There are countless lessons out there for entrepreneurs launching their own businesses. But should you listen to all the advice, and which advice do you heed or ignore?
One good way to know which advice to follow is to look at the source. Role models, such as successful business owners, are a good bet because they have a proven track record and can show tangible results of their business success.
Here are three important lessons you can learn from well-known entrepreneurs to give your business the boost it needs to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.
Focus on a Specific Target
Legendary Mary Kay Ash, founder of the Mary Kay Cosmetics empire, once said, “We must have a theme, a goal, a purpose in our lives. If you don’t know where you are aiming, you don’t have a goal.”
In effect, if you have no clue what your target is, then how can you expect to hit it — or even get close to it?
One lesson that will always be essential for any entrepreneur is to know what your business goals and what you hope to achieve in both your personal and professional life. You can’t have just a vague idea of what you think you might want; instead, you must be crystal clear and specific about your intent.
Once you have concrete business goals in mind, then you can put strategies in play to help you reach those goals.
In society, failure is seen as a bad thing. In fact, we do everything to avoid it.
However, the truth is that failure is often a driving force and motivation for many entrepreneurs — even famous ones. Several well-known entrepreneurs have used a more positive spin on failure to push them forward to success.
Photo Credit: Brett Jordan
Examples of these would be Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx. In her view, “Failure is not the outcome. Failure is not trying.”
Likewise, a famous entrepreneur by the name of Thomas Edison proclaimed, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If Edison had quit the first several times (or several hundred times) he failed, he wouldn’t have gone on to hold the most patents ever in United States of America history.
As an entrepreneur, you should accept the prospect of failure and use it as fuel for compelling yourself to bigger and better things. Nobody is completely perfect, and errors do happen. The real problem is when we don’t learn from failure, for then we are doomed to repeat the process again in the future.
When it comes to failure, see it as a means to an end. Just as a research scientist conducts many experiments to test hypotheses — many of which may fail before the proper result is found — you will test many ideas to see if they work before discovering a business equation that’s ideal for your specific circumstances.
Follow Your Passion
One of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs of Apple, was big on following one’s passion when it came to business and starting a company. Jobs once said,”You have to love what you do with passion. If not, any sane person will quit when they sustain their drive to achieve success.” And while Jobs is no longer alive, his words still ring true.
If you are going to put all your energy, time, and money into an entrepreneurial project, it’s essential for you to have the passion behind it. If you know you want to launch a business, but you’re not sure what type of business to launch, don’t stray from where your passions lie.
What speaks to you and motivates you? What are you good at? What are your strengths? Play on all of these when it comes to starting your own business.
Other people may have good ideas that initially sound interesting to you, but in the long run, it’s their idea and their passion — not necessarily yours. Do some soul-searching and ask yourself what gets you excited and motivated, then follow that lead.
As Jobs once remarked, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
By using these three important lessons, you will not only enhance your business management techniques, but you will also learn to increase your company’s outreach to existing as well as potential customers.
Use the above-listed advice and tips from entrepreneurs that have already trod the path you’re on. That way you can take advantage of the knowledge they’ve gathered over the years, and then you can apply it to your own company’s unique philosophy and long-term goals.
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