensure that there's still a large market for it. If your solution doesn't offer tremendous value, chances are that it won't help you financially.
"Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do."
As an entrepreneur your constant goals are to keep overcoming challenges, finding solutions and ease of use for your product or service. Forever. The quicker you adapt, the more need you create. And this can only be done by constant determination and hard work and belief. If you believe in your business and love what you do, it'll show in your work. It'll translate all obstacles into challenges and all solutions into victories. Late nights and early mornings is what you live for, the chaos attracts you. Remember how Steve Jobs turned Apple around in 1997?
Also, the need to constantly re-invent as an entrepreneur might distract you. If you find yourself in this situation always remember success comes to those who stay focused. Thus its absolutely important for an entrepreneur to be so consumed with a single problem that distractions are unaffordable.
All through this passion is key for any journey to sustain itself. No obstacle lasts forever and as you adapt, newer challenges will arise. The only skill you require to tide over is an enormous amount of focused perseverance, an affinity for hard work and the ability to see it through to fruition.
"Trust your instincts"
It's instinct that made you an entrepreneur in the first place. Your need to make a process, product or service better is the reason you are here today. You cannot have the fear of failure. Well, maybe you can, but always being able to get back up after failure knocks you down is what makes you're a successful entrepreneur.
Time is always of the essence and you thrive on being original and creative. All of this will come from instinct which is rooted in experience. Soak in knowledge from mentors and competitors, it's one of the only ways to overcome change. And when you trust your gut, go in for the kill. Drive that passion and hard-work and achieve all that you were set out to do.
"Plan! Evaluate! Execute!"
Innovation is borne out of a need for a more efficient system, however if the process created does not work, only evaluation will help you through times of change. Once external factors work against you, it's only through tests and re-evaluation of current processes within the new environment that will make all the difference.
Having a great product or service doesn't guarantee success. There are bigger challenges associated with bringing your product or service to the market. In most cases it will require consistent effort to educate the market about the value your product/service will add. Stay sharp, get creative and be prepared to knock on thousands of doors. If you truly believe in your product /service and are extremely passionate about it you will find people willing to give you a chance. The journey isn't easy but remember to stay focused, passionate and hungry.
Striking a balance may sometimes be a challenge but with focus, determination and perseverance while working towards goals and missions will constantly keep your business on a success pedestal that you might never want to get off!