While many people fancy themselves as entrepreneurs, only a tiny sliver of them actually “make it” and develop profitable enterprises that stand the test of time.
Many of us want to know what separates these success stories from all the people who get lost along the way. Can we learn any lessons from these captains of industry?
It turns out that we probably can. Individual entrepreneurs seem to have characteristics that make it more likely that they will eventually succeed. So what are they?
Imagine going to work every day to build a business, knowing that there’s a 90 percent chance that it’ll fail. Those aren’t good odds. What’s more, they hurt your psychology. If the probability of crashing and burning is high, then your unconscious mind takes this into account. You don’t see the point of working hard because you’re going to fail anyway.
Entrepreneurs with unbridled optimism take a different approach. They know the statistics, but they see themselves as different. Everyone else might have failed, but that’s because they were terrible entrepreneurs. They’re going to succeed because they’re part of the “good” 10 percent.
If you look at the CV of Australian entrepreneur, Phillip Kingston, you’ll see that he’s done a bit of everything. He comes from an engineering background but has dabbled in the software and investment businesses, learning along the way.
There are very few Mark Zuckerberg-type entrepreneurs in the world who emerge from college to construct world-beating enterprises. Most learn their craft slowly over time and get better at it with each passing year. The first venture rarely works out well. But the second or third usually gain some traction as they discover the types of things the market wants.
Entrepreneurs don’t create incredible businesses alone. Instead, they gather as many people with the right skills as they can and then deploy them productively. Being able to network well, therefore, is essential.
Entrepreneurs look for opportunities in every relationship. They’re always excited to meet people because they are always a potential ally who can help them achieve their desired lifestyle.
Having a large number of people who are willing to help you allows you to build stronger connections and encourages reciprocation.
When you’re an entrepreneur, you can’t afford to be timid. If you’re going to make a difference in the business world, you need to step out and grab the bull by the horns.
Yes, you need to be socially competent. But you also need a fundamental belief that you have something to offer the world. Entrepreneurs are almost always looking to do something new. You have to believe that you can provide a better product than existing players in the market.
The final ingredient of entrepreneurs who make it is vision. They have an idea about how they’d like their world to look, and then they move towards it without veering one way or another. They’re passionate about what they could potentially achieve. It’s about more than money.