Everyone has to start somewhere and most entrepreneurs start with little more than a great idea before turning it into a thriving reality.
Are you starting off in business still looking for your big break?
You might have a great idea, but getting off “GO” can be tough. Maybe you’ve tried a few things, but keep hitting roadblocks.
If you can’t get traction, you’ll fail to attract the top talent to your team and that will leave you running ragged.
It could keep you from landing the right investor so you never get the funding you need to turn your dream into reality.
Not getting momentum could keep you from pursuing a big opportunity that might pay off in the long run.
Bottom line: you can’t get to billionaire until you get started. Remember: Every billionaire was once a beginner.
Learn these 4 lessons every billionaire knows — and used — to get started.
Maximize the Power of Calculated Risks (or settle for normal)
The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. — Mark Zuckerberg
You are in charge of your growth, so it’s time to really start thinking like an entrepreneur.
Don’t be afraid to try things out. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Wins and losses are all part of the game. The truth is that you just don’t know your market until you try!
If you don’t take risks, then how are you supposed to stand out from the crowd?
Your competition has likely taken many risks. If your competition is doing one thing, then do the other. Companies that gamble on new ideas may be more likely to fail, but they are also the ones more likely to hit it big financially.
It’s the big ideas that are going to be the big successes. The crazy ones. The ones you think are a long shot — those are what will take you from beginner to billionaire.
Be fearless — because that is what being an entrepreneur is all about. Just accept it now: To get anywhere worthwhile, you’re going to have to take some risks.
Once you get the hang of this one, you’ll need the next lesson:
Failure Doesn’t Have to Be Fatal or Final (whatever doesn’t kill you…)
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. — Thomas A. Edison
Along the path to success, you’re going to fail. Trust me, I once invested a lot of money in an exercise product by Chubby Checker. Turns out that having “Chubby” in the name of your product isn’t a recipe for success in the exercise industry.
But failure is not always a bad thing. And it doesn’t have to be final, if you don’t let it.
The only true failure comes when you don’t learn from your mistakes. That’s failure.
[Tweet “The only true failure comes when you don’t learn from your mistakes. – Kevin Harrington”]
You know what I tell people whose product isn’t a great success? Test it again. Make changes.
I love that word: pivot. It’s a great way to talk about failure. When something goes wrong, you need to shift your perspective. Take away the word fail and make it about change.
Is the direction your product is going in not working for you or potential customers? Shift gears. What’s missing? That’s what you need to figure out. And that might take more than one round of failure.
It’s not a failure if you can see it as a test that didn’t work. You’ve eliminated a problem. Keep troubleshooting and eventually, you’ll solve it.
I’ve had business ventures that I thought were a sure thing, only to lose money on them. Did I drop out of the entrepreneurial world just because of that?
Those experiences led me down new paths, into the world of infomercials, Shark Tank, and even bigger successes.
Failure is feedback.
It’s information to help you do better next time. It helps you improve your process. Ultimately, success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
So embrace failure. When an idea falls flat, a deal doesn’t work out, or a new strategy tanks, take it as the next stepping stone along your way to your ultimate success.
Develop a Sixth Sense for Recognizing Trends (follow the cool kids)
To go from beginner to billionaire, you’ll need to learn how to read the market.
Not only must you recognize a good idea from a mediocre one, but you need to get a wider lens on your market as a whole. Find where the trends are going — and join them.
Facebook’s first investor is an excellent study in recognizing potential and getting in early. While Facebook was still being run out of Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room, Peter Thiel agreed to invest $500,000 and received a 10% share of the company. When he sold his shares in 2012, he made more than $1 billion.
From just one investment.
He saw the potential and rode the wave to a huge payout.
It’s a waiting game. As Thiel said, “Most of a tech company’s value will come at least 10 to 15 years in the future.” You have to recognize the direction things are going and go with them.
If you’re looking for new investment opportunities, the startup world is an exciting place. That’s where I would be looking if I were a beginner again. There are so many amazing ideas and solutions out there that anyone can invest in.
The world of digital and tech investments can be more volatile than the stock market, but the payoff is huge if you’re willing to take the risk.
You have to be willing to take a leap of faith. I do my research and follow my gut, and it has led me to the success I have today.
Be Nimble and Adapt in the Digital Marketplace (On fire? Rewire.)
Being an entrepreneur today is a whole new world compared to what it was when I started out. Digital marketing has completely changed the landscape of business.
To be successful in the long haul, you need to know how to adapt. Because the rapidly changing business scene isn’t going away — it’s only accelerating.
Whether you’ve been in business a month or a decade, you can always make changes and rebrand yourself. In fact, it’s necessary to meet the demands of the current market. You have to adapt to survive and to thrive.
Being flexible to change sets you up on the path to success.
Much of what I now do is rooted in digital marketing. I shifted my business model from being TV dependant to a digital foundation. You must be willing to change.
When you’re on fire, you have to rewire!
Remember: Every billionaire was once a beginner. Learn these 4 lessons and you’ll be off “Go” and on your way to greatness.
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