Become an overnight success in 15 years [Net Prophet]

“The idea will not make you rich”, Andre de Wet, GM of PriceCheck, told the Net Prophet 2013 audience.

Hearing that might make you think that the opposite – hard work – is the solution to running a successful business. While not refuting the importance of both those ideas, the GM of PriceCheck offered another viewpoint.

“The reason why it takes so long to be an overnight success is the journey inside: to want it not because of money, but because you’re alive.”

Money might buy you leisure, but it can’t buy wisdom. And wisdom is possibly the most underrated trait an entrepreneur could have.

de Wet argues that the prime example would be Facebook versus Apple – Zuckerberg versus Jobs. There’s no question who had more wisdom, and it shows in the money. Facebook, as great an idea as it is, does not make money (save for shareholders), while Apple was one of the most profitable companies in the world not too long ago.

Not only will the lessons you learn in life help you build your successful business, but the relationships you form, the network you build, will aid you too. But de Wet warns, “make the appointment” – you are selling yourself as much as your idea so get that face-to-face. Don’t try and sell your product over the phone, just get the appointment. Create your network, so you can have influence.

A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow

Get into the market. Forget about IP, people will copy your idea (if it’s a good one). You can’t stop that, rather be the first. It will give you leverage, and if you establish the market early and get customers comfortable with your product, they will be less inclined to move over to competing services/products.

It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

Leading on from that, go head first into the market. If your idea ends up being a copy or stepping on competing industries’ feet, de Wet argues that you can ask for forgiveness. You’ll learn from this, and you never would have if you didn’t try in the first place.

Travel – open yourself up to the world

Travelling gives you invaluable life experiences. But it affords you the opportunity to see what is out there. You can learn about local markets, and other ways of doing business. You might add to your international network, but you’ll also learn skills you might never have been exposed to otherwise. Open yourself up to new ideas.

Business plans are imperative.

They aren’t just for the investors, they are for you. They’ll help you refine the idea, and figure out exactly what you are doing.

Investors are looking for three things though and they must be in your business plan: figure out your idea, figure out the team, and figure out how you will make money.

Don’t stay away from things that are happening

Show up. Make that flight – take that chance. You never know what kind of opportunity will arise from even a five minute meeting, but you have to be there.

Get uncomfortable. Everything is sweetened by risk

If you are 28 and living in a beach house, move out. Get uncomfortable. It encourages the want, the passion, which will naturally give you good results. If you aren’t enjoying it. Change it.



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