Some of the biggest names in the industry, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates or Michael Dell, are all college dropouts but still became highly successful entrepreneurs. Did you know why they drop out of college? They knew that colleges and universities do not teach you real-life stuff you need to become successful entrepreneurs. They knew that if they wanted to achieve something big, they would have to take a different route to get there, unlike others who follow the traditional path.
This is why they dropped out and managed to realize their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Few years back, when I was in college, there was no major for entrepreneurship. Business schools have started teaching entrepreneurship as a subject but still there are many entrepreneurship rules that they do not deem important enough to instill in their students. In this article, you will learn about seven such imperative, yet overlooked, laws of entrepreneurship.
1. Stand Out From the Crowd
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”—Steve Jobs
If you want to achieve entrepreneurial success, you will have to think out of the box and distinguish your business from others. Business schools could teach you how to compete with your competitors in the market but might not confide in you the secrets of innovating and differentiating your business from others. Innovation is one of the things that you cannot learn in a brick and mortar setup, as true innovation comes from within. Focus on coming up with new ways to solve the pain points and dilemmas of your audience, and you will succeed.
2. Have a plan
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship without a plan is like jumping off a cliff without a parachute. The end result will be the same in both cases. Know the consequences and repercussions of every action and step that you take. Securitize how it can affect your progress towards your goals. Make sure that your devised plans are flexible enough to cope up with dynamic business situations.
3. Surround Yourself with the Right People
You cannot do everything on your own. It’s not a bed of roses to run a one man show without wearing yourself thin. All successful entrepreneurs have a mentor and a team. If you want to be successful, you need them as well. Do not get me wrong, but mentors prove to be better teachers than the ones you had to contend with at business school. They will drill you in things that your teachers at business school never thought to confide in you. Under their proper guidance and supervision, you can develop and grow as a professional, as well as a person.
The people that you recruit to become a part of your team can make or break your startup. When it comes to employee acquisition, choose personnel incorporating a diverse skill set and who are the right fit for your organization. Dedication, self-confidence, and an uncanny ability to learn and adopt quickly, are some of the qualities that you should consider.
4. Look and Act Successful To Be Successful
People like to connect with and do business with efficacious tycoons. In order to become a successful entrepreneur, you will first have to look like one and act like one. If you look and act like you belong in the same room as other successful impresarios, you will not find it difficult to lure customers towards your business. As a result, you can easily overcome the initial hurdle that most entrepreneurs face when it comes to attracting new customers.
5. Stay Organized
Entrepreneurs are supposed to be rather busy bees. Their workday starts before everyone else’s, and seems to go on interminably, until dear old slumber drags them down. More importantly, their calendars are dotted with so many tasks that it sometimes becomes extremely difficult to stay organized. They have to attend meetings, oversee projects, analyze results, and make decisions all in the same day.
Thanks to the advancement in digital technology, entrepreneurs have access to different types of digital tools such as task management software and project management software. These tools streamline and organize your tasks efficiently and help you prevent chaos while maintaining your productivity. Set your priorities, arrange tasks in a sequence and execute them to boost your productivity.
6. Show Patience
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”—Henry David Thoreau
If you think that you can achieve overnight business success, you couldn’t have been more wrong. Remember that there are no shortcuts to success, so don’t even revel in the daydream of becoming the most famed entrepreneur in the world within a month. Colin Powell gave his formula for success, by saying, “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”
Do not fear failure because it is the main reason why many entrepreneurs do not pursue their dreams or fail to convert their dreams into reality. Their ideas die an early death. Use failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. The key to success is not to lose hope and the initial bouts of enthusiasm after the first few hiccups. You never know that the time you decided to give up, would have been your time to bask in the limelight.
7. Respond to Customer Queries Quickly
“The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be the earth’s most customer-centric company.” Jeff Bezos
Customer is the King, right. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon knows that very well. In fact, it is the secret behind Amazon’s success, which has made him the richest person in the world. He said, “We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” Put yourself in the shoes of a customer. Would you like to wait for your problems to be resolved? No, so how can you expect your customers to wait. Excellent customer support that resolves customer queries quickly can convert your annoying customers into happy patrons and willing brand advocates.
Business school might prepare you for coping with future business challenges, but you cannot learn everything there, especially the art of entrepreneurship. Learn from your mistakes and experiences and that of your peers, to become a successful entrepreneur.
What lessons have you learnt so far from your business experiences that were not taught in business school? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.