There are many secrets to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Three of the most significant are a demonstrated and infectious passion, a focused mission and vision, and relentless execution.
If an entrepreneur does not demonstrate passion about their venture, it is unlikely that anybody else will. It is important that an entrepreneur demonstrates their passion in such a way that it rubs off on co-founders, employees, customers, suppliers, investors, and the community-at-large. In turn, these constituencies should become loyal to and promote the venture if the entrepreneur’s passion really is infectious. A good test of an entrepreneur’s passion is when competitors start to emerge. Where feasible, the entrepreneur must be using the product and/or service for their own purpose, and must never be seen with a competitor’s, except to demonstrate superiority of their own.
2. A focused mission and vision
It is important that an entrepreneur focus on well articulated mission and vision statements for their enterprise, and communicate them clearly. A mission is both an aspirational and an inspirational statement of purpose, supported by a set of high-level objectives, that address core competencies. A vision is an inspirational statement of a future state (reasonably achievable) within the context of a longer-term aspiration (dream). Vision statements may have two components: external and internal. An external vision is a statement of what a community (local-to-global) can become as a consequence of the enterprise’s activities, and the products and/or services that it offers. An internal vision is a statement of what the enterprise itself can become to its constituencies.
3. Relentless execution
Entrepreneurship is about causing change – causing customers to switch products and/or services, or use something that they have never used before. Causing change requires the art of persuasion, and the ability to relentless deliver quality products and/services (almost) flawlessly.
However, before new products and/or services can be delivered, an infrastructure has to be in place to produce and deliver them, which may require considerable financial and human capital to develop, enhance, and maintain.
Building infrastructure requires both project management and team building disciplines, as does the development of customer products and/or services. Thus, the entrepreneur is faced with building an enterprise that has both project-oriented and and process-oriented disciplines for ongoing product and/or service delivery. Building the enterprise requires being able to identify the appropriate talent for various tasks, and building a team because together everyone achieves more.
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