People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. An entrepreneur must see beyond the moment; he must travel to a desirable future ahead of his followers to lead them there, hence, purpose and vision is sine qua non to entrepreneurship. Robert Byrne said, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose”. The hardest thing for an entrepreneur to discern is distraction. Purpose keeps you on course. A hustler is an ‘entrepreneur’ without a definite goal and purpose, a business without a definite purpose is open to abuse. An entrepreneur has a gold mine when he has a goal mind. Charles Noble said, “You must have long-term goal to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures”. Henry Ford had a global goal, to develop the first auto-mobile that the middle class Americans can afford to buy. His introduction of the model T automobile revolutionized the transportation and the American Industry. Ford’s goal was to: create a motor car for the great multitude. At that time, automobiles were very expensive and custom-made machines. During the industrial revolution, cars were like buying a private jet today until Ford created the assembly line, the Ford’s dream: the creation of an inexpensive mass-produced automobile came to reality and today, the automobile is within reach for common People just because one man stuck to his purpose! Robert Brault said, “You can accept reality, or you can persist in your purpose until reality accepts you”.
Steve jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. Passion is the fuel that drives purpose. The things we are created to do excite us while the things we were not created to do exhaust us. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. Jack Welch said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion”. Passion is the only virtue of entrepreneurs that is contagious. Money follows passion and not the other way around.
Margaret Wheatley said, “A leader is the one who has more faith in people than they do, and who holds opportunities open long enough for their competence to re-emerge .“ One of the greatest prerequisite of a great enterprise is that it will require people. The greatest form of bankruptcy in business is not money but people. People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. A company is only as good as the people it keeps. Growth and profit are a product of how people work together. It takes people to make the dream a reality. Bang Gae said, “Team work makes the dream work”.
In quality control, the understanding is that as long as the process is perfect, the product is guaranteed, proper procedure eliminates unwanted consequences. The integrity of the product lies in the process, in fact, the process guarantees the product. George W. Bush once said, “You can’t do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and be in business tomorrow”. Great entrepreneurs understand that in business, if you focus on the goal and not the process, you inevitably compromise. Great entrepreneurs are process focused and not outcome focused, Noam Shpancer said, “the process is important regardless of the outcome”
Price must be value oriented and competitive, pricing is actually pretty simple; customers will not pay literally a penny more that the true value of the product. Katherine Paine said, “The moment you make a mistake in pricing, you’re eating into your reputation and profit”. Warren Buffet, the one-time richest man in the world said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.
Mike Murdock said, “Money is the reward you get for solving someone’s problem”. In business, the man who has no problems to solve is out of the game. Successful entrepreneurs don’t just make profit, they proffer solutions to problems, a problem is a solution yet to be discovered. The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, said “ Every morning when I wake up, I make up my mind to solve as many problems, before retiring home”, no wonder he is the richest man in Africa! Great entrepreneurs think and solve problems for a living, Albert Einstein said, “problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them”. When Albert Einstein was being interviewed to reveal the secret of his awesomeness, he said, “It is not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer”. No problem can stand the assault of sustained thinking.
Profits are like breathing. You have to have them. But who would stay alive just to breath? You must consider the bottom line, but make it integrity before profit. Henry Ford, the father of modern automobile and one of the greatest entrepreneurs that the world has ever produced said, “A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large”. Businessmen who focus on profit wind up in the hole, profit is what happens when you do everything right. Ray Anderson said, “Business makes profit to exist. Surely it must exist for some higher, nobler purpose than that”.
Quality is the best kind of advertising. The quality of a product must never be compromised, for when quality is compromised, profit has been forfeited. Peter Drucker said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well that the product fits him and sells itself”. The easiest way to keep a business from becoming obsolete is to keep evolving and the moment the product becomes irrelevant, the business becomes irrelevant. Steve jobs, the main back bone behind the Apple innovations said, “If you keep your eye on the profit, you are going to skimp on the product. But if you focus on making really great products, then the profits will follow”. Tom Peters, author of in search of excellence said, “Be distinct or be extinct”. A product must meet a unique need; the easiest way to go into extinction is to do what every other person is doing.
Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States of America said, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful man with talent. Geniuses will not, unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”. Where the willingness is great, the difficulties can never be great. Genius is one-percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration (Thomas A. Edison). One of the most impactful inventions of Thomas Alva Edison is the light bulb and despite the plethora of his errors and blunders, Thomas was unflinching in his resolve to make the world brighter than he met it. In response to a question on the number of times he failed, he said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t”. The strength of entrepreneurs lies in their tenacity, consistence and persistence to a worthy cause. Winston Churchill, the former prime minister of Britain said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” It is always too soon to quit (Norman Vincent Peale).
Failure in business is a result; it is a result of not preparing. When you are too busy to plan, you will be too easy to be disorganized. Chance favors only the prepared mind. Henry Ford said, “There are many secrets to success in life but getting ready is the greatest of them all”. When opportunity presents itself, it is too late to prepare. The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his time when it comes, one of T.V screen goddess in America, Oprah Winfrey said, “I don’t believe in luck. I believe that success comes when preparation meets opportunity”.
Great entrepreneurs have been considered to always see opportunities and possibilities even in adverse business conditions. Leaders are not always the first to see opportunities; they are simply the first to see and seize opportunities. Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulties in every opportunity”. No matter the difficulties and failures, an entrepreneur’s sight for possibilities must never be blurred. Henry Ford said, “Failure is an opportunity to start all over, more intelligently”.
In this new wave of technology, you can’t do it all yourself, you have to form alliances. Every entrepreneur needs allies, and the bigger the responsibility, the more allies he needs. If you can run the company a bit more collaboratively, you get a better result, because you have more bandwidth and checking and balancing going on.Bill Gates, the richest man in the world and the co-founder of the Microsoft Corporation has a secret about Microsoft, “Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning”.
(13) POSITIONING/STRATEGIC POSITIONING
Not every environment accepts the progress you want to put across. Positioning gives a business market advantage. The bible says, “A house that is built upon a hill cannot be hidden”, this is also true for a business, there is a place for every business. Right positioning will ultimately give a business a competitive edge. One of the greatest miracles in product marketing is rebranding- just a little change in product content and packaging can cause an awesome change in demand!
Positioning is not only about location, there are place positioning, product positioning, market positioning, price positioning, brand positioning and promotion positioning. In the parable of the sower in Mathew 13:1-8, the master illustrated one of the greatest secrets of entrepreneurship- there is no bad seed, only bad soil!
P.T Barnum said, “Without Promotion something terrible happens ……..Nothing”. When you try to market to everyone, you reach no one, promotion helps in locating our target or prospective customers. Promotion is more than advertising. It encompasses advertising and all other methods that are organized to advance the state of a product. Promotion can be defined as an activity, such as a sale or advertising campaign, designed to increase visibility or sales of a product but in a layman word, promotion helps to attract prospective customers. There are generally two types of promotion: Online and offline, the online involves social medias (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Tagged, Myspace etc.), E-mails, Adds on Search Engines, Podcasting, Blogs, Website while the offline include: in store marketing, flyers etc.
(15) PRIORITY (The Pareto Principle)
The pattern underlying the Pareto (80/20) principle was discovered in 1897, by Italian Economist Vifredo Pareto (1848 – 1923). The principle helps us to manage our resources and time more effectively. It embodies the fact that 80% of output result from 20% inputs; it is therefore reasonable that we invest more of our time and resources on the 20% that gives 80% output and invest less time and resources on 80% inputs that gives 20% output. The principle is also referred to as the rule of the “vital few” and trivial many”. In business, products can be grouped into “vital few” and “trivial many”. There is 20% of the product that gives 80% income; a good entrepreneur must prioritize to give more attention, time, promotion and resources to the product that are the “selling point”.
He who succeeds in his prayer life will succeed in life. He who fails in his prayer life will fail in life, these were the words of Mike Murdock. An entrepreneur must not make God the last resort. Failure in many business endeavors is a prayer failure; prayerlessness is leaving life to chance. John Wesley said, “We can do great things when we pray; but we can do nothing great until we pray”
Don’t Dream It, Be It. Make it happen and it will happen.
About the Author:
Andrew Habel is a result oriented professional with unwavering online presence. He is a subject matter expert in matters Entrepreneurship, Self development, Transformative Leadership and Management. He is a motivational speaker, lecturer and researcher. All these achievements have been achieved courtesy of his resilient utilization of technology and online presence. He is an award winning entrepreneur having won the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship program award of the year 2016. He founded Uwezo Accelerated and Tech Hub which is an Entrepreneurship and talent Incubator and Support Innovations for Peace and Education- NGO and does a lot of varied sector research and content writing. He is an online independent research, Subject matter expert, higher education programs assessor, moderator and lecturer. His mantra is Don’t dream it, Be it. He speaks loudly on many issues about self development, inspiration and positive living, entrepreneurship, transformative leadership and management on his blog https://www.andrewhabel.blogspot.com