“Entrepreneurship is almost a way of life, and you only learn by doing,” says Joe Haslam, professor of entrepreneurship at IE Business School.
Essentially, an entrepreneur is someone who starts a new business venture, manages it, and assumes the many risks that may surface while running a business. But more than that, an entrepreneur is someone with an eye for opportunities and a drive to make things happen.
Here are 5 lessons from successful entrepreneurs you can apply to your career:
1. Research and work on your ideas
Every single business model started with one big idea. But to make it a successful one, you have to be sure it is achievable. Jane Caujolle, owner and director at Townhouse Concierge, says it’s important to "have worked hard on your idea, and that it’s a feasible one in the market. To do market research and, most important of all, to ask industry advice." Don’t be afraid to ask for help from others to validate your vision. Good knowledge and understanding of the market around you is key if you strive for success.
2. Surround yourself with a team that inspires you
The people you choose to surround yourselves with will have a huge impact on the way you think, act, and feel on a day-to-day basis. This is why successful people surround themselves with people that push them forward, not those who hold them back. Hugues van Heesewijk, co-founder and CEO at Squarebreak, advices to "have a very strong team in the beginning. That’s going to help you in the bad moments. One of your partners is always going to be in a better mood than you, and then he’s going to help you get back on your feet." If you are the sum of those around you, then make sure they are people that inspire you and help you grow.
3. Patience and determination
We face many challenges and complications in every aspect of our careers. As a professional, you have to be firm on your purpose to face every obstacle that presents itself in your road to success. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Caujolle also has some good advice on this topic: "They have to be realistic as well. A great business takes time to set up. Be patient and determined. Then just don’t give up. Work at it and not surrender."
Passion for what you do is what keeps you working, even when the work isn’t that fun! Haslam says: "Be passionate enough about what you do, so even when you have 50 customer service emails to go through at 11 o'clock at night, you are still interested enough to keep on doing it." The way you express and communicate that passion is what gets people interested in what you do, and what inspires your team to keep up the hard work.
5. Be a people person
To be successful, you need to be able to build good relationships with those around you. Business is all about making good rapport and being likeable enough to make customers want to work with you. Don’t be shy to strike up a conversation! Jan Hoffmann-Keining, co-founder and CMO at Spacebase, says "find a person that in your wildest dreams you would like to talk to and to help you. Say that you need their advice as an expert and so on, just be very honest. You probably have to send a hundred messages, but maybe five people will help you, and that’s incredible."
You don’t need to aspire to be an entrepreneur to think like one. We can all learn from those who have more experience than us. No matter your career, these are tips you can easily apply to your day-to-day life if you aspire for success.
Interested in learning more from successful entrepreneurs within the hospitality industry? Check out the full video where we chat with hospitality startup founders from around the globe.