The term “self-starter” is used a lot these days.
Employers say they want self-starters to join their
people talk about being self-starters in describing
their work habits and career goals
multitudes of purported self-starters abound in
résumé slush piles
But what does it really take to become
a real master of your own destiny
and leader of others?
To make it in the hyper-connected marketplace of the 21st
century, the recipe for success is much more complex than
what it used to be.
The new crop of leaders
needs to have the following
traits and qualities:
“If people aren’t telling you your idea is
crazy, then it probably isn’t a very big idea.”
(Francis Ford Coppola)
All have in common one
thing: the creative ability to
see holes in the market
where others see a brick wall.
• Innovation opportunities are hidden in the details of
• The biggest innovations of the modern world, including the
technology that made the internet possible, came from
completely unrelated applications.
Never write off an interesting idea! If it’s new and
interesting, there’s probably a use for it.
Revisit abandoned projects for ideas that can be
That being said, there is a huge difference between fantasy
and innovative thinking!
Entrepreneurs need the rare ability to balance their dreams
with the limitations of the market and human capability.
This requires obsessive attention to details!
• no aspect of your business plan can be left to chance;
• don’t rest on your laurels assuming that expansion will just naturally
happen, even if you find short-term success in marketing your product
on a local level.
• Always remember that the devil is in the details, and even the grandest
dream can be dashed by the tiniest pitfalls!
One thing separating them is
the habit of keeping up with
personal learning goals and
The challenges you face at the beginning stages of your
business will inevitably expand into newer and more
complicated challenges as you draw nearer to success.
Dealing with this means
Read books by leaders who’ve gone through similar
processes and learn from their experiences.
When entering new markets or expanding product lines, do
market research, learn about the competition and try to stay
abreast of current trends.
Always remember that innovative thinking depends on
The rule, in a nutshell, is Always Be Learning.
The Dunning-Kreuger effect posits that the less you know
about a subject the more of an expert you tend to
Don’t fall victim to it! If you feel like
you know all there is to know about
something, it’s a good sign that
you’re woefully ignorant.
If you stride overconfident into a situation you don’t
understand, and try to apply strategies that are ill-suited to
the task at hand, you’re bound to get a harsh lesson in
Instead, watch and learn. Make
your move only after you’ve gotten
a grip on the complexity of the
Remember that all entrepreneurs face
Success is about how you deal with them.
For a more in-depth treatment of this and many
other topics relating to modern business
administration, consider picking up our book, MBA
2.0: Handbook for Modern Business Practice.
In MBA 2.0, I’ve cut out the filler clogging most
traditional business literature. In its place I offer a
lean, results-oriented primer geared to turn you
into the kind of innovator who will thrive in the
Using real life strategies drawn from the
experiences of today’s successful entrepreneurs,
MBA 2.0 is designed to help you tack with the
winds of change and harness the power of the
hyper-connected global marketplace.
Whatever your business goals, MBA 2.0 will help
you get there.