Entrepreneurial success: what it takes to get there

Efficient use of limited resources combined with the essential DNA of an entrepreneur and a strong team, will bring the success envisioned.

Entrepreneurial success: Getting there

Succeeding as an entrepreneur takes much more than just a bankable business idea. Start-ups face highly unstable conditions, and entrepreneurs striving for success need to persevere in the face of uncertainty.

In order to make their idea locally, regionally, and globally viable, entrepreneurs need to take their purpose (the big dream) and combine it with the passion and energy (willingness to take risks and learn along the way) to overcome barriers to growth (fear of failure). Think big but start small.

As new ventures often bring about radical, disruptive innovation, entrepreneurs need to consider the long-term potential of their ideas. Efficient use of limited resources combined with the essential DNA of an entrepreneur and a strong team, will bring the success envisioned. Just remember to be ‘detached’ enough from the idea so that if it doesn’t work you can pivot, change, close or start again.

1. Instill the DNA of an entrepreneur within yourself

The widely held belief that entrepreneurs are born rather than made holds very little truth in these times. To truly push your boundaries and test the market, practice the essentials that make successful entrepreneurs who they are: a sense of overachievement; visions of greatness; the drive to win; the need to positively prove something; a healthy obsession with the pursuit of the end goal; and a fear of disconnecting from the latest global conversation.

2. Patiently navigate the start-up labyrinth

A new venture can be likened to a labyrinth, with time and resources (i.e. money) often greatly limited. In order to reap the rewards of your hard work, it is essential to patiently navigate this labyrinth – even in the face of extreme hardship – to take your market-changing idea to new heights of success. A clear business plan and the support of strong team will help you exit this labyrinth quickly.

3. Create stability, even in highly unstable conditions

Unstable beginnings call for a solid foundation. Not only does your business idea need to be disruptive in order to make what Steve Jobs called a “ding in the universe,” but you also need a focused business plan, a team that shares your vision and knows where to fill the gaps, along with equal amounts of creativity and charismatic leadership in order to make your mark. Throughout this process, be clear on your vision but remember to be open to ideas while staying true to the vision.

4. Embrace the basic principles of entrepreneurial success

Identifying an opportunity that addresses a need in the market is only the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. To truly taste success, you also need to incorporate the following principles into your new venture equation: creativity; respecting personal values while taking risks; self-promotion without arrogance; and perseverance.

5. Learn to fail, fail to learn

The courage to take risks, and the ability to execute a great idea, are the hallmarks of a great entrepreneur. But, treading unchartered territory can often lead to failure. However, the way you perceive this failure will decide whether you actually ever make it out of the new venture labyrinth. It is OK to fail, as long as you learn, and finally go onto make an impact.

6. Overcome the barriers to growth

When a new venture is starting out, along with economic pressures, several other factors can determine its survival. Entrepreneurs need to overcome a lack of role models and trust; limited management expertise; limited access to smart capital; and the absence of contacts and mentors in order to flourish. Doing so successfully, will set you apart from the rest.

7. Make the most of the current entrepreneurial landscape

The venture world has undergone immense transformation in the past 50 years. Previously, high costs, long development cycles, and limited expertise meant
start-ups had no standardized set-up process. Post-2000, venture creation has massively sped up, with expanded sources of seed capital, disruptive business models, and the globalization of entrepreneurship—something all entrepreneurs can, and should, benefit from. This global phenomenon is often called “the democratization of innovation”.

8. Immerse yourself in an entrepreneur-oriented culture

New-age entrepreneurs know how to leverage unique opportunities in the face of multiple growth barriers. However, the celebrated entrepreneurs are those who embraced the entrepreneurial culture as a way of life. The virtuous cycle, often experienced by Silicon Valley dwellers, places high value on encouraging risk and embracing failure, with the plentiful availability of risk capital—something aspiring and current entrepreneurs needs to expose themselves to.

9. Become a more T-shaped individual

T-shaped thinking allows entrepreneurs to establish themselves, and their purpose, in a meaningful way. The horizontal T-bar represents the breadth of knowledge, while the vertical T-bar represented the depth of expertise —distinguishing you as a revolutionary innovator. T-shaped thinkers are empathetic, life-long learners, who are ready to build a smarter planet—the blueprint for entrepreneurial success.

10. Reinvent yourself—oftenh

Although this principle can be applied to any industry or profession, it is even more relevant for entrepreneurs. Re-evaluate your beliefs, ambitions, ideas, and vision often, and try to figure out how these align with your current situation. Do you still hold the same values dear as you did five years ago? Is your end goal different to when you started out? Answering these questions will allow for deeper contentment—a feeling of having fulfilled your potential… and then, push it even further to become a serial entrepreneur.

11. Be global

Ventures are no longer born in the garage, rather they are born global. Working together virtually from different parts of the world, individuals can form a global venture. By being Born Global, entrepreneurs can leverage the uniqueness of each market the individuals are based in to favor their startup and accelerate the ability to pursue the opportunity globally!

This article is a summary of Hult International Business School’s entrepreneurship webinar. It is part of a series of webinars covering innovation, entrepreneurship, marketing and leadership. You can view the entire webinar at hult.edu.

About Hult International Business School

A leader in global business education, Hult is the world’s most international business school. Our U.S.-accredited MBA, Executive MBA, Master programs, and Bachelor degree offer innovative, business-focused programs with an experience-lead curriculum and unmatched international opportunities. Our global campus network includes locations in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, Shanghai, New York, and Miami.

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