Entrepreneurship – Ask 100 people what this word means, and I’m sure that you will get about 100 different answers. So why is so hard to put a definition on a word that is used throughout Silicon Valley, Austin, New York City, Boston and throughout the United States? It is because until now, we have been unable to verbalize exactly what it is that it means to be an entrepreneur.
Many of us today know that an entrepreneur, if successful, must be a “Jack of all trades” so to speak.
Imagination - one must be able to envision a multitude of things to be a successful entrepreneur. You must be able to envision something that does not exist to first begin your start-up and bring a product or idea to the market where you believe there will be traction. You must be able to envision problems before they arise as you go through the cycle of being an entrepreneur.
You will have to constantly envision reiterations of your initial product based off of your market research. This is another problem that most entrepreneurs don’t even think about. They just think that if you create a great product, with tons of features, people will love it and come! (Build it and they will come!) This is not the case.
Wasting time spent on adding feature after feature that may not even be used at all while your time could be far better spent making your current features as seamless as possible is absolutely pointless. Spend your time wisely!
Sales - You must be a great salesperson to get people to believe in your vision.
Sell your product to other businesses if you’re a B2B company.
Sell your product to customers if your business is a B2C company and if you’re someone who is selling to both Businesses and Consumers, you have to be able to differentiate your sales pitches accordingly. Finally, if you have been successful in previous endeavors, you must be a successful salesman or woman at every juncture in which you are raising capital.
Along with this, if you are lucky enough, you must be a successful salesperson in getting your company acquired for a potentially large amount or even better yet, in going public!
Next, for your company to be successful, one of the most important factors in determining your success, is who you surround yourself with
People - People are the most important factor in my opinion in building and sustaining a successful start-up and this is one area that start-ups seem to overlook or undervalue.
Think about this for a second, if you spend just a short amount of time on interviewing candidates and find yourself a hire, you’ll be cutting corners and saving time in hiring someone you believe is fit for a job. Well you just saved your company some time in the short term but now if that employee does not work out, you have just decreased the retention rate for your company and made it so that you have to once again go out and find another employee. Don't cut corners while hiring!
Now instead of following this chain of events, instead, start off by making sure the employee fits the position he or she is being hired for in a multitude of ways. Make sure that their personality fits your company’s culture. This can all be done by having multi-tiered interviews, rather than just one single interview for a job. If a potential employee has a problem with going through multiple interviews than that person is definitely not the right person for the job anyway! This will ensure that you have a greater employee retention rate and also a more productive workplace environment, saving your company considerable amounts of money in the long run!
Finally, if you find a problem employee in any sector, it is best to cut bait as soon as humanly possible rather than letting time pass and allowing the virus that is the problem employee to spread. You cannot allow an employee who is not completely driven in making your company as successful as possible work for your company, so rather than feel bad for letting them go, feel good that you are letting them go so that they may be able to achieve a job that is better suited to their talents, beliefs and personality.
Innovation, Innovation, Innovation - Innovation is the application of creativity to create unique solutions to problems that previously exist or to have the vision to create solutions for a problem that does not exist but will in the near future. By being able to see problems before your competitors, you will already be well on your way to being a successful entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurship – A process in which one takes innovation and applies the processes to create avenues to bring the new ideas that one has innovated to fruition.
A successful entrepreneur must also be a very good manager of people. An entrepreneur must be able to push his employees to meet the challenges that the company must solve while not hounding them and making them feel worthless. Make sure to reward individual performance while also rewarding team performance as well. No one wants to feel as though they are not having any input in the company's growth.
Entrepreneurship is a very delicate balance that I like to think of as more an art form rather than business itself’. For this reason, many psychologists make great businessmen because they are able to get the most performance out of their employees by rewarding them for their positive roles and not demonizing them for their shortcomings.
Everyone makes mistakes, if you hired properly, the people that work for your team will still make mistakes but in the long-term they will make more than enough right decisions to take your team to the promise land.