5 Growth lessons from successful entrepreneurs

Starting a business from scratch is not everyone’s cup of tea. Some wins, some fails, but the race to reach the goal is always ongoing and the rewards you get in return are worthy of the effort.

The promise of these rewards are fueling today’s startup boom, and everyone wants to become a successful entrepreneur. But not everyone who wants to, becomes one. The history is filled with the records of many unsuccessful startups who shut their doors off in a few months into their journey.

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On the other hand there are also some who were once a mom and pop joint and today are dominating the startup market like Walmart or Starbucks. So before jumping into the risky world of entrepreneurship, it’s always prefered to learn from other’s mistakes.

Entrepreneurs don’t noodle, they simply do what they love

The hardest part of any business is starting. We heard lots of people talking about leaving a big company and starting their own business. They have a big idea but when the time comes, they simply back off.  The straightforward trick is to get started with what you love doing.

Once things are in motion and you are committed to it, there is no other way to go but forward. So if you are thinking of starting a business, you really need to love it and get things started, because not everybody is going to love it.

“You have to do what you dream of doing even while you’re afraid”

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That’s what Arianna Huffington, the co-founder of Huffington Post implemented in her life to become successful.

Follow your instinct along with your intellect

Becoming successful has a lot to do with your instinct and determination. People might make you a laughing stock for giving up everything after a simple idea, but make their comments your strength and focus on moving forward.

During an interview with Richard Branson (founder of virgin group), he gave one of the best pieces of business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

The best business ideas come from bad personal experiences. You just need to keep your eyes open, and you are going to find something that frustrates you and makes you think, ‘well I could have done it better’, and there you have a business.

Think small rather than going after a big idea

Never set broad goals. Instead start with what you have in mind at that time. Focus on setting and achieving small incremental goals rather than deciding on how the company should look in the years to come.

Kevin Systrom once thought to build a location based mobile business like Foursquare. Instead he found only a part of it, that is a photo app. And when he launched it, he was surprised by the customer traction.

So he focused only on this photo app (quite a small idea as compared to Foursquare), he named it Instagram and today he became Insta-rich by this. So here is his piece of advice to hopeful entrepreneurs:

If you can’t write your business idea on the back of your business card or explain it to a ten-year old, you probably have a big, bad idea.

Your mistakes are your business lessons, learn from them

Just do it. The best way to learn anything is by doing it. When you start, it’s inevitable that you will hit the wall, or may be you hit ten walls of failure before reaching your goal.

But that doesn’t mean you simply give up. Building a brand is like crossing a valley of death where you experiment and tweak your fledgling ideas so some breakdowns are always expected. You should not simply sit around and wait for someone to pick you up and help you execute your ideas.

After all, making excuses never helped anyone. A good example of this is Sophia Amoruso- founder of Nasty Gal who took her idea from an eBay store to a multi-million dollar empire with her own line of clothing.

Here’s the best piece of advice that she gave to the aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Don’t give up, take nothing personally, never take no for an answer; you never know what you might learn along the way.”

Focus is the key

If you ask successful founders what they considered the key to their success, mostly will say “focus.” The reason behind the imbalanced financial conditions of a business can be the diversion of resources to the activities that are not too critical for your success.

And such decisions are the results of lack of focus. It is like the premature scaling of a business where you try to do too many things at once or are pivoting too often. It is easy to get stuck when your mind is not focused in a singular direction.

Ann Winblad, a partner at Hummer Winblad Venture Partners says, “It’s not about how fast you pedal, it is about how clearly you focus. When you are moving too fast but have no sight of destination, it’s not going to get you anywhere.

Manage your time. Choosing how to spend your time and deciding which opportunities to pursue can make a huge difference in your chances at success when starting a business.

You need to give your full focus to the things that only you can do in your business, outsource the rest.

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