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There’s No Rulebook For Success

| October 12, 2013 | 12 Comments

Rulebook for Success

Our mind is wired to look for a rule-book to success. For example:

  1. Learn English in 21 days
  2. Lose weight in 3 weeks
  3. Start your business in 7 days

This happens because our mind is hardwired to work in the past. This is an important concept. Understand that our mind makes predictions based on our past experiences. We become uncomfortable when we don’t know what to expect. You have felt this already when you trip over something while walking and you can see how you start to sweat and become overly alert. Your mind is baffled. Because of how our mind is constructed, it needs a rule book to follow.

You need to stop looking for a rule book to success. There is no such thing. You can learn from other people experiences, but focus on creating your own. Other people’s experiences are a good starting point, but don’t try to experience the exact same thing. Life is about creating your own experience. Grasp their stories and develop qualities like foresight, determination and resiliency.

Test your perseverance

When Clarence Daniels Jr. was aspiring to build his career as an entrepreneur, he tried following many rule books of success. Like many budding entrepreneurs he sold his Philadelphia home to secure funds and start a business in the airport concessions market. Daniels did try in many ways to build in his business the right way, but he initially failed. But he did not lose his patience. For three long years he kept fighting, trying and testing business principles and policies to finally become what he is today- Chairman and CEO of Concession Management Services Inc, which takes care of airport restaurant management across the US.

The company now uses its industry based knowledge to move up the ladder, instead of noted and quoted rules of success in business. It has capitalized on issues governing the airport concession markets and developed a new approach to licensing. The company pays restaurant owners attractive licensing fees to allow them to own and operate their concepts in airports.

Plan your product instead of just ideating

Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn also tested and tried his business ideas a number of times following stereotypical rule books to launch his premiere business. In 1997 when he launched SocialNet, a dating website, he understood that business tactics are more important for a product to go successful across the market. In one of his interviews he mentioned “At first, I thought all you had to do was build a high-quality product but the valuable thing is getting in front of millions of people.” Using his own tried and tested experience Hoffman believes, product distribution and financing options should be sorted out before everything else comes in line.

One major step that you need to take to achieve success is to keep questioning yourself, like “Have I made it large?” Yes, this matters. Instead of following how someone else faired in his/her job, question yourself to find out whether you have been successful in making a path-breaking mark.

Visualize the unseen

Take, the example of Spanx founder Sara Blakely. In her entrepreneurial journey she never worked according to the set algorithms of success. Instead, she just tackled each task as they came her way. She had mastered the power of visualization long before she even thought of making a mark on the Oprah Winfrey show. While many of her fellow entrepreneurs thought launching the idea and a website will be the first step, Sara decided to do the opposite direction and concentrate on building the product primarily.

In an interview she urged young budding entrepreneurs to believe in their ideas and not be solely governed by the B-school rules to success. “Believe in your idea, trust your instincts, and don’t be afraid to fail. It took me two years from the time I had the idea for Spanx until the time I had a product in hand ready to sell into stores. I must have heard the word ‘no’ a thousand times. If you believe in your idea 100%, don’t let anyone stop you! Not being afraid to fail is a key part of the success of Spanx.”

Just don’t remain a blind follower who copies  successful entrepreneurs. Follow your instincts, think beyond the unthinkable and finally pick your way to define Success for yourself.

Jinesh Parekh is the founder and CEO of Idyllic Software, a Ruby on Rails Development shop, that works as a long-term Technology Partner to startups and small businesses. They help young and innovative ideas to kickstart with an MVP and grow into a world-class web application. 

Image Credit: martinamcgowan.com

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Category: Entrepreneurship, Startup Advice

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  • J Tan

    Hey jinesh good article and good citing from other people but it would’ve been even better if we could get more from your own personal experiences, looking forward to another article

  • Julian_Adorney

    Great article, Jinesh! I totally agree that we shouldn’t just follow in the footsteps of other people; we all have a million competitors, and odds are about half of them are doing just that; so if we just do the same, we’ll get lost. We need to innovate and try radically new ideas.

    I’m helping to launch my first company now, and I’m actually keeping a notebook of ‘Bad Ideas’ (ie things that haven’t been tried before); lots of them are genuinely bad, but some are creative and might help us stand out.

    What would you say was the most useful innovation you used when getting Idyllic Software up and running?

  • http://www.softship.com/ Ava Cristi

    Well-said! Make your own journey to success, there’s neither a shortcut nor a golden road laid out for you. These entrepreneurs have their own stories not because they followed some book, but because they did it with their own intuition and effort.

  • http://www.callboxinc.com/ Belinda Summers

    Being different may take a lot of risk but it could one of the reason why you’ll stand out from others. Make a difference, think outside of the box and make your company be distinguishable. Nice thoughts Jinesh. :)

  • http://www.it-sales-leads.com/ Barbara Mckinney

    I agree with you,there is no Rulebook in success.You have to create your own rule in reaching it.If you think your idea is better than the others, just take a deep breath and go for it.

  • Andrea Francis

    It does take a special frame of mind to be able to accept your fears and stubbornly head out there every day, face down the rejections, and keep going. We’re not all going to be LinkedIn or Spankx but we can make a satisfying successful business by being savvy and noting what didn’t work along the way.

  • Idyllic Software

    Julian. Thank you for comments. To answer to your question, the innovation we used was “CULTURE & PEOPLE”. Understand that for any consulting company in the world, it’s a head count game. The parameter of growth is revenue which means putting more and more people on projects. Now when you try to grow at that speed, you compromize on quality of your hires. To add to it, in IT industry in India, attrition is the biggest problem. You cannot keep good people with you longer as they are not happy with the growth and work standards. The eco system is flawed. It’s not a win-win situation. So we created a culture where people can grow at the speed they deserve, this means working as partners($$$ included in form of revenue shares) with associates. That also motivates the team to do good work. The clients get best from the developers. The whole eco system is WIN-WIN now. The clients get the best, the developers earn more and Idyllic grows. That’s the magic formula or the best innovation we did at Idyllic. Read thru this article where I explore the Dirty secrets of consulting firms: http://tech.co/dirty-secrets-of-consulting-firms-and-how-to-chose-one-2013-07

  • Idyllic Software

    Thank you Belinda.

  • Idyllic Software

    Exactly. Success needs individuality. If a book could do it, every one would become facebook :)

  • Idyllic Software

    Dark knight rises pushes this concept of Deep breath you mention rightly. You got to cut the ropes to make that jump.

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