Your Billion Dollar Idea Ain’t Worth A Cent
As an investor, it never ceases to amaze Ziad Abdelnour, Founder & Chairman of the Board of the Financial Policy Council, how many young entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that they have a billion-dollar idea. “This is a question that seems to come up in the minds of any entrepreneur. It’s a question that any person who thinks start-ups are like a lottery with better odds? And it’s a question that displays an absolute ignorance about business”. says Ziad
It’s no secret that Ziad K Abdelnour is a champion and living testimony to the power of capitalism, but, chances are, your “big idea” won’t make you an instant billionaire. In reality, most billionaires have several companies, assets, and revenue sources that contribute to their multi-billion-dollar wealth.
Well, it all comes down to a few items that are common to all these overzealous, millennial entrepreneurs: ignorance, overestimation of your ability, and media hype. It has created a somewhat warped perception of what entrepreneurship and business mean, with these few things all in motion.
In a Note to Entrepreneurs, Ziad addresses the following points that he believes it is necessary to start with a clean sheet of paper that only a few have the courage to go ahead and execute.
In Business, Ignorance Is Not Bliss
The fundamental problem lies so much in glamorizing entrepreneurship. These days, it seems like everyone wants to be labeled an entrepreneur. As a consequence, many aspiring entrepreneurs are deeply unrealistic about what is involved in running a start-up. They think it’s all fun and games, and all you need to do is find someone to sign a cheque(raise money), and you’re in business!. But what really makes them failures is their inability to pick themselves back up when they get knocked down by the brutal reality of business.
The truth is that it is a daunting job to run a start-up. Sleepless nights and having to deal with cash crunches, dissatisfied clients, and disgruntled investors are a lot of work. It’s not something that should be taken lightly, and in the process, we need to put back some sanity. The reality is that most individuals are not cut out to be entrepreneurs (you should question yourself if you are), trying to run a startup is only going to be miserable. They will end up wasting a lot of their time and resources and will end up being unhappy and disillusioned if they don’t have a conviction that they will succeed & set realistic goals.
So how do you stop falling prey to ignorance of this kind? Expect that there will be some challenges you will have to conquer. Understand that on the first attempt, you probably won’t get it right. That is all right! Understand that wisdom and knowledge come from each attempt. The most successful entrepreneurs are able to make and learn from mistakes. The truth is that you don’t know anything. You never will, but you grow smarter and stronger with time and effort.
Overestimating Your Entrepreneurial Skills
Entrepreneurship skills can cover a wide range of different skill sets, such as technical skills, leadership and business management skills, and creative thinking. Since entrepreneurial skills can be applied to several different job roles and sectors, it can require learning many types of skill sets to improve your entrepreneurial skills. For example, you can need to improve your business management skills to be a successful business owner. You might need to develop your leadership and communication skills to create and maintain effective project teams.
Many young entrepreneurs without any relevant experience want to dive into entrepreneurship. Ok, I’m here to tell you, just because you worked at a high-profile organization as a top executive, doesn’t mean you know anything about what it takes to create a company from the ground up. The skills it takes as an employee to work your way up the totem pole are entirely different from the skills necessary to start your own company. Actually, let’s demolish this illusion that everybody can be an entrepreneur. It simply isn’t real. Some individuals are better suited to becoming an employee, and that is all right.
So how can you avoid falling victim to the lack of relevant experience? Your best bet is to seek mentorship. Get together with someone who has their own successful business and pick their brains. Ask them to share their experiences with you, learn what the ends and outs of their days look like. To manage and operate a company or brand, successful entrepreneurs will most often rely on their business skills. Developing your skills in business management will mean building up your ability to multitask, delegating tasks to subordinates, and making decisions about your company’s health and profitability. Successful entrepreneurs can also have exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills. This is because many aspects of building a brand or organization may require tough choices, seeking solutions to obstacles, and using innovative thinking to develop plans and strategies to help you achieve your business objectives. Then decide if you have the skills necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. If not, find ways to build the skill sets you are missing and enhance the ones you already have. Take a course, read, sign up for some online training. Put in the work to build yourself up, after all, you will be the backbone and foundation of your company. Without a solid foundation, your business endeavor will crumble.
Don’t Believe the Hype
Media hype is perhaps the most toxic trait that penetrates the minds of young entrepreneurs. Stories of fast growth in business can seem motivating at first. Media may make it look easy, so you’re willing to take the leap. But aiming for instant gratification will set you up for failure. Truth is, there are no ‘overnight success stories’. It’s all about bolstering sustainable growth
consistently. The secret is not to be distracted from what really matters. The desire and patience to stick with something and wait for it to work, even in the larger companies, with a long-term view of things, is certainly something we do not see enough of. There are hundreds of little things that drive growth. But if I noticed one thing, it’s that nothing happens immediately. If you’re going to get results, you’ve got to stick to it for the long term.
Well, what the media won’t share with you is that “overnight” often means many years of failure that came before that. The media outlets weren’t there for the behind-the-scenes moments. They didn’t see the years of hard work that went into building the business from the start. The stories will not say how many times before getting to where they are now, the leaders of the mega-successful companies had to pivot and change their ideas many times. And because they don’t paint the full picture, once their idea doesn’t fall through as expected on the first try, this leaves a lot of young entrepreneurs feeling ineffective.
So how can you avoid falling victim to the media hype? The real secret is there’s no secret to speed up your road to success. Understand that there’s always more to the story. You certainly won’t get the whole story. If you hear a story of someone’s rapid rise to success, remember that you probably don’t really get all details. We’ve all heard those reports of entrepreneurs who in a couple of months went from $0 in sales to six-figure launches. The 10,000 hours (or more) they put into learning their craft, being an expert in their profession, and creating a network before launching a product or starting a company is what we don’t normally hear about. Fast success is the exception and not the rule. There are fast fortunes, but they’re exceedingly rare. Yeah, some people achieve lightning-speed results legitimately, but sustainable success takes a long time and a lot of hard work for most of us. It is a marathon to accomplish your goals, not a sprint. Before achieving some kind of fame or wealth, you’ll probably put in years of work and get no accolades, never be noticed, and earn little (if any) money.
Entrepreneurship is hard and building a billion-dollar business is even harder. Chances are, you don’t have a billion-dollar idea right now, but with time, trial and error, you can develop one. So don’t fall victim to your own ignorance, overestimation, and media hype. If you want to have success as a business owner, you have to set realistic expectations and be willing to put forth the time and effort. Most importantly, ditch the fear of failure because learning from your own failures will create a path to your own successes.