“Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Likewise, every successful business of our time was once nothing more than obscure startup with an idea and very possibly an awesome founding team who’ve managed to make the most of it and achieve huge business success.
This doesn’t mean that starting a business is easy or that anyone could do it, far from it. Not everyone is cut out for it, least of all the fainthearted. And while starting a business in this time and age is probably much easier than it was fifty years ago thanks to technological advancements over the past twenty years, aspiring entrepreneurs still have to possess the winning traits, have the staying power and adequate business and technological expertise or know how.
Clearly, being a successful entrepreneur requires much more but three things worth noting are:
1. Million dollar ideas are worthless unless acted upon
It’s been said time and again that ideas are worth dime a dozen and for a good reason. I mean think about it, what good is your multi billion dollar idea if you’re not able or willing to put it to use and turn into a ‘successful’ reality? Such idea, no matter how ‘sexy’ in and of itself is worthless.
Often times I see people trying to hide and protect their ideas with their life as though if revealed and let out in the open, it will be instantaneously stolen and put to work by someone other than the original creator.
Nothing can be further from the truth, for taking an idea from a thought to realization takes a great deal of effort, sacrifices, commitment and resolve, something only a very few are capable of. So next time you have an awesome idea, don’t sleep on it but start making plans on how best to turn it into reality.
2. Persistence is more important than your IQ
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, despite what you may have been told or read in Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, Inc. etc. Starting a business is a risky affair and as such shouldn’t be undertaken by fainthearted. In simple terms, entrepreneurship can be thought of as dealing with uncertainties on a daily basis and loving.
Entrepreneurs throughout their careers are faced with most arduous of challenges, humiliating rejections, enormous setbacks and excruciating pain. Therefore, of all the must have traits and qualities successful entrepreneurs must possess, none is more important than persistence – the ability to get back up after a huge setback, temporary defeat or rejection and try again until ultimate objective is met. Make sure you’ve got the staying power before embarking on entrepreneurial journey.
3. Unhappy clients are your best source of improvement
Building a product or a service in a vacuum and launching it into a marketplace thereafter with intention to win your target audience over is a backward way of doing things. In fact, it’s a surefire way of failure. Gone are the days of command economy where a government decides what’s to be manufactured, in what quantities and what price to be sold at.
We live in a customer centric, market driven economy where businesses fight over prospects and clients by detecting and addressing their needs, wants and desires in the most economically viable fashion. The clients is the very reason any one business exists, because of which businesses ought to stay very close to customers and evolve around their needs and wants.
One way to evolve is by listening to unsatisfied customers and learning from them first hand what’s not working and needs to be changed or improved to accommodate their needs. Whatever it is that you do, remember to always be tweaking and evolving for complacency and ignorance are detrimental to success.