There are a number of articles touting the best 10 commandments that all entrepreneurs should adhere to. In fact, Silicon-Valley based author, entrepreneur, speaker and evangelist Guy Kawasaki did a talk titled “The Art of Innovation”. He summarises into a 10 point manifesto which is geared towards teaching entrepreneurs how to create a value proposition their customers will value. These 10 points are invaluable and every entrepreneur should spend some time listening to Kawasaki speak.
However, there are some basic commandments that every entrepreneur should consider as law. And as with the 10 commandments in the Bible, these are simple but effective and will offer indispensable guidelines to everyone no matter their industry.
Thou shalt not expect instant success
No matter how incredible you believe your idea is and no matter how passionate you may feel about it, you won’t experience instant success. Even those stories of entrepreneurs who seemingly made their millions overnight are really inaccurate. There’s a lot of groundwork that must be completed before they reach success. Most entrepreneurs have been refining their ideas and innovations for a long while before they actually became the success that we know them to be. No matter how instantaneous it appears, no entrepreneur woke up one morning and made their first million. It takes a lot of hard work, sweat, and determination.
Thou shalt not give up
You cannot give up. No matter how many times you fail, you must try again. The trick is to try different things until you find what works. If you’ve an innovative mind and you’re a determined entrepreneur then you’ll easily be able to find a new and improved way of finding the success you’re after.
Thou shalt accept and embrace failure
Every “no” is one step closer to the “yes” you need. If you think about it in this way, you’ll find yourself even more determined to succeed. Failure teaches you many things and if you embrace it you’ll only reap rewards from these negative experiences. You can use the failure you experience to refine your idea. And, if you listen carefully those who are saying no to you, they are also telling you what you need to succeed.
Thou shalt have an online presence
Going digital is vitally important if you want to succeed. The modern consumer is a digital one and they expect to find your business online. If they can’t find you on the internet, they are unlikely to trust you especially when every one of your competitors is online. Without a digital presence, your business will become quickly obsolete. And the digital age is not going to come to an end any time soon, if at all. So before you do anything else, make sure you set up an internet presence.
Thou shalt listen to unhappy customers
As a fledgeling business, you’re likely to upset some of your new customers. You’re new to the game and so making mistakes is inevitable. But this means you’re going to anger a few clients. They’ll have expectations and you won’t be able to meet them. Often times you won’t even understand why you’ve upset the client. But these angry people will also give you crucial information indicating exactly what you need to pay attention to in your future dealings with new customers. Also, they’ll let you know exactly what needs to change about your value proposition to make it more valuable or attractive.
Thou shalt stop comparing yourself
There’s simply no point to comparing your idea or company to others. Not until you’ve done sufficient competitor analysis and in-depth research can you draw any comparisons. And even then, this is not about creating a comparison it’s about finding your competitor’s weakness and your untapped resources.
Thou shalt not be afraid of starting small
Many new business owners believe they need everything to be big in order to succeed, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Forget about the office space, the major marketing campaigns, the branded stationery, or the company vehicle. Focus on your offering and creating your client base. Focus on forming relationships with those who can help you grow and remain a small operation for as long as possible. This is why many entrepreneurs decide on the bootstrapping financial strategy for their new company. This means that their entity only grows within it’s means and mitigates against the business landing in debt.
Thou shalt never stop learning
Believing that you know everything you need to know is how you get a first class ticket to failure. You must continue to be curious and always keep learning. Don’t ever stop. The business world is constantly evolving and if you don’t keep on reading, networking, chatting, asking questions and so on you will fall behind. Being arrogant enough to think you can take a break from knowledge will land your business on top of the pile of other redundant enterprises that are simply no longer relevant.
Thou shalt network
This is difficult for many people, because it takes time and a whole lot of energy. Not everyone enjoys conferences, seminars, functions, cocktail parties, and the like. In fact, nowadays more people want to stay home. But as an entrepreneur, you have to spend your free time focused on your work too. You can’t switch off at the end of the working day if you hope to be a success. By attending networking events you’re fishing for affiliates who can either teach you, support you or connect you with your counterparts.
Thou shalt be fearless
There’s no place for fear when you’re an entrepreneur. You simply channel any fear you have into motivation. At any moment you feel afraid or insecure you need to force yourself to continue moving forward. Fear can paralyse you and prevent you from seizing opportunities that may never present themselves again. You don’t want to live with any regrets, and if you don’t risk a little you’ll never get the rewards you’re chasing.