The simple truth is that every monumental endeavour can only be achieved in increments. In business, perseverance means leaning forward, walking one foot after the other into the chill entrepreneurial wind until you’ve reached your milestones and eventually achieved your goal.
Many people fail because they give up at the first sign of difficulty. On the other hand, almost every success story includes an element of endurance and determination. Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean trailblazing entrepreneur, initially had 2 big businesses liquidated one of which had over 2000 employees, endured a 5 year legal battle that had him go before the supreme court and constitutional court over 28 times.
If you promise yourself to do at least one thing every day to further your plans, at the end of a year you will have made almost over 300 positive steps to achieving your goals.
Honour the paths of the Ancients
When someone says, “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” what they’re really saying is, “The wheel already exists–and it may be just fine as it is.” It’s good advice.
While there may be an opportunity for improvement in every corner of the business world, that’s not the same as saying that all corners need improving. Every industry has history. Study it. Understanding and respecting what has come before will help you identify core strengths, recognize new opportunities, and avoid the loop of old failures.
Seek out the stories of the veterans, the founders, and the ground-breakers. Take them to coffee and take notes. You won’t be replaying their stories in your life’s plan, but you will benefit by understanding their experiences, missteps, and successes.
Of course, you’ve got to be ready when “opportunity knocks.” In tough economic times, however, you could be waiting a long time for that tap on the door. You’re much better off making your own opportunity with a little bit of personal innovation.
Innovation is a specialized form of creativity in which the creation is both new and useful. Sending a birthday cake to the CEO of the company you want to partner with might be creative, but it’s not likely to succeed. To be productively innovative in that situation, you must come up with a new idea or method that will also work to further your goal of getting the deal.
Ask yourself, “What are this person’s needs, beyond the obvious business deal?” Then, figure out how you can fill those needs in a creative and innovative fashion.
Of course, there are hundreds of other helpful skills for entrepreneurs; no single one will be a magic carpet to success. These three, however, will help any would-be entrepreneur get started in the right direction.