7 tips for serial entrepreneurs
When you think of entrepreneurs, you likely think of big names like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. Would it surprise you to know that one of these is actually a serial entrepreneur?
Richard Branson, whose Virgin Group owns more than 200 companies, embodies the meaning of serial entrepreneur. Others in this category are the Samwer Brothers – early investors in Facebook who built and sold several multi-million-dollar companies within a decade – and Wayne Huizenga, who founded nine successful companies and owned three sports teams.
So what is a serial entrepreneur and what sets them apart from a regular entrepreneur? All of these business leaders share common traits and skills that you, too, can develop.
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What is a serial entrepreneur?
A serial entrepreneur is someone who is always coming up with new ideas and starting new businesses, then moving on to the next. They don’t hesitate to close businesses that aren’t performing well or sell businesses that have reached a certain phase in the business cycle. They may also “step back” from the day-to-day dealings and focus their attention on starting new ventures, but still retain a stake in each business.
Typical entrepreneurs will start a single business, play a key role in growing the company and see it through to adulthood. Then they’ll create their exit strategy and retire or move on to another organization. Serial entrepreneurs move much more quickly, sometimes starting and leaving multiple businesses within a few years. This type of entrepreneurship requires a specific skill set.
How to be a successful serial entrepreneur
Serial entrepreneurs aren’t always successful. Richard Branson had plenty of failures under his Virgin umbrella, including Virgin Vodka and Virgin Cola. Huizenga founded Blockbuster, which had its moment before going bust in a spectacular way. So what is a serial entrepreneur? It’s someone who has practical knowledge, useful skills and the right mindset to overcome fear of failure. Here are Tony’s seven tips to be a successful serial entrepreneur.
1. Discover your inner strength
The number one trait that allows serial entrepreneurs to keep aiming high despite setbacks is inner strength. Inner strength comes from a deep, unstoppable conviction that you deserve to achieve your dreams. A knowledge that you are on the right path, even when you falter. You can develop inner strength by examining and overcoming your limiting beliefs.
2. Develop a growth mindset
People with a growth mindset believe in their ability to change. To develop a growth mindset, understand that life is happening for you, not to you. This allows you to think of problems as opportunities and find the lesson in every failure – two keys to the true meaning of a serial entrepreneur.
3. Create a strong vision
We can’t understand the serial entrepreneur meaning without understanding where this inner strength and ability to grow comes from. It all goes back to having a strong, clear vision. Serial entrepreneurs are aware of their deepest needs and their purpose in life – and connect each venture back to both. This perspective allows them to move on when a project is no longer serving them.
4. Improve your creativity
Many people believe that creativity is innate or that it only relates to a specific set of talents: painting, writing, music and so on. Neither of these beliefs are true. Creativity is an essential part of leadership and a top trait of serial entrepreneurs. It takes constant imagination to come up with so many original ideas and innovate across multiple companies. You can develop creativity even if you don’t think you were born with it.
5. Use the power of leverage
The difference between success and failure in business is knowing what you don’t know. Serial entrepreneurs make up for the gaps in knowledge by using the power of leverage. Leverage means using your existing resources to get what you want. In business, you can use your connections to develop your skills, foster relationships to get ahead and develop raving fan customers to gain referrals and sales – all examples of leverage.
6. Commit to CANI
The ability to stay agile and quickly adapt is vital to serial entrepreneurs. They don’t get attached to an idea or business. They get attached to fulfilling the needs of their customers. If a business is declining – or never gets off the ground – they’re able to leave it behind without question. Serial entrepreneurs know that if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. They commit to constant and never-ending improvement (CANI) in a way most of us only dream of.
7. Find the right community
We’ve definitively answered the question “What is a serial entrepreneur?” Do you recognize yourself in this definition? True serial entrepreneurs are a rare type of person. They are driven, creative and have a high risk tolerance. They are addicted to growth, and uncertainty is likely one of their top human needs. As a serial entrepreneur, joining a mastermind group or signing up for an event can elevate your performance even more.