The number one interest of anyone starting a business is to learn from those that have done it before and most importantly succeeded at it. There is, however, a lot of advise of mixed quality and quantity that is all over the Internet. Personally, when choosing a book to read or an article, I pay considerable attention to the author of the information as much as to what they are writing about, because I think that it is key that the person giving you prescriptions for success has walked that road before. You can then feel confident that what they are putting across must mean something as it helped them reach where they are. Here are five key lessons from some of the most successful people in business.
To build something valuable and sustainable, it must be solving a certain problem. Successful companies in the world emerge from genuine needs; take for example Ford – the need for automobiles or Apple – the need for personal computing. So as you think of being innovative and creating your company, think about a process of solving a problem with a solution that has never been executed before in your locality.
Failure is good, it teaches you what does not work, fast failure is better, and you learn quickly and change. Every successful business worth its name or brand failed several times before it made it, so take courage, knowing that the first attempt will not probably work. This does not mean that do it to fail, no, focus on it to make it work, but if it does not, learn quickly and try something else. This has been my personal experience as well.
Building a successful business is about people as much as the idea. Investors and successful businessmen such as Mark Cuban and Richard Branson buy the team as much as they buy into the idea. A great team will stick together and persevere in times of failure. They will brainstorm; iterate until the find the best solution to the problem. Seek out for a team members that have the right blend of attitude, intelligence, perseverance, passion and expertise in the particular field.
It is important to align your team on why you really exist as a company and build a company culture. Culture is the foundation of a company, and it comes from people, not theory. The company culture can also be key in who you here, to ensure that you stay great. Apple’s Steve Jobs insisted on hiring the best people to work for him, and that has made apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. At our company, enjuba, we look out for SWANs when hiring – SWAN stands for Smart, Works Hard, Ambitious and Nice. Hiring SWANs will help your company go further faster even through the rough times – which will surely come.
Most of the successful companies in the world become so by breaking rules, and thinking different from the norm or established rules. Think about Richard Branson’s Virgin Companies, most of them have succeed where conventional wisdom predicated they would fail. True innovation and even disruption happens when you think differently, when you see the world differently, as we like to say at enjuba.
Now, go make it happen, build a company that your mother will be proud of. Form your own strategy and let that big dream come out, create something that the world can’t ignore.
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