What Does it Take to Become a Successful Entrepreneur?

Being a successful entrepreneur means much more than starting new projects every other day. It means having the right attitude towards an idea and the will and perseverance to achieve success. You don’t need to have heavy qualifications, exorbitant money, an over-sized-brain or even a good idea.

While there are numerous skills one must acquire to be successful, there is no “one size, fits all” theory for entrepreneurship. Some of the following insights can help you become a successful one:

The Idea

You definitely need an idea to get started, and if you have a great idea it is already half a battle won. What you need to also consider is that even the most successful companies were not started on some extra-ordinary ideas. Original ideas are hyped. What isn’t hyped is timing. You want to get to a product or service that can go places –now whether it is original or not, it doesn’t really matter. Think of it – It’s generally easier to polish an existing idea that isn’t fully appreciated than to create a wholly original one.

 Stay Flexible & Adapt

Starting a company is a bit like child raising; everyone around assumes that you know what you’re doing, but kids and companies don’t come with instruction manuals. You will stumble through it, learning as you go.

It’s at the beginning where you’re most likely to fail. Your aim is to build that awesome money-making machine, but you perhaps don’t have all the parts and the ones that you need do cost more than you have. Your idea is probably at least half wrong too, but you won’t know which half yet. Trust Us – All of this is normal.

You can make a great business plan, however a great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling. Sometimes entrepreneurs waste too much time writing business plans and preparing power points. Mostly, things never turn out the way it is envisioned. No matter how much time you spend working on the plan, you will still have to adjust according to the ground realities. Remember—stay flexible and adapt as new information becomes available.

 Removing yourself

This is a most common thingmost small businesses never accomplish and hence remain small only.

Think of it – Up until today, your magical business machine almost certainly has one unique part: YOU. You are the one who has been working the hardest in your business and you feel overworked but happy about doing what you are doing.

Here’s the difficult part: you need to make yourself redundant. If you move out tomorrow, your business should carry on working the same way. Your time needs to be spent working on your business, not for your business.  In our experience almost 99% of businesses can’t escape this trap. It’s because what makes your company a great company is you, and unless you can repress you into a business model, your business can’t grow.

 Adaptability & Flexibility

It’s good to be obsessive or even persevering about what you do. But being stubborn about client or market needs will mostly lead to failure. You have to remember, an entrepreneurial venture is not simply about doing what you think is good, but also making a successful business out of it. Market needs are ever changing and changes are a frequent phenomenon. Most successful entrepreneurs welcome all proposals that enhance their offering and fulfil client and market needs. A product you develop for yourself alone may qualify as a sideline interest, but a product for the market should satisfy market needs.

And finally

It is not as difficult as it sounds. I will take entrepreneurship as a form of educated gambling.  Skills and Persistence are big factors which plays a very important role in deciding the ultimate fate of the organization. You should develop a resolve to keep getting back up whenever you get knocked down, stay flexible and adapt as per the situation, keep learning from your mistakes and try different things, you will be successful.

For all of above mentioned elements, some people are naturals at some of them; others may need to be developed.  At Leaderinu, we conduct leadership development program, as we focus on getting entrepreneurs to understand and recognize their own leadership styles, as well as giving tools and techniques they can use to hold themselves and their teams accountable to their own execution.   For more information please logon to our website http://www.leaderinu.in/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in.

Enterprise Lifecycle

An enterprise’s life cycle repeats itself in businesses of all sizes, from start-ups in a garage to corporate entrepreneurship activities in global Fortune 500 companies. It starts with an entrepreneur who perceives an opportunity, creates an organization to pursue it, assembles the required resources, implements a practical plan, and assumes the risks and the rewards, all in a timely manner for all involved. We present the six stages in the Entrepreneurial Life Cycle.

Stage 1: Opportunity Identification

For years this idea has been running in the head and burning my heart. Now I have started thinking about this more realistically, have done market research to understand the dimensions of the opportunity and most importantly have taken commitment from my inner self that I am ready to role this forward. Here you go… The idea has been born, commitments have been taken and the entrepreneur self of YOU is ready to roll. Point to consider at this stage is to have a deep look inside and see if you are really ready for this opportunity.

Stage 2: The Birth of Your Company

Most start up leaders see birth of  the company as the physical incorporation of the business, however this stage actually starts well ahead of that with the development of business plan. Writing an effective business plan requires an intense level of commitment and understanding as at this stage, you are deciding upon the initial vision of your venture. A common mistake entrepreneurs do at this stage is to get started with the venture and holding up the business plan for future. Well this can be fatal.

Stage 3: Launch and Growth

Resources alignment and first sales are typical input & outcomes at this stage. At this stage, it is the entrepreneur’s leadership that drives the company. He would typically wear multiple hats at this stage- ranging from HR to Marketing. Chaos in business affairs is more or less normal at this point and entrepreneurs, who do well at this stage, are able to manage resources and troubleshoot business issues exceedingly well. Both Leadership and management skills are equally important and need to be well-balanced at this stage of entrepreneurship.

Stage 4: Getting Established and Expanding

Post launch, the dust has begun to settle and there is sanity in systems and routines. Role of an entrepreneur here moves to become a helmsman for the organization. He would steer the organization towards clearly defined goals and markets.

Stage 5: Consolidating and turn-around

This phase is characterised by the entrepreneur having to operate in a very tough market environment. Operations/Resources that are not viable may need to be shut down. This phase can be difficult because the decisions involved are the toughest.

This phase calls for the entrepreneur to exhibit the ‘survival skills’. At this stage his tasks and responsibilities are not limited to maintaining a “status quo” but how he can get the company back on track into a growth phase. This could call for reinventing the product or finding new markets and entry strategies.

Stage 6: Liquidity Event

While we work hard to ensure that our creations outlast us, there comes a time when it’s clear that staying in business is would lead you into bankruptcy or would cause such cash flow strain that there simply is no way to dig yourself out of the hole that has been created. Shutting your doors can feel like a failure, but when the writing is on the wall, it’s much better to close up shop before the business takes everyone down with it.

What stage of entrepreneurship are you dealing with today? Do take a moment to recognize where you are in your business and what skills you need to steer successfully through the stage. To get answers to all these questions and to establish your leadership style, please visit us www.leaderinu.in/life.php or join our business skills training program. Based on the life cycle of an enterprise, we have developed a framework to understand the skills required in order to be a successful entrepreneur. It is outlined based on some business must at each of these stages and skills required by an entrepreneur to meet those must or overcome those challenges.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

Entrepreneurship is not just for startups. It’s a lens which all organizations should use to view their strategy and leadership in today’s world to address organizational issues.

Startup leaders are often great visionaries and have brilliant ideas. While some of these leaders have been excellent people managers in their previous roles, there are a few of them who have also been great strategists. Skills required for being an entrepreneur leader are a quite a bit of mix and match of all of these and an entrepreneur needs to keep on juggling with these very frequently.

Let’s look at few essential skills/qualities which every entrepreneur leader should have:

A Vision for Future

You have to be dissatisfied with the present state of things; state of things at your home, may be in your life, or it could be state of things in the society. This should be followed by having a clear vision for future state – how do you want it be shaped up.

 Set Goals

To build a thriving company, leaders need to move out of the well-being zone and move into the learning zone. It is there that they will reach their potential. Entrepreneurs need to set new goals for their own self and their teams. Goals force people to move out of the comfort zone.

Follow up with Persistence & Execution

Once the goals are set, entrepreneur would then need to focus relentlessly on the activities that will get them closer to vision. Without execution, all goals are meaningless.

Be a People Manager:

Managing people is as much an art as it is a set of ideologies and tactics. It’s a lesson that is difficult for a lot of entrepreneurs, who are sometimes so enthralled in their brilliant idea that they believe people will automatically follow. Well, It doesn’t happen that way. To turn vision into a company—an abstraction into a tangible—entrepreneurs must be leaders of people as it is these people who will help you build what you dream for.

 Flexibility in attitude & An Ear for the feedback

Success is something all entrepreneurs desire, yet it eludes many — at least at the levels desired. It has everything to do with habits, principles, craving, flexibility and attitude. Often there’s nothing really different between one entrepreneur and another in terms of ability, as each person can do whatever he or she wants. What it all comes down to is having the frame of mind to set real-world habits and keep a balance between attachment and commitment and letting things happen.

Be open to new ideas, find ways to get consistent feedback on your work – You never know; you might get a better/shorter way to success.

Self Reflection and Continuous Learning

Quite a few of entrepreneurs view their companies and their own capabilities through a set of rose-colored goggles. But unfortunately, if you fall into this strata of entrepreneurs who think that they’re god’s gift to entrepreneurship, you’re going to fail.  Not only will you be unable to see how your company can and should be improved, you also won’t be able to effectively direct your team if you can’t see where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

Successful entrepreneurs on the other hand, spend time carefully evaluating the fortes and flaws of their leadership styles, the organizations they manage and the teams they lead.  By knowing where the company and its resources are strongest, they’re able to plan tactical moves that capitalize on their assessment of advantages

 For all of above mentioned elements, some people are naturals at some; others may need to be developed. At Leaderinu, through our business skill training and executive leadership training programs, we focus on getting entrepreneurs to understand and recognize their own leadership styles, as well as giving tools and techniques they can use to hold themselves and their teams accountable to their own execution.   For more information please logon to our website http://www.leaderinu.in/life.php or contact us at info@leaderinu.in

Entrepreneurship – A Visionary Process

History has been witness, great changes have been led by individuals who had a vision, and were able to communicate that vision to others. They were able to perceive changes, such as technological advances, with a view to the future, and the new skills that needed to be developed to deal with it.

Entrepreneurship by the way it is structured is a process of envisioning something for future, sticking by it and going all out to achieve what was sought in the beginning. We can also call the entrepreneur as a visionary, someone who envisions an idea; who envisions challenges which might come enroute to achievement of his goals and also the changes which will happen to external environment in the future and will directly impact his ability to meet his goals.

A Visionary leadership style is most effective when an organization needs a new and clear direction to follow.  The visionary leader is able to share their view of the future, allowing followers to understand how they play an important role in that future state. By doing so, the followers become committed to making that vision come true.

Let’s go a step deeper and understand a few of the key characteristics of visionary leadership:-

Visionary leaders know how to communicate

A visionary leader has excellent communication skills. They know how to verbalize their dreams and goals and can explain them to their team. For them communication isn’t just one-sided. As more people “catch the vision,” leaders listen to their ideas and thoughts, incorporating them into the larger goal.

Visionary leaders are ‘chief in command’

Visionary leaders can be called as chief organizers. While many leaders have managers that manage the processes, these leaders often set up the organization by establishing key departments or functions. As the organizer-in-chief, the visionary directs, develops and conducts meetings until reliable help is found. During the initial organization, a leader will take the time build a solid foundation through establishing boards, councils or a company hierarchy.

Visionary leaders possess extraordinary gut

Visionaries often possess the ability to see things with their mind’s eye often long before others. This might include certain observations that unlock the secret to understanding the natural world, trends that are still in their infancy stage (or that haven’t even begun yet), or the possibilities of new inventions, discoveries, products, or even new social or historical movements.

Visionary Leaders are Strategic Planner

Visionary leaders are strategic planners. Like a chess player, these leaders plan ahead to make the best business moves. Strategic planning involves creating an action plan with a particular strategy in mind. The leader’s vision defines what the organization will look like in the future and how it will function.

Visionary leaders have the quality of persistence

Visionary leaders have dreams that are larger and more difficult than average persons, and thus an extraordinary degree of persistence is required.

Visionary leaders must possess the quality or attribute of resolution. A consistent push allows the visionary to push through all difficulties, including the opposition of others, bad fortune, insufficient resources, or dead-ends.

Visionary leaders are receptive to new information

While someone who starts with an entrepreneurial journey has very strong conviction about his product and ways and means to achieve his goals, a visionary leader would have unusually large degree of openness to new information. They are constantly searching for new avenues, models, etc as they understand that each new piece of information might get them an answer to questions they have been pondering over for ages.

Leadership development programs and executive leadership training programs are really helpful in making you start your entrepreneurial journey and become a visionary leader.

Summary

Visionary leaders are hard to find, but they share many common characteristics.  It is important for each of the entrepreneurs to develop a vision, it’s even more important that their leadership is visionary. It helps provide direction to the organization, it is believed by one and all, and most importantly it motivates everyone around.


‘It’s not work to follow a vision — it’s joy.’