While there is an old adage that reminds us to never become discouraged by our failures but rather use our mistakes as self-teachable moments, it is inspiring and (probably more) motivating to look at examples of success in business. Granted, successful business owners – those genuine innovators who took risks to move their ideas forward – had to trip and stumble before succeeding. But, what common traits do successful innovators have that get them back up and moving forward?
Do What You Love
If you have a product or service that you are truly passionate about, it will be much easier to get over any hurdles or challenges that you face while starting and operating your business. Consider Tony Hawk who successfully turned his passion and superior skill for skateboarding into a multi-million dollar business. “It’s a big blow to the ego to have something not succeed the way you thought it would. I learned that not everything that you love will become popular,” Hawk said in an October 2009 Entrepenuer article. He obviously found a popular way of operating his business, which has made him the highest paid action sports athlete.
Running a business takes a lot of time, energy, and great deal of hard work – you’d better love what you do, or you will not be able to foster your company enough to make it grow. When you are passionate about your work and truly want to make a real difference in people’s lives, success will follow. Of course, the road to success may still be bumpy and littered with obstacles, but you will have drive and determination to stay on course.
By definition, an innovator is a person who has a new idea or who changes the way something is done, making them stand out. Innovation should not just occur though at the beginning stages of your business. Innovation is key to your company’s survival. When you stop being creative, your company will suffer. Consider companies such as Google, Apple, and Microsoft when looking for superior examples of consistent innovation.
Throughout the course of your company, you should consistently remain innovative and update your operations model in order to:
- Change your products, services, or operations along with any changes that occur in your field
- Remain efficient
- An efficient distribution channel
- Less sales support and sales effort
- Lean manufacturing process
- Other opportunities for revenue that do not increase your costs
The success of your company most likely relies on a staff of employees and colleagues who are tasked with your company’s day-to-day operations and sales. Your staff is therefore your biggest asset, and your company’s productivity, profitability, and retention will be the result of hardworking, happy employees. Inevitably, your employee’s mood and outlook on the company will impact your customer’s experience.
Companies like Zappos have realized the importance of nurturing a workplace culture of happiness. Know your employees, listen with open ears, be open to suggestions, praise your employees often, and model good leadership to foster happy employees. Keep in mind, a happy employee is more likely to create successful results within your company.
If your company becomes distressed or on the verge of failure, stop and reflect on what lessons you can learn to help your company turnaround. Do not allow yourself to get discouraged. Rather, consider those innovators who stumbled and got right back up to try again.