It probably feels like the world is full of successful entrepreneurs. People like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson defied the odds and built successful businesses, despite quitting college. However, the likes of Zuckerberg and Gates are exceptions to the rule and most people have to slog uphill for many years to achieve a moderate level of success.
Nevertheless, there is a lot you can learn from successful entrepreneurs. For many of them, success didn’t come immediately. Their journey to fame and fortune was punctuated by failures, but they learned from their mistakes, just as you can.
Never Stop Learning
There is always something to learn. Successful entrepreneurs learn valuable lessons from each success and failure and apply these to their future ventures.
You don’t need a college degree to be successful, but you do need to be open to learning opportunities. In the early days, seek out others with more experience and ask their advice. Don’t assume you know it all. Arrogance is a sure-fire way of ending up a failure. If people offer advice, listen to them. If you are weak in a particular area, consider studying at night school or take an online course. It’s what smart entrepreneurs do, So don't be afraid to be an early adopter, as IntelligentHQ puts it.
Be the First
If you have a great idea that nobody else has thought it, don’t hang around. Gurbaksh Chahal was the first person to spot the potential of performance-based ad marketing. He got in there first and built a successful business at the age of 16. If he had waited a couple of years, he would have missed the boat.
You Can’t Please Everyone
We can’t please everyone. There will always be people who don’t rate your ideas or try to shoot you down. Take a leaf out of Donald Trump’s book and ignore the haters. Instead, focus on your target audience and work hard at pleasing them. This is more likely to bear fruit in the long-term.
Give Something Back
Giving back is very important. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates are famous for their philanthropic activities, but they are not the only ones who place a high importance on giving back to the community.
Gurbaksh Chahal is a phenomenally successful entrepreneur. He started his first tech business at 16 and went on to sell it for $40 million less than two years later. He was named Innovator of the Year in 2007 and Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013. Yet despite his amazing success, Chahal has never forgotten his roots. His non-profit foundation, The Chahal Foundation, is firmly committed to helping those less fortunate. It focusses on creating greater awareness of social causes such as child sexual exploitation and a lack of education in poor countries, as well as assisting disaster relief programs and creating scholarships and mentorships.
There are many benefits to giving something back to the community, not least greater brand recognition, so follow the lead of Chahal, Zuckerberg and their ilk, and help those less fortunate than you.
Believe In Yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will? You need the right mindset to be an entrepreneur. Successful entrepreneurs are driven individuals. They are not the type of people to give up after a setback. Most endure at least one business failure on their journey. Some end up failing multiple times before they achieve success.
Don’t let others tell you your ideas are worthless. If you think your business plan has merits, stick to your guns and focus on what you need to do. This is your baby so nurture it and let it grow.
Becoming an entrepreneur means taking risks, so learn from those who have already become successful – they have a lot to teach you.