4 Life lessons from successful entrepreneurs
So, you just started your first company and feel ready to conquer the world? Lovely! To maximize your potential, here are 4 life lessons and advice from successful entrepreneurs.
1. Dream big, plan smart and be prepared to fight for your success
Success overnight is something most people dream about. Not infrequently over a (or maybe a couple) glasses of Friday wine and especially when the job as an employee feels as inspiring as a root canal.
But even though dreams and visions are powerful sources of change, there is a point that, as an entrepreneur, Steve Jobs’s wise words are always remembered:
” If you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.”
The point here is to not be naive and understand that business is not for everyone.
They may look simple on paper and in theory, but the fact is that many startups close their businesses after a year.
So dream for all grandiose and pink shimmering. But also be sure to make a reality-based plan and be prepared to fight for your success.
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” If you are not willing to dedicate the time and obsess over your business in the early years, you are not cut out for this kind of life. And that’s okay–it’s not for everyone.”
Bill Green| Source
2. Become the Biggest, Best and Most Beautiful in Your Niche…
In a market where self-proclaimed gurus spread cliches faster than most customers can sort through the heap, it is (little surprisingly) a significant competitive factor to… well, know what you are talking about.
In any case, if you intend to run your business and entrepreneurship for more than a few months to come.
Whether your business idea is to sell fried insects to climate-smart hipsters in central London or to sell plumbing accessories to end consumers in Australia, your mindset should be the same: to be the best in your niche, the expert everyone trusts.
This is how successful entrepreneur and sales expert Patrik Nordkvist writes about the importance of having expert knowledge of what you talk about:
“By taking the role of an expert, you will get more inquiries from potential customers instead of having to chase so much. You will also have the advantage when the customer wants to do business as you already have a deeper relationship with the customer and you have helped with the solution itself. The more you are perceived as the expert, the less competition you will feel as you become the natural choice.”
Source: saljarnas.se | Link
Video (Bonus Tips): Tips on finding the perfect niche
3 … and prove it to your customers
The other side of the coin is that it is not enough for YOU to know that your expertise is a gift from gods. You also need to find ways to prove this to your customers.
And reliability takes time to build up. Just like in a relationship.
In the beginning, when few know about your business, the ability to just reach out more people plays a big role. To some people, social media has made this task simpler, but also more difficult.
Easier because the field is open to everyone.
The overall reach of Google and Facebook now covers a large part of the world’s population.
And unless you have fully customized your target audience analysis, you can be sure your customers are out there. In the digital world, ready to consume the brand that triggers their interest.
More difficult because the competition is often deadly.
Which leads to us often underestimating the knowledge and time that is required to create something other than clichés and dozens of content that nobody cares about.
To really “reach out” on Social Media, hundreds of dissertations are written every year. So in this post, we content ourselves with finding a hard, but necessary, truth:
Customers don’t give a sh*t about how good YOU say you are. No matter how honest you are.
Yet it is common for companies to send out messages about their perfection and then stand and scratch their heads like a bunch of lobotomized baboons in wonder why only the closest people have read the content.
So instead of self-recognition, it is important to create content (and Social proof of your excellence) where “independent” parties are allowed to speak: such as your customers, suppliers or other stakeholders.
4. Give away knowledge for free (but don’t work for free)
Again: your customers don’t care about your self-recognition. On the other hand, they listen very carefully to what EVERYONE else says about your company.
In summary (and a little simplified) you can prove your knowledge in two ways:
- By showing off what EVERYONE else is saying about your business.
For example, you can show reviews that customers have submitted on Google / Facebook / Trustpilot etc, which in turn requires you to create a simple infrastructure where your customers want to leave positive reviews about your business.
- By giving away knowledge for free.
You should always be generous with your knowledge. This way you prove to your customers that you know what you are talking about
Get well paid for the value you deliver!
Note that “giving away knowledge” is not the same as “working for free”.Being a naive “I dare-don’t-take-pay-less” is a quick recipe for draining even the best of business ideas.In other words: you can give away knowledge, but for all the world, you pay substantially for the value you deliver.
In fact, “free” is an incorrect expression in this context.
Rather, it is about giving away knowledge that proves you know what you are talking about, to gain the credibility and expertise of your customers.
For example, you can share your knowledge at network meetings by inviting your customers to a seminar, webinars, etc.
Regardless of the channel, it is about offering knowledge that your potential customers benefit from, and that builds your credibility and expertise.