Hunger is what separates the successful from the mediocre. Whether it be an entrepreneur aspiring for the Forbes' Most Powerful list or an artist trying to get on the Billboard 100, the desire for more is the single most important quality.
Entrepreneur Bill Stewart - founder of Avondale Strategic Partners - knows hunger. In fact, he claims hunger is the only thing responsible for his current success. Here are the three areas in which entrepreneurs must be hungry, as laid out by Stewart:
1. Hunger to Raise Their Game
We want people to actively push us out of our current roles, so that everyone continues to develop by taking on more responsibility. If we have been running customer meetings, we want people on our team to volunteer to run those meetings for us.
If we've been managing a customer relationship, we want someone to jump in and seamlessly take over that relationship from us. And so forth. We want people on our team who are continually trying to raise their game because that is the only way we can improve our business.
2. Hunger to Delight the Customer
We want our team to go the extra mile so that customers talk about how great our team is to work with and how essential we are to their success. Our job is not merely to deliver products or services; it is to solve the customer's problem and delight them while doing so. Our business is very customer-centric, and our team needs to embrace that approach.
3. Hunger to Own Opportunities and Challenges
In the Coen brothers' film Miller's Crossing, one character says to another:
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we face an endless stream of challenges and worries. We want people on our team worrying about a relationship with a customer and offering a plan on how to deal with it. We want people to be concerned about missing out on a business opportunity and offering a plan for capturing it.
When our team worries enough about these types of challenges and opportunities--and takes ownership of the resulting actions--we worry a lot less. Staying hungry is a critical component of our ability to build our business.
Our value as an enterprise is ultimately derived from the capabilities of our team, so we want our team to develop and grow along with the business. When they are hungry and talented, they can grow in leaps and bounds and create more value for our company.