I have just finished reading Tom McKaskill’s recent book ‘Get a Life’. He presents an inside view of the lives of entrepreneurs, warts and all. Tom has managed to get hundreds of insights from entrepreneurs from around the planet. Yet apparently only 2% of our working community could be classified as entrepreneurs.
There is a whole chapter on what entrepreneurs believe are the secrets to success, and it is interesting how similar themes come out. Discipline, hard work, vision, persistence, passion and integrity resonate.
I particularly liked this excerpt:
- ‘It has taken several years for me to realise and truly understand that there is a shortcut to success in your new endeavour. And that shortcut is to realise that there is no shortcut. The more shortcuts you take or even look for, the more wheel spinning you do, the less success you see and you create nothing but more work for yourself. I believe it takes nothing less than disciplined thoughts, disciplined words and disciplined actions’.
Many of the entrepreneurs identify themselves, others don’t. When I read the book I often felt that it could be me saying these things. (There are people just like me!) Tom has done very well to get such an authentic account of the pain as well as the joy of running your own show. He clearly gets the point across that without people risking all, innovation in our society would come to a relative standstill.
- ‘Entrepreneurship is a team sport. It involves engaging people in a dream, a challenge and it’s an opportunity to test the potential of all resources including knowledge, experience and street smarts against the guile of the enemy – competitors who now come in many forms and increasingly from places outside your reach of response.
I have learned that success only comes with the brightest and best people. It’s not the number in the team that predicates success; it’s the capability of the team and their passion and cohesiveness. It’s the collective willingness to grasp what seems impossible and find a way, a simple breakthrough or the courage to retreat, regroup and try another approach.
There is nothing better than going to somewhere where no one has been before; to think what hasn’t been thought before; to achieve what others saw as impossible.’
Greg Loudoun, Founder and MD Acumen International
Tom McKaskill is a serial entrepreneur – Four successful sales and now Richard Pratt Professor of Entrepreneurship at Swinburne University