What would the best gift for an entrepreneur be?
It’s Christmas time. I just came back from London. The shopping vibe was everywhere and I found myself asking myself this hypothetical question.
If I could gather together 100 (or 1000…) different people that only have one shared factor –they all define themselves as entrepreneurs (from different ages, genders, different locations, markets etc.)– and ask this question:
“If you, as entrepreneur, could get any gift you want, what would it be?”
What do you think their answers would be?
How many of those entrepreneurs would ask to get the funding they are looking for?
How many would ask to become rich? Or to have “a successful exit”? To succeed?
If I could choose what to give every entrepreneur I met with (several thousand in the last eleven years), these are the gifts I would like to give:
- I would give every entrepreneur the ability to turn their entrepreneurship to a profitable business – fast.
I chose this one first, not because it’s the most desirable or most important gift, but because it’s something that almost all entrepreneurs plan for and need and I believe it’s quite easy to achieve.
Somehow along the way, many entrepreneurs were convinced that gaining customers and revenue is a challenging mission. However, look around you. Many businesses manage it. It’s not the easiest thing to do but it’s definitely doable and it’s much easier than establishing a startup or entrepreneurship.
You do it right.
I think the reason they think marketing and selling is so complicated is because in many ways, it requires almost the opposite skills and techniques as those they used before.
Instead of trying to convince people, investors, and market makers that this new, unfamiliar product or service is good and needed,
They have to listen to their potential customers, understand their needs and pains, explain to the customers how they can use the new solution and how the new solution might fit them.
It can be learned quite easily, but often it requires entrepreneurs use different muscles than they used to push their entrepreneurship forward.
And customers hate to be pushed or sold to, but they love to buy!
- I would like to give entrepreneurs the tools to define their strategic objective (mission), so they have a clear target to work towards.
In order to dramatically increase the chances of a business (any business) to succeed, you need to place the right objective and goals, and then find the best roads to get there.
However, what most entrepreneurs do is go into the market (virtually or physically) with their new solution and begin offering it to those they think might need it. Usually this doesn’t work, because the chances that the people you think might want your product, or those you meet along the way, will need, want, and buy the new innovative product – are minimal.
You need to find the biggest opportunities for your new product or service, set the small goals needed to reach it and start doing the things that will get you there.
There are tools and experienced people that can help you.
- I would like to give them peace of mind for, at least, a couple hours a day.
And I would like to give them a magic wand that would help them realize that they are entrepreneurs who invented a new solution, but that doesn’t mean they have to invent all the other business elements. They don’t have to invent production from scratch, or marketing, or finance, or export.
They just need to adept the right methods and facilities to their new product or solution.
This is one of the most critical mistakes many entrepreneurs make. And I’ve seen the best founders and managers falling into this one.
Since many entrepreneurs haven’t worked in corporates before, and most of them didn’t have the chance to learn from other kinds of established companies, they try to reinvent business elements by themselves, and usually fail. They aren’t trying to use existing methods, nor are they looking for professional help.
And it took me a while to realize that I had the chance to learn about marketing from the best agencies and marketing wizards before I started to expand and build the marketing methods I use today.
The tendency of many entrepreneurs to do everything by themselves from scratch is wrong and leads to failure.
There are also many things I don’t need to give entrepreneurs
I don’t need to give them determination. They wouldn’t keep calling themselves entrepreneurs if they wouldn’t have plenty already.
No need to give them courage. Same reasons.
And I can think of at least one gift I can’t give entrepreneurs.
I can’t give entrepreneurs a magic gift to alleviate their lonely feelings. Most of the time, even when entrepreneurs have partners, entrepreneurship is a lonely business.
Unfortunately, I can’t give those gifts to each and every entrepreneur. I hope that, with time, more entrepreneurs will use the knowledge and experiences the business world already has about common capabilities, like marketing and sales, production, import-export, and more.
That will enable entrepreneurs to focus on the creation of new and unfamiliar solutions, bring more inventions to fruition and to the market, and make our world a better place.
And I absolutely wish you all a happy and successful year, with many new lessons to learn and records to break.
I hope every entrepreneur stays determined and enthusiastic, and keep taking risks. You are the kind of people that create the future.
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