6 Lessons From A Relentless Entrepreneur
Growing up in an entrepreneurial family and starting my entrepreneurial journey at the age of 18, I have always admired people that are willing to take risk, live a purposeful life, and choose to make a difference for their families and world around them.
Both as a serial entrepreneur where I personally struggled more than a dozen times to build my dream venture, and as a management consultant (where I was in the position to help hundreds of businesses to overcome their challenges), I learned a few profound lessons that could make or break any business. These lessons, in my view, apply in one’s personal life as much as they are relevant and useful in achieving success in one’s business venture:
- Be decisive
On daily basis, you are faced with making tough decisions in your business. The usual tendency is to postpone those tough decisions. More so, when you don’t have much experience to rely on, you are unable and more hesitant to make any tough decision fast.
Be decisive and fast in gathering as much as data possible for making a decision. Even if you are not able to gather all input, move ahead and decide what to do with information you have.
In most cases, when you postpone making a decision, whether right or wrong, your ability and interest in collecting required data falls drastically over time and you end up making worst decision in lieu of not having supporting information.
Moreover, if you train yourself not to postpone making decisions, you inherently improve your ability to make excellent decisions over time.
- Take ownership of your Failure
We all are quick to blame external factors for our failure.
Anything from bad luck, competition, bad economic environment to unmotivated staff, poor timing, and everything else are to blame when we fail.
But in reality, the real common and consistent factor is nothing but our lack of ability in learning from our failures and changing the way we conduct our business.
Taking ownership of your failures leads you to consistently improve yourself and that ultimately leads to your success.
A wise man once told me: “You are really smart if you learn from your failures, but a genius if you learn from failures of others.”
I still try to come out a genius most of the time.
- Never say no to unexpected opportunities
In life, we are invited to opportunities that we never thought could come our way easily and without asking for them. Grab them with both hands. These are the time and “window of opportunity” that put you on highway to success.
Yet, we have tendency to question great opportunities or our skill set to handle them.
As Richard Branson put it: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
I recall the best business opportunities I encountered were those I never planned for. Likewise, I met my best business contacts at airports, on planes, and in places never thought I could have met them.
- Focus on what you do best
Anyone can learn various skills. Yet each of us has one special skill that we are made for. I call it your “gift”.
You need to spend most of your time and energy on utilizing that single gift and likewise let others in your business follow your model and do what they do best.
The tendency is to do it all and be consumed by trivial tasks. When you do what you do best, your work is appreciated, meaningful, and fulfilling. This leads others to follow your leadership and do what they do best.
What I experienced as one of the prevalent problems during my business consulting years, was growing a small company to mid-size and from mid-size taking it to a large company.
The leadership in these companies was simply not made to lead a growing business yet afraid to let internal or external talents take leadership and do the job for them. These business owners ended up exiting growing businesses premature or in a worse scenario, losing their business to competition.
The richest people in the world are not the smartest people with brilliant ideas, they hired the best people to work for them.
- Focus on solution not the problem
Although this might sound obvious in first glance, yet it is shockingly a commonplace habit to start and end the day by thinking how the problems emerged.
Putting off fire after fire is what most business owners spend most of their time in. Doing so, there is no time to focus on strategic issues and see the big picture in their business.
Instead of focusing on the problem or the reason why a problem emerged, think about possible solutions to solve a problem. This way you train your mind to create solutions and opportunities.
- Never stop investing in your education
The most successful people in the world never stop learning. They may even have not graduated from a university yet they relentlessly learn new things.
When you first think of education and learning we think of school; high school, college, trade school. You don’t have to pursue a fancy degree from a formal institution.
In today’s online world, there are all sorts of ways to further your learning and gain the skills you need to move ahead: certificate programs, short-term courses, seminars, webinars, online learning programs, etc.
The richest people may not always have a great formal education, but they have mentors and people who have taught them how to succeed.