If you're a young entrepreneur and you think your idea has million-dollar potential, Robert Greene thinks you may be on to something. But if you're a young entrepreneur and you think others will intuitively share that belief, then he also has a message for you: “The world couldn't care less.”
“Don't imagine that your idea is just naturally brilliant,” Green said when asked what advice he would give to young entrepreneurs. “…Nobody naturally wants to invest in your idea, okay.”
Confidence may be seen as a prerequisite to become a self-starter, but that alone cannot be rested upon as a solid foundation for starting a business, at least not according to Greene, who states that the ability to induce such confidence in investors is equally, if not more, important.
“You have to go out and persuade them,” he said. “The first thing you want to do is you want to make sure that your idea is iron clad, that it's not something that's already out there, that you're the one that can do it.”
The message that Greene conveys here is simple: Having something good to sell is only the basic requirement to become a successful entrepreneur. Being a better salesman of self takes you a step further.
That is, of course, as long as you have a track record. Otherwise, you may be in trouble.
“You want to demonstrate that you have already some skills,” Greene says. “If you have no track record, if nobody can see the fact that you're a disciplined person who has solid work habits, that has persistence and patience. No one's going to risk their money on your venture.”
His words are damning, and there are no doubt a few readers who may be prompted into quitting on their dreams already. But before you jump off that ledge, allow the best-selling author a chance to talk you off it as he provides some advice for those of you who wish so badly to lose your entrepreneurial virginity.
“It's better on your first venture, if this is your first venture, to put it on your credit card, take money from your parents, or figure out some other way so that you can get some kind of track record on your own.”
Alas, hope springs eternal as Greene acknowledges the one collective thing that should make those who were disappointed just a few paragraphs ago a little more optimistic: other ways.
Of course, he would be remiss if he didn't mention this again, however.
“But understand no one in naturally interested in your venture. You have to persuade them and you have to show that you are the one person that can do it.”
No one, especially not Greene himself, is claiming to offer fail proof advice, though. In fact, failing is exactly what the author says may be necessary to boost one's resume as he states it's all about the learning experience.
“Be prepared to fail. Don't be afraid to fail on your first venture. Don't be afraid to lose some money,” Greene implores to all prospective money-makers . “…Once you have that background and you've learned and you have something real to show for your next venture. Now the money can start to flow.”
The advocacy of failure that can serve as valuable experience and a “make people care” mentality serve as obvious sticking points that should give you a better understanding of what it takes to succeed as a self-starter. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you are more likely to be better off for hearing the author's advice then you were before.
Then again, you can just not listen to Robert Greene.
Besides, what's he ever done other than advise top-tier companies and write best-selling books on attaining power and fearlessness?
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