By the definition, an Entrepreneur is a person who sets up a new business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Becoming an entrepreneur sounds so exciting, but this very definition makes it crystal clear that an entrepreneur’s journey starts with risks and remains as such throughout. Few of the entrepreneurs make it to the top of the list while a majority of them fail. The ratio of success to failure is a very big one and is not just unique to India but is a global statistics. Those who fail, see the success of the winners as if everything fell into the right place for them creating a nice, velvety, rose strewn path to success. But success doesn’t comes with magic or luck or good fortune, instead the road to success is a well understood, well calculated, balanced and on-time walk, while still being flexible and adaptable enough for all the changes and obstacles that might come in the way.
To be a successful entrepreneur in the long run, there are few certain lessons that need to be learnt. Let us have a look at the Top 10 such lessons to know and understand what the successful entrepreneurs know and understand.
Top 10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs
- Value Time as You Value Money
Technological improvements have made our lives so much better than the life of our ancestors. But even with everything, everyone is out of two most important elements of life, Time & Money. Both are equally important and everyone today has less of it. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, the first lesson you need to learn is to learn to value time and manage it efficiently. Time is one of the most valuable asset available to you and it can’t be renewed. So whatever you do in your business first make a plan for it but don’t forget to make your plan with respect to time. If your plan of action is in accordance with time it’s your first step towards your success. Time management is the first and the most important trait in the path of your success. If you can’t manage time for your one business it would be better that you do not even try to run a business.
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- Learn Self-Management before Company Management
Among all the successful entrepreneurs, the one thing that is common is the ability of self0-management. Yes, business acumen is necessary for prosperity in commercial industry but it also depends on continuous, constant and accurate assessment of oneself. You need to find ways to organize your information and knowledge, make plans, focus, manage your time, and keep apprised of your finances. All these can do wonders by streamlining your business and your personal life.
- You Need a Healthy Mind & Body to be able to Run a Healthy Company
A healthy mind needs a healthy body. If the body is always suffering with one problem or another, the brain will never be able to work with a positive outlook. Only when the body is fit and healthy the brain is able to go beyond its normal capacity to do more; which is very important for an entrepreneur who has find constantly new ways to go beyond the risks and make profit from his business. Also, when you are fit physically and mentally, you can have a positive outlook in life which is very essential for a healthy life. You decide who can be a better leader: a person who is always down, tired and late or a person who is always happy, energetic and before time for everything. When you are fit you can finish up more work in lesser time, take better decisions and encourage even your team to do better than they can normally do.
- Hire People who are Smarter than You
Accept it! You are not the smartest one on the Earth! So what if you were able to start a company, there are so many like you! But there are still a lot many who were not as inclined towards entrepreneurship as you were, but that does not makes them any lesser. When you hire employees are not smarter than you, you become the God for them. Whatever you say is correct, whatever you do is correct. Doesn’t matter how wrong a path you choose, there would be no one among your employees to alert you as this might be the first time in their entire life that they would be facing such a scenario. On the contrary, if you hire employees who are smarter than you, for every step you would want to take, they would suggest many better ones, which you could not have thought of. Ultimately, all this will work in favour of your company and its success.
- Outsource as much as You can
Outsourcing is one of the most important thing which is needed for the growth of your business. No business is that capable in the initial stage that they can fulfil the entire capital requirement through the business itself. Outsourcing provides you funds which can be used anywhere you want in your business such as it can be used for purchasing inventory, expanding the business, for hiring more employees and so on. Outsourcing has that capacity which can take your business to the next level.
- Listen to Your Customers, but Don’t be their Follower
Customers are God! Everybody says so. You need to keep your customer happy for your business to succeed. This advice works out perfectly in theory, but cannot be applied in the real life. Try applying it in the real life and soon your business will go out of business. Today’s customer is the most demanding customer world has ever seen in its entire existence. They want so much more for every rupee they spend. If you try to live up to each and every whim and desires of your customers, it would not take time for your business to go bankrupt. But this does not means that you should not listen to your customers at all and do only what you think is right. Always try to listen to all of your customers, the good one, the bad one, the happy one as well as the unhappy one. Listen to their experiences and expectations. Once you have a bucket full, analyse each of them but finalize only the ones which would work best for both, i.e. the company as well its customers.
- Embrace Digital Marketing
Product failures are bad! But, what’s worse? Market Invisibility! Market Invisibility means that your product has a very low reach and its potential customers are totally unaware of its existence. Even if your venture is going good and is efficient to fulfil the customer’s need, you can’t grow your business without proper marketing. Many entrepreneurs often fail just because their company is invisible to the world as they underestimated the scoped and need of marketing. Market invisibility can also be due to lack of funds as, generally people think that a successful marketing requires lots of capital investment and hence they ignore it as they can’t afford it. Spending much on polishing your products and services until they shine in the best way possible is a waste of money; even the most innovative product is useless if nobody knows about it. A smart entrepreneur is the one who takes both product quality and its marketing side by side. It’s a world of digital media and digital marketing where much can be done with small amount of money.
- Be Money Wise
Money is good, but not all money is good. It is good to earn from the business and save as much as you can while still growing your business. The money you save is going to help you grow your business in longer run. Save as much as you can! This is the example of good money. Then what is bad money? The money acquired through debt is bad money. Whether it is a business loan, business funding, crowdsourced money; debt is never a good money. A company with less or no debt has no liabilities and hence is under no pressure whatsoever, as compared to a company which is under heavy debt, and needs to compromise in multiple areas just to be able to repay all the debt that is on them.
- Become a Brand Yourself
Getting influenced by the popular brands is ok but to get successful it’s important to create your own brand. It’s not mandatory that your work should not be a copy of someone else’s popular work. Try to make your work unique and a better one, and you will set success automatically. This also applies to an entrepreneur as an individual as well. Companies whose owners are brand themselves tend to do better as the image of the owner brings a better business to the company. To become a brand yourself, be active on social media, sharing things related to your niche, attending public gatherings and giving speech, starting an individual blog with expert writeups related to your industry. The company, in such case benefits a lot from the brand image of the owner. Still not able to grasp the concept? Remember Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Ma and Elon Musk!
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- It is Ok to Fail, but It is Mandatory to Learn from Failures
No one is perfect and it’s fine to fail sometimes. Failures make you analyse your weaknesses and faults. These realisations make you better for the next time as when you will be doing the same work for the next time you will remember where you lacked previously and you will try harder to overcome those faults and weaknesses. In brief you can say your failures teach you a lot and can be one of the reasons behind your success.