ENTREPRENEURS are rare. The small number is of course not a surprise in the light of the adversities that entrepreneurs face. But have you heard of “Serial Entrepreneurs”?
A serial entrepreneur is one who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses as opposed to a conventional entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play a significant role in the day to day functioning of the new business. A serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea, get things started but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture.
A vast majority of entrepreneurs who launched a failed venture do not try again. Their entrepreneurial journey ends there itself as they adopt the “one-and-done” philosophy. But, there exists a handful of entrepreneurs who go on to launch a number of successful ventures. Ever wondered what makes these serial entrepreneurs achieve success in their endeavors? We bring to you seven traits which every serial entrepreneur exhibits:
1. Unbridled Passion
A serial entrepreneur has an unbridled passion for what he or she does, regardless of the final result. Of course, it all always starts with a vision, a goal, sometimes a crazy goal, but then later the strange idea morphs into something real, tangible.
But in between, you have hundreds, if not thousands, of hours and days logged by passionate entrepreneurs who are willing to sacrifice it all to see their projects through.
Walter Isaacson describes this uninhibited fervor excellently in his biography of Steve Jobs, “Steve Jobs, The Man Who Thought Different.”
2. Time Management
Time is the single most valuable asset for each one of us because it is a resource which cannot be renewed and hence there is a pressing need of aggressive, intentional time management for all those who want to be a serial entrepreneur.
How you use your time is very crucial. How much you spend on emails or getting lost on time-consuming projects that should be outsourced or delegated to employees – that’s the single most important factor in the success of every serial entrepreneur.
3. Ability to Set Concrete Goals
There are soft goals, and there are concrete goals. A soft goal is something like, “I want to be successful one day.” A concrete goal is something like, “I want to build a software company that generates $1 million in annual revenues by the end of 2018.”
You see the difference, right? One goal is arbitrary and vague, whereas the other has concrete measurements attached. Serial entrepreneurs set specific goals because they understand that this is the only way to accomplish tasks consistently.
Learning how to set concrete goals takes time and a conscious effort. Many like to use the SMART goal-setting model, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
4. Drive to Scale
Serial entrepreneurs have to ability to quickly accelerate a venture from the start-up phase to a sustainable growth trajectory.
Unless and until you have the potential to scale a venture quickly you cannot move on to a new project or idea. This is a key difference between a serial entrepreneur and a generic entrepreneur.
5. Realistic Optimism
Being optimistic is good in general, but even more so for a serial entrepreneur. Ask Magic Johnson, who embarked on a prosperous business career after a successful NBA career and a less successful bout with the disease.
As a serial entrepreneur, you need optimism to continue creating companies, especially if the last few ones were complete operational disasters. Being optimistic helps you take things one day at a time, one blunder at a time, and gradually fix things and learn from operational mistakes.
6. Curiosity, Creativity, and Innovation
Another factor which distinguishes serial entrepreneurs from other business executives is the innate drive to question things, seek out new information and come up with disruptive solutions to existing problems by connecting various ideas.
To continuously churn out successful ideas, you have to think differently.
And last but most important
7. Know when to move on
Determination and perseverance form an intrinsic part of the entrepreneurial DNA, but it is of utmost importance to analyse when an idea is not working and is a right time to move on. Then only he can innovate, iterate and come up with a new idea.
The key here lies in identifying the failure as fast as possible because holding on to any idea is simply going to cost you resources and leave you exhausted.
While serial entrepreneurship sounds cool, it is a good thing if the individual has lots of unique ideas and is the best one suited to get each one started, but can be a bad thing if the individual stops putting time into a company that needs his or her help, in order to try to move forward with a new idea that may or may not succeed.