As January draws to a close, most of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions. We’ve decided the BIG CHANGES we had planned are more hassle than they’re worth.
But making BIG CHANGES is one of the hallmarks of being an entrepreneur. Change is inevitable if you want to continually learn, grow, and build.
This applies just as much to businesses as it does to people. In order to beat the competition and stay relevant, companies must adapt. That’s how Canon continues to grow in the digital world, and how Kodak ended up going under. It’s how Adobe remains every photographer’s favorite editing software, and how Paint Shop Pro disappeared into the ether.
At Cronofy, we’re always striving to learn, grow, and adapt. Sometimes we have to dramatically change our angle at short notice. But that’s the life of a startup, and, in particular, an entrepreneur.
We put Adam in front of a camera in Accelerate Place’s Boot room to find out more about his life as an entrepreneur, and to share his advice for businesses and buddy entrepreneurs.
Was there a particular moment in your life when you decided to become an entrepreneur, or did you always know?
I guess I was always destined to be an entrepreneur. I was fairly prone to not taking the beaten path in school tasks, work tasks, not really too keen on authority. So, yeah, I was kind of made this way I think.
What are the most important traits of a successful entrepreneur?
I guess entrepreneurship – like everything in life – is this combination of dogmatic self-belief and crushing humility. You’re in this constant balance between this is the way forward, I fully commit to the way forward, and at the same time you’re listening, you’re taking in input and realising that at some point your earth, your kind of world falls apart around you and you’re wrong and you have to go a different route. And so balancing those two is probably the key skill.
What one quality does every business need to succeed?
To succeed in any business, you need to be able to hire great people. Fantastic people. Excite them, motivate them, give them opportunity, and be somewhere where the most ambitious and talented people can grow in many ways faster than your business, and you can be part of their career.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of advice I’ve been given? Storing baked bean cans upside down in your cupboard. Because when you tip them out, you kind of open them and all the beans slide out with a satisfying slurp. In terms of – you probably want business advice though really. Best piece of business advice? I think listen. You’ve got to listen. Fundamentally, everything is about listening. Listening to your customers, to your employees, listening to your investors, listening to your partner. The answers are out there, the single best way of finding them is listening to other people.
What advice would you give to someone who’s afraid to get started with their business?
For me, you have to start. One of the defining traits of entrepreneurship is action. It may not be the most appropriate action, but it’s action. Action in many ways is better than no action at all. So if you’re terrified of getting started, then that’s something you need to move on from. But perhaps reflect on why. What is preventing you from doing that? Is it partner, work, money? I don’t know, but is there another way you can structure, another way you can discover, another way you can understand the risks, understand the opportunity, understand whether it’s worth you committing this next phase of your career to this business opportunity, this business idea. I think reflection is key, and identifying and getting into the nub of the problem and what actually is it you’re afraid of, and what can you do to affect that to allow you to change your life in this way?
Over to You
What lessons have you got to share on business and entrepreneurship? Let us know on Twitter, or in the video comments!