To become successful, famous, and be regarded as an authority in your field of interest is a dream come true for any ambitious entrepreneur. Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and others, managed to set the bar for generations to come, and redefined what it means to be truly successful. The problem is that young people got these steps to success all mixed up. Sure, the people mentioned above serve as good role models, but mimicking their life patterns isn’t enough to reach your goals.
To elaborate, if you abandon your education, like Steve Jobs did, you are not going to get any closer to becoming successful. However, if you are working on something with a potential to revolutionize the world, but you need to invest more time into the project to properly execute it, then you may consider taking such a leap of faith.
Still, starting from scratch and climbing all the way to the top is incredibly hard, and things are highly unlikely to go your way. After all, wouldn’t all of us be rich and powerful if all it took was some guts and some startup capital? It’s true that we all love to hear a good career story that lifts our spirits every now and then, but don’t expect others to cheer you on, unless you can impress them. So, if you want to be successful at some point, here are a few suggestions on how to start, and considering how I am not yet at the finish line myself, we’ll all have to figure out the rest along the way.
How to Create Your Own from Rags to Riches Story
Like I said, apart from your parents, close friends and family, no one is going to believe in you without some tangible proof. In order to start something or to build a prototype of your idea, you’ll need resources. This is an extremely tiresome process, but gathering money to start your own project is an incredible test of resolve. The commitment you display during this stage reflects just how adamant you are about your idea.
It may be hard to find the job you would like to do, but you can still earn some initial capital by working as a freelancer or by doing surveys. Furthermore there are skills you can master within months that can be easily monetized in today’s world, so even if you feel powerless at the moment, it shouldn’t take long to restore your confidence and discover new levels of competence. Knowing how to create websites using WordPress, knowing how to fix items or complex machines, even honing your writing skills, can help you a lot during this stage.
Making an entrance
In order to generate some serious momentum in your career, you need to impress the audience. You can do that by either bringing something completely new and useful to the table, which is very hard, or improving an existing model of a product. This is what I meant when I said “justified leap of faith”. You need to have more than just a concept – you need blueprints and solid evidence to back up your thesis, you need to find out if someone else has attempted the same thing. If someone failed, find out why. If no one tried it so far, also find out why.
Clearly you do not have to fascinate the whole world, but every one of us has his or her niche, so it is a great success if you can impress people who understand and share the passion for what you are doing. This is what Elizabeth Holmes managed to do – she created something that pushed the boundaries and could really help a lot of people. We understand the basic concept of her invention, but I bet that those who are fully acquainted with the field of medicine are truly impressed with what she designed.
How to start
Once you have your prototype and some resources, starting the project should be the easy part. There was a time when one had to work hard in order to impress the investors, so if your project could prove quite useful to the community, but, as a result, caused the consumers to spend less money on a certain types of products, there was a chance it wouldn’t be approved.
Good for the community did not meant good for business. Now we have websites like Kickstarter, and for once we are able to decide what we want for ourselves as a community. If what you offer is indeed groundbreaking, people will support and fund your project. Kickstarter is filled with numerous unique projects, and people have great insight into what they are investing in. It is business model where everyone wins.
Of course, Kickstarter is not the only way to go about this issue, as there are many people who managed to make it on their own. This is just my perspective on the topic forged by my own experience, and there are plenty of significantly wiser people who found the path that worked out for them. This is not something that has an answer set in stone. However, a good piece of advice will only get you to one point, the rest you need to figure out on your own.
Find a team
It would be both delusional and narcissistic to think that you can triumph all on your own – the sooner you grasp your limits the better. If people do not share the same enthusiasm about your idea for a business project, then perhaps it’s not a good one. Find people who are capable and who are reliable, people who share your vision, and if you are not exactly leadership material, either change or pass the baton to someone who is. Focus on the virtues you have and on what you can bring to the table, and don’t waste time pretending you are something else.
Spreading brand awareness
Once you start, you need to inform people of your existence, since simply placing your products on the shelves won’t be enough to spark anyone’s interest. Start a website, find SEO services, create social media profiles, and incite community engagement. Guest posts are a very subtle and efficient method for spreading brand awareness. It would be ideal if you could come up with a plan to generate a lot of curiosity. Guerrilla marketing is one good approach for generating positive hype and user curiosity.
Lastly, you should not allow one achievement to be your end goal. All of the famous brands constantly work on improving their merchandise. They use customer feedback, follow trends, and invest a lot in innovation and advertising. It’s an ongoing process, and pressure from the competition forces you to to grow and adapt, so you’ll have to find new ways to keep up.
You need to be omnipresent, yet not too pushy. Send two to three e-mails a month, don’t spam inboxes. Use both employee and customer-based incentives to shepherd your career in the right direction. Luckily, you don’t have to beat around the bush here, as far as business tactics are concerned there are well-established ways that still work and are used all the time. These tactics only vary depending on the line of work you are in.