11 Lessons on Entrepreneurship

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I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than 5 years. I’ve been asked a lot on what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and how I define success. Over the years, I’ve learnt a lot about entrepreneurship and the first thing I learnt to dispel is the persistent myth that entrepreneurial success is all about breakthrough ideas and innovative thinking. If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that entrepreneurial success comes through great execution.

The points I’ve listed below are some of the noteworthy lessons I’ve learnt along the way:

1- Always remember our six most essential human needs

We all need to feel a sense of significance and love, certainty and uncertainty as well as experience growth and feel like we are contributing. Numerous people specialize in two. You have to look for people who share those common needs.

2- Great people are familiar with great people

Whenever I was unsure where to look for the next best person to hire, I ask the best person I could find in the field I’m looking to hire and ask them who they would recommend and I always ask for them to outline the criteria I should look for. If you’re looking for new talent and don’t know where to look, just ask.

3- Look beyond a good candidate

Look for someone who can do the job and their role should be united with their long term goals. Once you find someone whose goals fit those of the company, get out of the way and let them do their work.

4- You’re a business owner, not a business operator

If you find that you are stressed out about your business, then that makes you a business operator, not an owner. Once you hit the brakes, your business automatically stops working. You have to be strategic and build a business that can function without you.

5- Winners take action, losers react

Getting the right thing done isn’t going to be enough- you have to do it at the right time. Challenges are habitual and the key is getting to those who have played the game before successfully and learn from them where the complications are so you can evade them.

6- It’s not about the profit- it’s all about the cash

You do need an accountant or a CPA who can tell you about your profits, but profits is just an accounting theory. A CFO who can construe all that data in practical metrics that matter is who you really need.

7- Believe, work hard and persist

Without these three components, no business will last long enough. You need to believe that there are opportunities out there, work hard towards getting there and persist because you know it’s going to be worth it.

8- Indentify your perfect client

If you don’t know or recognize who exactly your customers are, that means you aren’t targeting deep enough.

9- Know when to decline opportunities

If you’re smart, the chances are that you’ll have so many prospects come your way. You have to be disciplined enough not to spread yourself too thin too fast, because if you do that, then nothing will be stable no matter how good an entrepreneur you are.

10- Enthusiastic fans are better than satisfied customers

With a satisfied customer you only get that: satisfied, that’s it. They might come back and they might not. An enthusiastic and raving fan, on the other hand, is someone who has been greatly impressed by the service they have received and they can’t stop telling other people about it.

11- Altruism is important

There is a myth about us entrepreneurs that we always act in our own self-interest. The truth is that we work more so to help others than to help ourselves. You know how important it is to set a business goal, so remember, it’s important to set an ambitious altruistic goal to motivate you further.

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