Can I make it as an entrepreneur? Do I have what it takes to become successful on my own? Many of us have asked ourselves these and other questions. It’s normal to doubt yourself and hesitate. The answers are not always easy.
Still, there are some guiding principles to become successful. Let us take a look at four of them.
Hire People Smarter than You
Apple founder Steve Jobs once said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people, so they can tell us what to do.”
Steve Jobs was not an engineer. He wasn’t a programmer or designer either. So how come he became arguably the most successful, most revered entrepreneur in the tech industry?
Nobody knows the key to his success. Still, some might argue that he had a clear vision of what he wanted and the eye to find those who could make it happen.
If I want the perfect cake for my wedding, I will not take baking lessons. I will find the best baker I can afford and tell him what I want. If I am in the middle of a long and painful separation, I will not handle legal matters independently. I will best be served by hiring the services of a reputable divorce lawyer.
One quality all intelligent people have is knowing what they can and cannot do. They are aware of when to take charge and when to let others lead the way.
Be Willing to Fail
Unless you are boxer Floyd Mayweather or Russian mixed martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov, we all have blemishes in our record. We have all suffered the pain of defeat and the consequences that come with loss.
Some of us have failed at work or school. Others are the survivors of broken relationships and unfulfilled promises.
Instead of being negative about our shortcomings and dwell on what could or should have been, we can learn from our mistakes. We can rise and make better future decisions.
The entrepreneurs who dare to fail are those who ultimately succeed. Nobody gets it right the first time or even the second.
The important thing is not letting failure define who we are. Losing a match against a better opponent is not a sign that you are a loser. It is an opportunity to realize where you are at and where you need to be.
Take Care of the Details
The difference between good and great is often found in the details. Let us use an example from the world of sports to highlight this point.
Formula 1 is the pinnacle of all motorsports. Drivers compete in close to two dozen races on six different continents for the chance to become world champions. More often than not, the driver with the best car is the winner. And the best car is one created by a team of close to 300 people working in unison, all driven towards a specific goal.
But what is the difference between a good car and a bad one? The answer is less than half a second. A turn of a wrench here or a twist usually determines who is first and who is last.
From a business perspective, taking care of the details is being involved in all aspects of your enterprise. You don’t have to expert in everything. But you need to be aware of what is going on and how this will influence your future decisions.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
The name at the door might be yours, but this doesn’t mean the company belongs to you. All successful entrepreneurs know this. Consumers drive businesses. It is they who determine what enterprises survive and which ones go bankrupt.
Of course, as the owner or president of a start-up, you should focus on the product or service that you provide. But you should also put an equal amount of effort into listening to your clientele and understanding their needs.
The benefits of doing this are plenty. First, a successful customer is your best, most cost-effective advertiser. Second, consumer insights can help you develop new products or innovate on existing ones. Third, customer loyalty is your greatest source of stability.
Keep in mind that all things being equal, a client will choose the company that makes him feel valued and respected. Remember also that this is a never-ending process. Once you have created expectations of excellence, you need to continue working hard to maintain them.
Great entrepreneurs are not born. They are made. It means we can all become one. All we need is the right partnerships, the willingness to fail, attention to detail, and excellent customer service.