How do self-made billionaires get started? What makes them different from others? What can we learn from them?
An article from strategy + business titled “What self-made billionaires do best” tells the story of Lynda Rae Resnick who sold the masses on pomegranate fruit by packaging it as an antioxidant-rich juice drink. She came up with other new ideas but the pomegranate is most interesting. In 2002, Linda positioned the pomegranates in the health and wellness trend taking place in the United States. She figured out that a person would need to eat more than two pomegranates a day to get a significant benefit. Juice was a more efficient delivery mechanism so she designed a bottle shaped like two stacked pomegranates and after five years the product reached more than $160 million in annual sales.
The authors of the report say that in all the stories of self-made billionaires that they have researched there are common elements such as awareness, empathy, imagination and knowledge. Often what happens is that the entrepreneur works in a specific field long enough to have an awareness of critical trends. They see an underexploited customer need and experience “deep empathy for those customers”. The entrepreneur then applies their imagination and knowledge to convert the empathy into a business idea with broad potential.
Lynda Resnick is an example of this mix of experience and insight. “Being a great marketer is synonymous with being a great friend. In other words, you have to listen.” She watches television, reads popular magazines and stays plugged into popular culture to see what people are watching. “You have to pay attention. For God’s sake, you have to pay attention.”
For the person who is reading this who has never started something of their own it might be difficult to grasp. What you have to do is change your attitude and mindset so that you can tap into opportunities that others don’t see. Sometimes the breakthrough idea is staring you right in the face but you just don’t see it. Your opportunity is more likely to come from your prior experience, your present situation and your observation and listening skills more than anything else.
The article from strategy + business says entrepreneurs or what they call “producers” as opposed to “performers” (which you find in most organisations) look at risk differently. They say that most people measure risk in absolute terms such as “Will this business succeed or fail?” Producers or entrepreneurs view risk in relative terms: “Which option presents the greatest opportunity?” If the opportunity is right, as the authors say, the entrepreneurial producer will look for ways to mitigate risk. Entrepreneurs tend to transfer risk to others through vehicles such as insurance, getting customers to pay upfront and even changing their business model.
Are you looking for opportunities, have you found a promising business idea? If so, then you probably need help. Get a copy of “Breakthrough Ideas”, a resource that will help you open your eyes to viable business opportunities and guide you in turning them into reality.