Getting started on a business career as an entrepreneur is not for the faint-hearted. It requires perseverance, patience, focus, and discipline in order to succeed. Unfortunately, most people who found start-up businesses struggle with trials and tribulations along the way, and it can be tough to continue and maintain your drive when things go wrong or unplanned.
If you are a start-up business owner yourself, don’t panic. Some of the most successful businesses got off to an equally shaky start. So what can we learn from those people who have already been there?
Let’s take a look.
Thinking Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
⏱ 12 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
Follow your passion
According to Jeff Bezos, you don’t choose your passions; they choose you because you need to be fully invested in your chosen field to achieve success. If you are not passionate about what you do and devote all your time and energy to it, you will never succeed.
In Jeff Bezo’s case, originally, his passion was an online book shop/ tech company. He started his company in 1994, running it from his garage in Seattle funded by a $300,000 loan from his parents. Bezo’s warned investors that there was a 70% chance the business would fail or go bankrupt. Amazon did nearly fail in 2002 when Bezos was forced to close distribution centers and lay off staff, but the company bounced back and by 2004 turned a profit of over $400 million.
Bezo’s mantra is Get Big Fast, a slogan he had printed on company sweatshirts, and as one of the largest and most successful companies in the world, he has certainly lived up to his slogan.
Never stop learning
Richard Branson attributes his success to his passion for learning something new every day, whether for business or personal reasons.
His career has undoubtedly followed a varied path from starting with a magazine he had launched at age 16, called Student. In 1970 he created a mail-order record shop, leading to the Virgin megastores. Today, Virgin is a major force in business in many diverse global industries from healthcare to healthcare space travel. Richard Branson is one of the richest men in the world, with a net worth of 4.8 billion.
Richard Branson remains passionate about learning and embracing and leading new trends and technologies in a constant drive to move forward. His motivation is a quest for constant learning, as he says,
almost like a lifelong university course I never had.
Don’t let failure hold you back.
If you are an entrepreneur, failure is all part of the journey. So if you accept that this is likely to happen, it will help you adopt a winning mindset that will help you recover from any setbacks.
As Thomas Edison said,
I have not failed. I’ve just found 1000 ways that won’t work.
To a successful entrepreneur, the fear of failure is far more limiting than the failure itself, so it is essential to develop a resilience and confidence in your decisions and to treat each failure as a learning opportunity.
If you don’t trust yourself, then how can you expect anyone else to have trust in you? As an entrepreneur, you have already gotten to where you are right now by following your instincts and using your wisdom to make important decisions. So banish any feelings of self-doubt and buckle up with confidence.
Steve Jobs was smart enough to recognize that he was in the right place at the right time. So jobs moved back in with his parents in their house in Los Altos in 1974 and got a job with Atari leading to meeting Steve Wozniak. Together they founded Apple, which they ran from the Jobs’ family garage as a way to make a cheap computer for enthusiasts. Yes, Steve Jobs was brilliant, but his drive and determination set him apart from the rest.
Steve Jobs said,
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
Just do it!
Banish the fear and go out there and do whatever it is you believe in or want to achieve. As Dale Carnegie said,
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. So if you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
Build the right team
All successful entrepreneurs have the support of a team, and this is crucially important for moving forward as nobody can grow a major business by working alone. Choosing people whose skills complement yours will help your business grow and flourish and enable you to focus on leadership and the company’s direction.
Your team should share in your vision and self-belief too. As Mark Twain said,
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
A good team will propel you forward, but if you work with or hire the wrong people, it will have a disastrous effect on the future of your company.
Look to the future
All successful entrepreneurs stay aware of what is happening in their chosen industry and keep up with current and future trends. All successful businesses never stop growing and developing because your company will be left behind without a forward vision.
You need to honor your past and stay true to the original vision without losing sight of the future to maintain your edge.
As Pete Drucker, the founder of business management said,
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
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