I’m always mesmerized by the life stories of the most successful entrepreneurs in the human history. They are so inspiring that even if they’re gone, their legacies still live and remain to exist in this world.
For me, entrepreneurial success is not measured by how much money or profit you make in your enterprise. I believe that the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who created solutions that will continue to help the lives of many people, as well as the generations following them.
In fact, one of my greatest entrepreneurs of all time did not die a rich person. Nikola Tesla died in debt and in solitude in his apartment at Room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel. However, he left us with a bunch of currently useful inventions and solutions that immortalized him and made him as one of the most important people who ever lived in this planet.
Yes, Tesla is famously considered as an inventor and not an entrepreneur. But if we take a deeper look at his life, we can see a lot of great entrepreneurial qualities that every entrepreneur should learn of. I was inspired by him and by other entrepreneurs who are just like him. That’s why I realize the following 10 ways to be a great entrepreneur:
1. Create not just a product but a new industry
Don’t just be a player but be a game changer. Great entrepreneurs work on innovative and revolutionary products that can change a whole industry and improve the lives of many people. They are discoverers and inventors who can provide the world with a better solution to our common problems in life. Nikola Tesla revolutionized the electric industry with his Alternating Current (AC) that we still use now. Steve Jobs of Apple innovated how we use our mobile phones. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has changed our perceptions about social network. If you want to be an extremely successful entrepreneur like them, you have to lead your industry by bending it unto you.
2. Know how to get funding
Many of the great entrepreneurs of our time started from a scratch. That is why finding money to fund their enterprise is one of the greatest struggles they have surpassed to climb to the top. If you want to be a great entrepreneur, you should not just wait for some angels to invest in your vision. You have to reach out possible investors who will help you in financing your brilliant ideas. You also need to have confidence and prove to them what your products or inventions can do to the world.
3. Form the right team
Forming a perfect team is actually difficult. In a team, there will always be one or few who will give you a headache. But the essence of teamwork is not actually perfection – the essence is constant growth. You may not find a perfect team, but you will find the right team that will give you lessons on how to grow your enterprise, as well as yourself. One of the must-have things you will need as an entrepreneur is a loyal right-hand person who will not leave you no matter what troubles you will face in your entrepreneurial journey. Hence, find that perfect person.
4. Do not love money
If you know the story of Nikola Tesla, you will be amazed of the fact that great entrepreneurs don’t really care if their investors and partners will get the most money out of their ideas. They just care about transforming those ideas into realities. Money, for them, is only a tool or a bridge to reach their vision and accomplish their mission. Therefore, if you want to be a great entrepreneur, don’t be hooked by money, or else, you’ll be stranded in a bridge and will never reach your destination. Don’t focus on profit, but focus on the people who will use and consume your products.
5. Inspire humanity by saving and protecting the world we lived in
One of the common qualities of successful entrepreneurs is that they care for our planet. Great entrepreneurs are futuristic – they can foresee what are coming ahead and what will happen to our environment. That is why they ensure that their products would protect our planet from coming perils, like the climate change. If you have the sign of entrepreneurial greatness, you must be doing the same now.
6. Have patience and timing
Great entrepreneurs know that they have a long long way ahead to reaching success. That is why they keep on producing, not only products, but also patience. Moreover, timing is also one of the keys to hitting their target success. Thus, they can afford to taste poverty and other short-term sufferings just to make sure that their long-term goal will be achieved. So If you’re dreaming of becoming a great entrepreneur, learn how to patiently wait for the perfect time to hit the bull’s-eye. Isn’t it a common saying that success is not done overnight?
7. Fight for your dream and vision using your endless passion, focus, and persistence
Many people want to join the entrepreneurial band wagon hoping to become their own bosses and have more time to spend with themselves and with their loved ones. But that’s not actually what is real entrepreneurship is. Great entrepreneurs are one of the busiest people and most workaholic people in the world. They maybe their own boss, but that boss is one of the strictest boss they could have. They are also bold, tenacious, and will take the risk to fight or sacrifice anything just to reach their goal.
So if you wish to be a great entrepreneur, you need to follow your passion, focus on that passion, and consistently work hard to achieve success. Some of the great entrepreneurs in the human history did not even have a wife during their startup because they don’t want to be distracted. Mark Zuckerberg once said that “I’m here to build something for the long term, anything else is a distraction“.
8. Have a great mentor
Every successful entrepreneur has one great mentor. And if you want to be successful, you should also have one great mentor, teacher, coach or master (whatever you call it) who will teach, motivate, inspire, and shape you into a successful entrepreneur. When it comes to learning, it’s not about how many mentors have taught you, how many books you’ve read or how many blogs you’ve followed – it’s about the quality of your training and education that matters. So find that one great grand master that will teach you how to be a great entrepreneur.
9. Defy your worst enemy
You won’t become a great person without defying a great enemy. And who’s the toughest enemy you should overcome? It’s none other than yourself. Yes, our worst enemy is ourselves. That’s why to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to beat the worst self in you. You have to overcome “YOU” who is lazy, procrastinator, greedy, envious, reckless, coward, and unenthusiastic. If you can do that, you will be in a good position to win against your outside competitors.
10. Keep humble
Finally, great entrepreneurs don’t proclaim success and greatness. It’s the world that tells us how successful and great they are. Therefore, stay humble, don’t claim final success, and continue in working like a good entrepreneur who wants to make himself better everyday.
P.S. Don’t complain that the ways above are too hard to do. We’re talking about greatness here.