You don’t wake up one random morning in life and decide to become an Entrepreneur.
It’s a lifestyle choice that I believe naturally finds you (at some point between early youth and adult life).
Some entrepreneurs journeys are born when they open their first lemonade stand at 7, while others become one accidently when they create a business idea later on in life.
Mine initially began at age 12, when my best friend and I put all the other youth golf ball salesmen in the neighborhood out of business. We simply ran a more efficient system, which led clients to buy from us the most. To this day, I still know most of the price points of every Titleist Pro-V, Maxfli, Callaway & Top Flight on the market. At 12 years old, this gave us a competitive advantage over our simple minded competitors. All good entrepreneurs find a competitive advantage.
Before I discuss the main characteristics that successful entrepreneurs hold, I have to discuss a stigma that plagues the idea of being an entrepreneur.
Many people hold a narrow perception of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Movies, TV, and success stories have led most to believe that all entrepreneurs:
- work out of their basements as startups
- all drop out of school
- risk everything
YES……there are cases where the above bullets hold true, but the truth is that every entrepreneurs journey to success is different.
Some entrepreneurs work full-time jobs alongside their own business ventures while getting started. Others put 100% of their efforts towards their new business from Day 1.
It’s also important to note that the term entrepreneur is “overused” today.
Today, it seems as if everyone and their brother/cousin wants to be one.
With so many “so-called” entrepreneurs out there today, what separates the Successful Entrepreneurs from the rest of the pack?
When John Paul DeJoria began Paul Mitchell hair products in 1980, he was living in his car with $700 in his pocket. He drove around from hair salon to hair salon pitching his product. He faced rejection after rejection, but didn’t let that discourage him. His perseverance started paying off and the brand eventually became the largest player in the industry, selling directly to salons as opposed to through a 3rd party (middleman).
The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people is the successful people do all the things the unsuccessful people don’t want to do. When 10 doors are slammed in your face, go to door number 11 enthusiastically, with a smile on your face. -John Paul DeJoria
Every single entrepreneur faces rejection along their journey. The successful ones always find a way to overcome these challenges.
All successful entrepreneurs (and their businesses) provide value to the end customer through their product or service.
Without this value, your chances of success are slim to none.
By value, I don’t simply mean being the lowest cost product/service out there. Anyone can do this.
I mean offering your potential customer value by solving an actual problem or need.
Apple computers are certainly not the cheapest, but they solve a need that millions of customers are willing to pay for.
What product/service can you offer that can be valuable to potential customers?
If you can provide this value, there’s a much higher chance for you to succeed.
All great entrepreneurs adapt to market changes over time.
Entrepreneurs who don’t adapt go out of business.
Radio Head is a great example to use here. We all know that the music industry got turned upside down in the 90’s. Many big CD & record labels were too blind to see the storm coming. The music industry faded away and these companies lost millions.
In the late 2000’s, Radiohead was no longer with their music label. The decided to sell their music directly to consumers online.
Not only did they do this, but they also let consumers choose what they wanted to pay for the music.
This was unheard of in the music industry (many artists even mocked them for this tactic).
To Radiohead, it was simply an experiment that eventually made them millions of dollars. They adapted to the industry landscape and found success in it.
There are many other attributes and characteristics that successful entrepreneurs embody, but the 3 mentioned above are high on my priority list for long term entrepreneurial success.
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