The Path to Successful Entrepreneurship
The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is often long and tedious, full of
trial and error and setbacks. However, for those who are able to persevere and
overcome those setbacks, the rewards can be significant. The world is full of people
who dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Some of them want to start a business,
others want to create a groundbreaking new product, or solve an existing problem
with a disruptive solution. However, the large majority of people who want to start a
company or become an entrepreneur either don’t ever get started or fail miserably.
So how does one go about becoming a successful entrepreneur and what does it take
to start a successful company?
Choose Something That Matters to You
Recently, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg shared some of his insights
about starting a company in an interview with Y Combinator. Mark started his own
company when he was only 19-years-old, so he knows a thing or two about getting
started early in life. However, he has some words of advise for any young person
who wants to do something to impact the world. “I always think that the most
important thing that entrepreneurs should do is pick something they care about,
work on it, but don't actually commit to turning it into a company until it's working.”
In reality, he said, a large percentage of the best companies that have been built
have followed this pattern.
Motivated by a Desire to Make a Difference
In other words, the best companies often come from people who are passionate
about changing something but not necessarily from people who decided upfront
that they wanted to start a company, without really having a product or service in
mind. In Facebook’s case, for example, Mark says he didn’t really set out to start a
company and he wasn’t really sure of the moment it became a company. “I think it
became a formal Delaware company when Peter Thiel invested about six months
in.” Despite it’s initial promise, he said his plan was to actually go back to school and
continue his education, while working on Facebook on the side.
A Company Born Out of Necessity
He and his partner just got busier all the time but they still didn’t drop of school.
However, as the workload increased it became more evident that they couldn’t do
both at the same time. Eventually they told Harvard they were going to take a
semester off. After that, they took another semester off and then it turned into a
year off. They ended up not going back. So for Mark, even though he wanted to keep
working on Facebook and taking it to loftier places, he didn’t start out dreaming of
building a company. It was only after he and his partner, and eventually their
investors, developed the groundwork of what would become the largest social
media platform in the world, that they realized it was time to start a company.