Not too long ago, the world only had knowledge of different industries based on each industry's most famous entrepreneur. The names, photos, and achievements of these legendary few were making headlines in almost every newspaper. Their success turned biography books into bestsellers and feature movies into blockbusters, and their experience became food for thought in universities.
Every entrepreneur, young or old, you or me, want the same thing: to be one of those legendary few. The road is long and filled with obstacles, but it's not impossible. In order to reach your ultimate goal, you need to be CAREful, and by that I mean Competitive, Ambitious, Reliable, and Ethical.
Staying competitive should always be one of your top priorities. Being the best in the game, or at least one of the best is an aspect that will keep your business thriving over the years. You should always be trying to innovate, while also creating fresh content. Jeff Bezos said: "You have to be willing to be misunderstood if you’re going to innovate."
In order to be competitive, your knowledge and expertise of the subject must be as close to flawless as possible. Nobody likes entrepreneurs who are unaware, uncertain, or simply unprepared. If you don't believe me, try watching Shark Tank. In today's technologically advanced society, most of your clients will be connected to the internet, and through a click of a button they'll be able to check the truthfulness and accuracy of your information.
Furthermore, learn how to communicate. A well delivered message is more likely to be accepted even though your solution is not the best for the problem. Know your industry. Know your client. Know the game you're playing.
Fortunately for the best, and unfortunately for the rest, ambition comes together with competitiveness. Think of Elon Musk, one of the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs, in more than one industry. That's ambition: not giving up when nobody else believes in you; always pushing forward, knocking down obstacles. If you have employees, try to make sure that they're at least as ambitious as you are, or as you were when you started. You'll see that ambition doesn't only push individuals forward, it pushes groups of people forward as well.
It can't be stressed enough how important reliability is. I'm sure you've worked with unreliable people in your past. Who hasn't? But you can change what you offer to your clients by hiring reliable people, and creating a company that will eventually be known for its reliability. People want to work with individuals who are dependable, attentive to details, disciplined, and reliable. Walking the extra mile to find reliable employees is one of the main keys to success.
Although work ethics aren't a new aspect of business, it is something we don't see often anymore. Maybe it's because they were never there, or maybe it's because the mindset of the newer generations are simply not embracing ethics as they should. Whichever the case, if you want to be one of the legendary few, you'll need to work on your ethics, and you'll need to keep your employees as ethical as possible.
First and foremost, an ethical leader attracts more potential employees. Secondly, ethical employees attract more potential customers. Of course, ethics isn't all about the business-customer relationship, it's also about the business-business relationship.
You'll find these four aspects and many more in every entrepreneur that's ever had his name in the newspapers or on biography books. Whether you'll settle for less, or only settle for greatness, is all up to you. As Elon Musk once said: "If something is important enough, even if the odds are against you, you should still do it."