The phrase “Starting from Nothing” usually makes people think of someone who is starting a new company.
This is more often referred to as the “Entrepreneurial Model” because that’s what it’s most often associated with.
But most successful people have just as little or less than no prior business experience.
The most successful have often started from somewhere entirely different.
The Japanese entrepreneur success story
One of the most successful entrepreneurs to emerge from Japan is Masayoshi Son, Chairman of the Softbank Corporation.
Son started his career by opening an internet cafe. In 1993, he began the cell phone business that’s now Softbank.
In 2004, he gave up all his shares in Softbank and ended up with control of the company.
And even though he’s started with practically nothing and became extremely wealthy, Son continues to live in a 5-by-10 foot shack in an alleyway on the outskirts of Tokyo.
He’s called the shack his “retirement apartment” and spends all his money from the company on these humble lodgings.
The truth is, anyone can achieve great success if they’ve done their homework and given their efforts 100% and the will to succeed.
Master the art of networking
Networking can be very important for those who want to achieve success.
However, many people view it as a big black hole of old ladies holding out their jewelry trying to score free dinners and drinks.
This is a dangerous misconception. By connecting with the right people, you can build connections that lead to business opportunities.
For example, think of the people you already know and you have a relationship with. Then imagine you all decide to meet for a drink at a local pub.
That’ll probably involve you and them having a conversation that could lead to business opportunities.
Not sure where to start? Here are some practical steps to start networking that’s good for everyone:
- Make sure you always network with people who share your target audience.
- Don’t focus on the business side when you network. Just talk with people.
- You’ll probably make new friends and meet people you want to learn from.
- Always look for opportunities to grow.
- Don’t focus on what you can get, focus on what you can give to others.
All these tips work for everyone.
Building a team
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Although there’s a huge amount of value in working alone, if you want to go pro, you have to consider how to work together and set up an effective team.
This is vital for any business, be it your business or someone else’s. Here are some ideas on how to build a great team:
Build your creative team
You need creative people on your team to generate a great business plan. Creating a great business plan requires an eye for detail, great research skills, and creativity.
Of course, you can’t have just anyone on your team, and you’re going to have to try and work with them.
“A lot of people just don’t have that desire to create the best possible product. I was one of those people.
I thought of myself as not good at creating and just told myself, ‘You can just tell people what they want to hear and get by.’
But the moment you start creating, you start to understand the process, and it’s a hard one.
Once I got into it, I really appreciated my team. They were my anchors. I still struggle with that a little bit, but now I am so much better.” – Mike Phillips, CEO of Omnigrid.
Start with your team
Don’t just use free websites to search for people to work with. Find people you can truly work with.
Find people who know your industry and business and those who are willing to help you grow.
Look for high-quality people
At the end of the day, a great team needs great people. So make sure you find good people, get to know them and work with them.
“There’s nothing worse than being stuck on an island and all your team is working on something different.
You want to make sure that you’re working with the right people because you can go the wrong way in terms of experience and ideas.
You need to have everyone thinking the same way.” – Eric Mu, CEO of ADOXO.
Trust is a very important asset in any team. For instance, you don’t want to make decisions that could damage the trust between your team members.
Don’t go ahead with a decision that would damage the trust because you can get stuck in a bad decision for a long time.
“There were people on our team that I really trusted with decision making, but there were some decisions that they had to weigh, and they would just tell me, ‘You’re going to have to make this call.’
So they’d get ahead of me and make the call.
And it was one of those things where you get ahead of someone, you know you’re not going to be wrong, and you can just make a decision.” – Todd Westby, CEO of Ingredient Select.