Recently, I listened to a fantastic episode of Guy Raz’s podcast, ‘How I Built This’. The guest on this episode was none other than Sir James Dyson, the Founder of the world-renowned technology company, Dyson. Listening to Mr. Dyson speak about his journey was really inspiring. It had all of the traditional aspects of a truly entrepreneurial story: the mentor, the experience, the failure, the risk and the Aha! moment. Have a listen for yourself here.
The conversation between Raz and Dyson got me thinking about what an entrepreneur/inventor/visionary really needs to persevere and move forward passionately, with no loss enthusiasm. So, I spent some time thinking about it deeply and broke it down into 5 attributes that these types of people have in common – attributes that I’ve made my personal mission to exercise every day at BizON:
You have to be extremely driven to take on risk and sacrifice whatever is necessary in order to achieve your goal. My drive is backed by the mission and excitement of turning ideas into real life. This process of building and creating keeps most entrepreneurs driven.
It takes years to build your reputation, and only one negative moment to ruin it. Being a reliable professional is absolutely necessary. Are you a person who does what he/she says they will do when they said they will do it? Being reliable leads to integrity, which leads to kindness – and this is how partnerships and opportunities are created, and how the entrepreneurial journey can continue.
Being laser focused, but still attentive (and open) to change is how you build great businesses. Being focused leads to deep commitment and taking bold bets to keep perfecting your vision. Just like Mr. Dyson did by creating over 5,000 prototypes of his vacuum.
Curiosity is the epicenter of invention. Being curious allows you to wander and ask out of the box questions in order to experiment with new ideas, products and markets that others simply shrugged off. Mr. Dyson’s curiosity about how to perfect the vacuum and the vacuum experience inspired him and gave him the motivation by asking many different questions and engaging in experiments that excited him. This curiosity eventually led to his success.
In order to persevere, you need to have plenty of energy – physically and mentally. This allows you to be persistent (but also vigilant), knowing when to walk away or try harder on a certain idea, product or market. Your energy is the core of the culture you build and the people you attract, and it is grossly undervalued.
If you can consistently focus on these attributes, I truly believe you will build momentum, which leads to commitment, which leads to integrity, which leads to passion. This sets direction & purpose for doing meaningful work and creating a meaningful life. When people have meaning in work and life, they will be great and create things that truly add value to the world.
In closing, as Mr. Dyson’s mentor said:
You Don’t Think About Doing Something, You Just Do It.”Jeremy Fry