Advice from a (very well known and) successful entrepreneur

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To close Global Entrepreneurship Week I thought it would be fitting to finish with some tips from one of the most famous entrepreneurs.

When you ask someone to name an entrepreneur I think at least 90% of the time the name Richard Branson must come up. He is an iconic brand in and of himself, and one of the most recognised (and I expect respected) entrepreneurs of our time.

He has written books and featured in documentaries, but I recently saw a video which brought out a really relaxed side of him and I connected with so much of what he said.

Here are some of the points that spoke to me the most:

1. Desire

To become an entrepreneur you need a desire to make a difference in people’s lives.
You shouldn’t go around thinking “I’m going to become an entrepreneur” but rather you should be looking for gaps in a market that you are interested in filling. Or it may be about seeing  something that is being done but you think you can do it better.

The focus should be on the desire and the interest not on the title you are given by doing that job.

2. People

If you genuinely care about people, can bring out the best in others, and can appreciate, acknowledge and inspire others then you are well on your way to being a successful entrepreneur.

He even went on to say that you should never use the “I” word. It is about being a great and authentic leader, and being a true team. It should be about “we” not “you the entrepreneur”. This is especially true when you are small and growing as there will be tough times and you will need to lead and inspire those around you to ride the rollercoaster with you.

3. Delegation

In order to take your business to the next level you need to learn to delegate. You should be on the lookout for people who are better than you, so you can delegate the responsibility for those particular areas to them.

You can’t do everything, so ensure to surround yourself with people who can do the tasks that you are weakest at (and do them exceptionally well).

4. Fun

Although Richard Branson is probably a unique character and a unique personality, there is still something to be said about not taking yourself too seriously! The process of owning and running your own business can be tough, so it is important to enjoy the process.

Also, if your employees enjoy the company and enjoy being a part of your business they will pass this onto the customers who will in turn be happy and smile and want to be a part of your business.

5. Look after yourself

It is important to look after yourself while running your business. It is important to stay fit and healthy and be able to give your all when you are working in and on your business.

It is also important to find ways for the business to be able to run without you. So taking time away from the business will allow others to step up and take the lead as and when required.

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