Not everyone with a great, viable business idea goes on to become a successful entrepreneur. The truth is, a degree from some of the best business schools in the world won’t teach you everything you need to know about becoming a successful entrepreneur. Most of those lessons you will learn on your own, or better yet, from other successful entrepreneurs who take you under their wing.
So what does it take to become a successful business person? What will take you to that next level of business, where others will look to you for answers, and view you as the best in the industry?
Have the best idea
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must have that one idea, the one that is so revolutionary, most people you tell about it will shake their heads and say that you’re crazy. With courage and determination, you can make that crazy, never-before-seen idea a reality. You have to be driven to push your idea and believe in it wholeheartedly. The world is always changing, and your idea should both respond to the changing demands and be able to adapt as needs change.
Look to others
Being a successful entrepreneur is not something you can achieve all on your own. You have to realize you are not the smartest person in the room and learning is crucial. For every weakness that you possess, find someone who can fill that gap for you.
You also have to be willing to listen to other people’s ideas, collaborate and agree with others. Really, a successful entrepreneur is more of a leader than a solo act, able to gather the right troops around them in order to face life’s challenges. You have to able to sit back and listen to other people, and even take their ideas over yours. You need a team to succeed, otherwise your big idea will never become a reality.
Whatever that first big idea is, chances are it will take time to achieve. You have to be patient through the initial trials and challenges, and be ready to tackle them head on. Some of the best ideas the world has seen today didn’t take shape until after years had passed. iRobot® Corp, the makers of Roomba (vacuum cleaning robot), didn’t come up with the idea for the robot until 12 years into the venture. If they had given up after 2 or 3 years, they would never have had the success they’ve achieved. Not every idea will be successful from the start and remember to welcome changes along the way.
Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers. Failure is something a lot of people try and avoid at all costs, but it’s something you will inevitably encounter if you are ever going to succeed. People like to stay in their comfort zones and cling to the successes they’ve had before. Being a trailblazer can be frightening. However, you have to be willing to get out of that comfort zone if you want to see how far you can go.
Surround yourself with like-minded people
Successful music recording artists hang around the music executives and producers. Great athletes hang around other great athletes and coaches, hoping to gain new information and tactics on how to grow their talents. This is just as important for entrepreneurs. They surround themselves with like-minded people who are willing to push them to work at their best level. If you want to succeed, surround yourself with people who add value to what you do, and who will accept nothing but the best from you.
Successful entrepreneurs have strong characteristics (boldness, confidence, assertiveness, and persistence) that allow them to tackle decisions and challenges with purpose. It is these characteristics that allow them to go out of their comfort zones and take risks. Being an entrepreneur is an exciting life and requires a strong, bold character.
Be open to learning and change
They say that learning and change should be the only constants in an entrepreneur’s life. You should be willing to learn and always open to change. While you will have a set out plan at the beginning, there shouldn’t be any reason to stick to the plan if it doesn’t yield the kind of results you want. To reach the pinnacle of success, you must be willing to absorb as much as you can, and learn from mistakes. Stay updated on what is happening in your area of expertise, and if there is a possibility you can improve on something in your business, take that chance. You should also be humble enough to know when to let go of your previous convictions and allow change to happen.
Quick decision making
Leading a Fortune 500 company requires making decisions quickly and confidently. There is no room for second guessing your decisions, as this uncertainty will definitely trickle down to your employees. Besides that, taking too much time to mull things over can result in increased costs for the business, which could negatively impact overall performance.
Just because you have to make decisions fast doesn’t mean you have to be reckless in the process, however. Become efficient at gathering the facts, analyzing the situation and making informed decisions.
Being a successful entrepreneur takes guts and quick thinking and a good idea…but all of these things really come down to trusting your instincts and working hard. The harder you work to become knowledgeable and effective at what you do, the more you will trust your instincts. Practice makes perfect, so don’t let the fear of failing as you learn to balance your instinct and knowledge; the more you try, the more chances you will have to succeed.