Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs

I have had the great pleasure in recent weeks of attending presentations by a number of successful entrepreneurs. The most interesting was Azeem Ibrahim the Chief Executive of ECM Investment and owner of The European Commerce and Mercantile Bank. He explained how he went from a teenage investor in privatised utilities to an adviser to governments around the world while maintaining the family and social life he wanted.

He recommended setting goals for yourself and writing them all down in detail for each aspect of your life – health, social, family, spiritual and business. He favours setting ambitious goals that will continue to inspire you with more modest staging posts along the way so that you are always achieving but always heading to that major goal. He sets himself 5, 10 and 15 year goals and then plans how to get there. He reviews them regulary and the progress he is making towards them. Each day he tries to take another step towards his targets. He strongly recommended undertaking detailed research which he said always trumps experience and encouraged people to believe in themselves – everyone has failures along the way to success.

He had some interesting comments to make on hiring staff. He feels it is crucial to hire people who share your vision and to incentivise them to grow the business whether through equity or commissions. he sets a mission statement for his businesses and ensures that everyone within them understands the mission and their role in achieving it. He warned however that technology based businesses had to maintain some flexibility in order to be open to the opportunities that might open out for that technology as it develops.

He was adament that one should not accept failure but that success comes through sheer bloodymindedness an opinion shared by Brad Burton the exuberant founder of 4 Networking. Mr Burton’s prime advice for anyone getting going in business is nto to hang around waiting on the telephone to ring or on the perfect opportunity but to get out and do it, meet people, engage with others and generate that business. Like Mr Ibrahim he believes your passion will show through and that if you work hard enough all things are possible. They both encourage people to go out and meet others whether or not they appear at first glance “useful” as it is surprising who knows who or may share that passion or who can introduce you to something even more fascinating.

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