Stop Trying To Be the Next Jobs, Musk, or Zuckerberg and Start Succeeding
The tech industry has been able to attract more entrepreneurs than any other. We have people running around trying to create the next big thing. Ask the entrepreneurs of the tech industry who their role models are and you get the same names again and again. People will tell you about how they want to be the next Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, or Sergey Brin. The problem is that you shouldn’t be looking to become these people. Entrepreneurship is hard but if you set yourself up to these people you are setting yourself up to fail.
Entrepreneurship is the Best way to Success in Life
Nothing beats being an entrepreneur. To start your own thing and guide it towards success is an amazing feeling. It is awesome; but in the real meaning of the word, meaning it can inspire awe. Opportunities for entrepreneurship are everywhere and we encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take hold of it. You cannot live life staying in the safe lane; you are going to have to take on a bit of a risk if you want to succeed. Being an entrepreneur isn’t just about the money but there is no doubt; the real money is in entrepreneurship. You will never make more money than when you are running your own business.
The Problem with the Tech Industry’s Role Models
The problem is that we are teaching this generation the wrong ideals. We are teaching them to follow the footsteps of people they should not be. We are setting them up to fail by having them try to be one in a billion. All the people we have mentioned are huge names and no one can deny the fact that they succeeded beyond what most people are capable of. Yet, these people aren’t what entrepreneurship is about.
Entrepreneurship harkens back to the old way of doing things. The reality is that corporate culture is new. The reality is that having a 9-5 job is something that people have only gotten used to in the previous century. There was a time before this when people used to earn money for their skills. Look at the people who are running Laundromats and your neighborhood’s fast food joint. These are all people who are entrepreneurs. The people who open up a food stall hoping to turn it into a restaurant one day? They are real entrepreneurs.
The problem with the tech industry’s entrepreneurs is the focus on absolute domination. In the tech world, you are nothing if you aren’t number one. No one wants to be the second most popular social network, you need to be Facebook or you can get out of the race. No one wants to be the second most popular electric car company, beat Tesla, or get out. No one wants to be the second most used search engine, be Google, or get out. See what the issue is? Entrepreneurship isn’t about dominating everything and becoming a monopoly. That goes against the whole code of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship leads to Success – Even if you aren’t the Biggest
Everyone is trying to come up with the next big idea. Something that will take the whole world by storm when what we really need is smaller businesses that can make the entrepreneur successful. You will not become a billionaire this way, sure, but is that really the standard of success? Are the top 100 richest people on earth the only ones who are successful? What if you had enough money to pay off all your debts, have a nice house, drive a nice car, settle down with a family, and pay for the education of all your children without sweating it? Would you consider this person a success or would you think that they are losers? Is it not success to live a happy life without having to worry about money every day? That is what entrepreneurship is about. Not about becoming the richest person in the world or to be on the cover of Time magazine, but to earn what you deserve and live the good life.
Tech Entrepreneurs are Running on ‘Gamble Everything’ Mode for no Good Reason
Here is something you will hear in the Silicon Valley: “We only have a million users, we need to do something to grow, and we need to do it fast!” There are almost no other industries where having a million users is a sign of failure, but that is what happens when your competitor has a billion users. As entrepreneurs, we need to teach the new entrepreneurs how to succeed. There are hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs you have never heard of and probably never will. There are hundreds of thousands of companies that aren’t famous but they are doing well. Their owners are living in mansions and driving super cars.
What we are trying to say is that you can be very successful as an entrepreneur if you set your sights straight. Don’t try to be Steve Jobs and then fail. Instead, try to be the person who makes more than a million dollars a year and succeed. That is the beauty of entrepreneurship – how many years before you earn a million dollars per year in a job? With entrepreneurship, it could be the next year or it could even be this year. You do not need to start a business that can only succeed if everyone is using it. You do not need to dethrone Instagram, Facebook, Gmail, or Tesla to succeed. You can easily be a big player in the industry while not trying to fight with any of these companies.
How to Entrepreneur
We regularly work with successful entrepreneurs. The key to being a successful entrepreneur is not to have one big idea – the key is to have the set of ideas that will help you make your company a success. Here is a bit of an entrepreneur’s toolkit to help you succeed:
Networking is the number one way to succeed. Yet most people get it wrong. Networking doesn’t just mean going around giving people your business cards and chatting about business. There are many networking events and we aren’t sure they are useful. If you know the person talking to you is just trying to get your money through networking, will you actually listen to what they are saying? Networking is NOT marketing. Networking means having the right links and the right links are forged through hard work, not sweet-talking.
The best way to network is to first work really hard at something for someone. Networking means generating positive word of mouth. Imagine if plumbers went around talking to people about their plumbing business at events. Will they gain clients? Maybe a few, but not really a meaningful amount. On the other hand, imagine that you have a bad leak in your house. You call up a plumber to help you with the pipe. The plumber shows up, does a fantastic job, and does it for a good rate. The plumber just succeeded at networking.
How? Any time any of your friends now tell you that they have a plumbing issue in your house you will immediately tell them that you know a fantastic plumber. They will then tell their friends about the plumber. Before you know it, the plumber will be a millionaire. That is the approach you need to have. When we need something, we ask our friends. Our friends recommend the people they trust. You need to become the trusted party of someone in the industry so they recommend you to other people.
That is how we get most of our business as well. We only focus on giving our clients the best developed software possible. We keep being referred to new companies because of networking. The different business executives are friends and when they meet up, they discuss their business issues. Whenever there is an issue we can solve we get recommended to them by one of their friends we have worked with previously. We are also very successful. Learn from this. You won’t be able to survive purely through pitch decks and elevator pitches – you need actual substance to really network.
If the answer to “How will your business make money?” is simply “We will monetize it!” you are not in a good business. We don’t understand where this trend came from. Being popular is not the aim of the business. Being cool is not the aim of a business. Being interviewed by tech publications isn’t the aim of a good CEO. Would you rather have 10 million users and 10 thousand dollars or ten thousand users and ten million dollars? Your business needs to make money. This might seem obvious but we keep hearing about app ideas and website ideas that don’t really focus on where the money will come from, just on how a lot of users will join them quickly.
Money should be the first thing you think of as an entrepreneur. Money is the most important thing in the world of business. You need money to pay the dedicated people who make your company possible, for the office space you occupy, for the expansion plans you have, and for any business aims you have. Money is the gas of the car that is your business. If your car has a fantastic engine but no gas in it, you aren’t going anywhere.
- You can also Read: How to Make Money from Blogging
Sit down and look at your business plan again. Note where the money comes from. This is the single most important part of your business. Unless you already have millions of dollars and can coast by on popularity for a few years, you need to focus purely on earning money first. You can do a lot later once you have the money. A day will come when the business world will realize that all these tech business with millions of users that aren’t making a profit right now will never make a profit. The whole industry is going to be in a huge state of shock when the day comes. Businesses are going to shut down and people will lose jobs. We don’t understand how anyone thinks it is sustainable to run a company for years if it never makes any profit.
You NEED Sales People
A mediocre product with a great sales team will sell better than a great product with a mediocre sales team. The easiest way to ensure that your business succeeds is to get good sales people. You may have the best business idea in the world, but unless you have the sales people that can actually turn the idea into client and sales your business will go nowhere. We cannot emphasize this enough – you need good sales people. Pay them as much as you can, give them as good of a commission as you can, and respect them as much as you can.
Most entrepreneurs do not understand how important sales are and how unique of a skill it is. If you are an entrepreneur, you won’t be able to understand why people wouldn’t want to buy your product. It will seem like the greatest idea in the world to you and people should have formed a line outside your office by now but they haven’t. Your sales and clients may be low simply because they haven’t been sold on the idea properly.
Sales is a tough job and the way the job goes often defies any logic. We have seen conversations that started with the potential client not wanting anything to do with the company. Any normal person would give the conversation one look and conclude that there will never be a sale here. Yet the same clients ended up buying thousands of dollars worth of services. How? Why? What? We don’t know but that is the thing. Unless you have experience in sales and were successful in it, you just need to accept that there are many things about sales you will just never understand. Some people can never program like you, some people can never come up with ideas like yours, yet some people can do sales like you will never be able to do.
Digital marketing is the single biggest tool that entrepreneurs have these days. Before digital marketing, being an entrepreneur was extremely difficult. You couldn’t compete with the big organizations when it came to marketing because you didn’t have the funds to run a television or a print campaign. Digital marketing is cheaper and it yields more results. You cannot succeed nowadays without proper digital marketing. Here are some avenues of digital marketing you need to familiarize yourself with in order to succeed.
Content marketing means generating content that positions you as a voice of authority. Want people to listen to what you are saying? Instead of just running advertisements, create some content which genuinely interests people. Focus on topics that are interesting for your potential clients. Demonstrate your expertise and you will win clients easily.
Social Media Marketing
Social Media is now the most important media in the world. You can combine the people who watch television, listen to the radio, and read newspapers but still not reach anywhere near the number of people that use social media. Not all companies need good social media marketing. If your business is focusing on B2B, then maybe LinkedIn will be better for you than Facebook. If you are aiming directly at the consumer then social media is so necessary that it is almost impossible to succeed without running a good social media campaign.
- You can also Read: 5 Ways to Use Twitter Hashtags for Business
We love PPC advertising. It allows you to target the demographic most likely to be your potential customers and you only end up paying for what benefits your business. Pay per Click advertising will drive a lot of business towards your company as long as you do it right. You can try it out yourself with Google Adwords or any of the many similar services but we will recommend getting another company to handle your PPC campaign. You will, at the end of the day, end up paying much less with a PPC expert involved because your ROI will be much better.
Get People Better than you to Work with you
Many companies that could have been great ended up failing because the CEO couldn’t handle not being the smartest person in the room. The entrepreneur only has to be the smartest person in the room when it comes to business decision. Even then, you will need the expertise of the people working for your company. If you cannot handle criticism, you will fail. You need to be able to understand that when other people criticize your idea they aren’t sinking your ship; they are alerting you to holes where the water might come in and sink your ship. Work with your people, listen to them, and fix your business when they tell you how to do it. You will end up generating a lot of loyalty in your people if you listen to them. Your company will also fare much better.
Find your Niche and Succeed
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who found their niche. Look at what you can do well and what your skills are. Look at what area of the business world you have the most knowledge about and start a business in it. Do not just follow opportunities blindly; real success comes from successfully blending together your passions as well as your business.
Being an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding things in this world. It is rewarding because it pays better than almost everything else. It is also rewarding because the sense of pride you get from starting something is unlike anything else. It is also very rewarding because you get to live life your way. You can take vacations when you need to, focus on your family when you need to, and much more without needing permission from anyone.
We have said a lot of bad things about the current entrepreneurial culture but don’t take it as a takedown of entrepreneurship; this is a defense of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship isn’t just about being a billionaire, it is about being your own boss and choosing the direction of your own life. We encourage all of us to be entrepreneurs one way or the other. We will not all become billionaires but we will all feel much better and also earn much better than we do right now.
Just make sure that you are a logical entrepreneur. Be someone who follows the money and runs the business on the basis of real business knowledge. Do not be someone who just likes dressing up and giving presentations. Focus on the sustainability of your business and be honest about your business’s prospects. Most entrepreneurs aren’t flashy people who write motivational articles on LinkedIn – they are hardworking people who are trusted by the industry. Become someone of value before you become an entrepreneur. You need to adjust your own personality and develop a strong work ethic to succeed. Also, do not forget about marketing and sales. As long as you stick to these principles success won’t be too far behind.
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