When entrepreneurs are asked about great people that they look up to when starting a new business, most will probably mention the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon musk, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos.
We love them for their affluence, money and name that they have built for themselves. However, most of us do not want to interrogate into the journeys that built them to what they are today. We never seek to know the paths they have taken to be where they are.
We do not want to go back to those dark days when they were starting out and facing one hurdle after the other. We just want to be like what they are today. But we need to realize that their journeys have been tough and not smooth at all. They had to have grit, willpower and zeal to be better.
When asked how 2008 was for him and his ventures by CBSNews, Elon Musk broke down. It was a dark year for the SpaceX and Tesla founder. His empire was going down; hemorrhaging money. And since calamities never come singly, his wife was divorcing him. So there he was, between a rock and a hard place.
“It’s bad enough to have three strikes. Having four strikes is really kaput,” he says referring to the three attempts he had made at trying to get the companies up and running.
Things were neither rosy at work, nor at home.
What was he to do? It was only by grit that he beat the financial challenges that he was facing and like the legendary phoenix that he is, rose from the ashes.
Here, we look at 8 lessons that millennials can learn from these tech giants.
- Be stubborn even in the face of challenges
All businessmen face challenges in their paths to success. Yes, nothing is going to be served to you on a silver platter. You will have to work your butt burning the midnight oil into the most ungodly hours.
But the beauty of it all is that even if you do not succeed, you will have learnt immense lessons from your efforts. So, don’t shy away from trying whether you want to start a new business or expand your venture into new locations or niches. Just do it and see how things are going to pan out.
- Be ready to sacrifice your all to achieve success
While many people perceive successful entrepreneurs as lucky and talented, the truth cannot be further from that. Success is just 1% talent while the bulk of the equation can be explained by the efforts, work and hours that you put into your craft. You have to be willing to do crazy things, forgo every fancy thing and outing so that you can concentrate on your business.
But most young people will just not understand this. They want overnight success. To start something today, have it soaring today and reap from the same in a matter of days.
Unfortunately it is never that easy. And so they try so many things. Failing after every try. That sucks.
Jeff Bezos has a nice way of putting it. When invited to talk to high school kids, he told them that we all have a passion. But it is upon each one of us to make a calling from that passion. That is the only time we will surely see a difference in our lives.
- Be bold
When asked one thing that he would like to teach his team at Amazon, Jeff Bezos told MotivationHub that the ecommerce giant is nothing but a bold bet that went well. He asked entrepreneurs to be bold and experimental. Yes, they are going to fail but when they continue making the bold bets, they will surely make one that will pay for all the failures that they have experienced in the past.
- Go big or go home
It does not serve anybody to pretend to be small when you can be great and surprise yourself and others. Looking at the stories of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, one thing resonates in their lives; their affinity for risks. They are people who saw opportunities and chanced on them. They did not think themselves small or anything. They just went ham on all that they were doing. Now look at them, they are the inspiration of many businessmen and wannabes.
- Hire the best minds
All these tech giants have one thing in common. They hire the best. No dunderhead is going to get an employment position at Amazon, Google or Apple especially if the job position requires someone to think fast and have a brilliant brain. Their job placements have a rigorous process that you will have to be prepared adequately if you are to pass through.
- Think fast and quick
Jeff Bezos says that one thing that has made Amazon stand for decades is because it is able to lean on the future. He advises startups to copy this; leaning on the future. For businesses that do this, they are always assured that they will still be there even tomorrow when others are being thrown out of the market for being obsolete.
- Work twice as hard as other people
When asked by Vatornews why he is successful, Elon Musk said that he works twice as hard as other people. When he was setting up Tesla, his motor company, he says that he would go for 22 hours working. Rarely are you to find successful people goofing off. They will always have something that they are working on.
Inc reports that Bill Gates spent all his free time at school learning programming from an old teletype terminal computer. His hard work surely paid off since he went on to use the knowledge he had mustered to found Microsoft.
- Invest in technology
With the advent of technology, you need to make sure that your business has a good online presence and that you are able to deliver products or services to your customers without necessarily meeting them.
Your products also need to lean into the future. You do not want to invent products that customers are going to use for a few years before they ditch them because they are outdated. No, you want awesome products that will last for long and will get your customers saying nice things about you.
- Have a foolproof marketing strategy
Marketing separates serious ventures from wannabes. You need to invest lots into your marketing. Apply all the laws of Robert Cialdini such as having social proof, making your customers feel indebted to you by granting them freebies as well as having a sense of urgency in your sales pages.