Entrepreneurial talent is a hard concept to quantify. Two people can come up with the exact same product, and one may fail where the other succeeds. There’s a myriad of challenges from design to manufacture that entrepreneurs have to overcome to see their vision become a reality. Obviously, if there was a straightforward formula to becoming successful in business, we would all be doing it.
The biggest modern day entrepreneurs come from a diverse set of backgrounds, each of them bringing their own experiences to bear on their projects. That said, upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the brightest minds of the modern era do indeed have certain traits in common, which may help the rest of us find the qualities within ourselves to help get our own ideas across the finish line.
Thinking Big About Small Details
One thing that all successful entrepreneurs have is the ability to conceive ideas at many different scales. It’s what divides them from, say, just a scientist or CEO: the former works on a micro level, poring over the details of scientific or technological conundrum; the latter deals with the big picture on a macro level, figuring out how to bring a preconceived product to the widest possible market. Successful entrepreneurs, then, are people who manage to do both. It’s the ability to come up with an innovation that has a built-in appeal to the masses that makes for the biggest success stories. People like Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk manage to bring the same technical prowess to running their companies that helped them create their products in the first place.
Risking it All
Dedication and free thinking are also critical factors in being a successful entrepreneur. Having the vision to do what no one else will, along with a willingness to take risks, is what helps people get ahead with their ideas. In fact, it’s fair to say that for most entrepreneurs their professional life is an obsession that eclipses all other concerns. One of the interesting ways this manifests itself is the entrepreneur’s willingness to forge ahead regardless of the risks. Interestingly, many of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs all dropped out of higher education at one point or another, including Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Jack Dorsey. What this teaches us is that entrepreneurs naturally seek to break away from the pack, and reach the point where they go from “learning” to “doing” much more quickly than their peers. What we can learn from this is that impatience can be a virtue, and that if you’re confident you have a good idea on your hands, it’s wise to make the leap to making your dreams a reality sooner rather than later.
Most entrepreneurs stand out from their contemporaries by exhibiting talent and creativity from an early age. Jack Dorsey was already exploring dispatch routing software possibilities and creating open source software that is still in use today at the tender age of fourteen. In a similar vein, Jeff Bezos made an alarm system in his bedroom as a child to scare off his siblings, and Elon Musk taught himself to code and made his own video game by the age of twelve. Clearly, it’s a good idea to follow your passions from a young age. However, for the rest of us, it’s never too late to throw ourselves into our dreams and get on the entrepreneurial ladder.
Philanthropy as a Business
Something else that entrepreneurs all share at heart is a burning desire to change the world for the better. This can be seen in the efforts of many of them to change the way we live our lives and give back to a society that has rewarded them for their efforts. Elon Musk, for example, has almost single-handedly reignited interest in space travel with his SpaceX program, and is forging ahead with electric cars and solar panel technology to help spread the use of renewable resources in our everyday lives.
Other entrepreneurs are seeking to effect change at a more subtle level. Max Polyakov is one such radical thinker. The serial entrepreneur and technologist has leveraged the economic success of his various ventures to help his company, Noosphere, help with startup initiatives and graduate research around the world. Similar to Elon Musk’s activity, Max Polyakov and his company Firefly Aerospace help forge ahead with NewSpace to improve space activity with small satellite technologies and reduced launch costs. For men like Max Polyakov, thinking big is the name of the game, and if that means bigger than Planet Earth, so be it.
Going it Alone
We all want to be exceptional people, and entrepreneurs around the world are showing us how it’s done everyday. To be an entrepreneur, you have to think outside of the box creatively and be able to spot opportunities where others can’t. Added to this, it’s crucial to have the nerve and tenacity to take big risks and put your money where your mouth is when it comes time to execute on your plans. However, as men like Max Polyakov and Elon Musk have shown us, the rewards of believing in yourself can help change the world, as well as bringing in riches.