We can learn much about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur by studying great figures from history.
Below are 5 that possessed attributes that made them great during their time. Attributes that will also help us find success today.
Knowledge is power. No one demonstrated, or knew this better than Napoleon Bonaparte. At the time of his birth, a person’s future was practically laid out for them depending on what class they were born in to.
Napoleon wasn’t born into a family of wealth or prestige, actually the opposite. He was born on the conquered island of Corsica, to a family with no influence or power, yet he grew to become the most powerful man on the planet.
How did Napoleon do this?
While his classmates at college partied, Napoleon read. Books became his love, the object of his affection. His lust for knowledge eventually served him on the battlefield. Napoleon’s ability to size up a battle and determine the best way to defeat the enemy was uncanny because it was as if he’d seen every battle formation that ever existed in the books he’d read. Nothing could trick him, and no one could out maneuver him.
How does this help the entrepreneur?
We can’t simply do the work, we also need to learn and educate ourselves. We need to understand our message, our goal, and the best possible way to accomplish it.
A large portion of our hustle should be given to the acquiring of knowledge. The more we know, the better equipped we are to find success.
Thomas Edison failed more than 10,000 times in his attempt to create the light bulb. He, however, didn’t see those failures as failures, but rather as positive steps towards his goal.
Every entrepreneur will face failure and tribulation, those who succeed will be those who persist.
Sticking To Your Guns
We need to know our core values; those things that we hold most important in life. We also have to follow our gut. When Churchill thought something to be true – whether it was or not – he stuck to his guns.
The leader of a company needs to do the same, as does the leader of a country, and an entrepreneur. We have a vision, we need to stick to that vision.
Does that mean we don’t listen to others? Of course not. Counsel is always welcome, and needed to get out of a rut, or to see things in a different light. But it’s our vision and dream we’re trying to create, and we need to be in line with our values. As a company grows, it’s easy to move away from our values, but it’s those values that led to growth. And it’s those values that will keep us true to our original vision and purpose.
Embracing the Struggle
Teddy Roosevelt accomplished more in his 60 years than many would accomplish in 160. He embraced the strenuous life, as he called it.
Hard work isn’t something Teddy feared, but actively pursued.
As an entrepreneur, hard work needs to be your best friend, and laziness your worst enemy. A life of ease isn’t what an entrepreneur will get, probably ever. They’re always creating, innovating and working. But what you will get is freedom.
Do What Others Think is Impossible
Before the light bulb existed, no one could even comprehend that we could flip a switch that would light up a room. It’s the people that at least try the impossible, while others prefer to remain in comfort, that history treats kindly.
William Wallace, in his defiance of tyranny, fought an impossible battle against an enemy too great to defeat. Well, guess what? Wallace’s bravery and courage in the face of an impossible enemy, eventually led to the freedom of his nation.
No matter how great the obstacle, whether it even seems possible, or not, an entrepreneur will do his best to conquer it, and defeat it.
Impossible isn’t in an entrepreneur’s vocabulary. Keep that in mind. Whatever you’re doing right now, no matter how rough the road may seem, nothing is impossible. An entrepreneur is simply here to show the rest of us this universal truth.