One of the things I’ve learned in my years as a management consultant and investor is that life isn’t fair when it comes to being successful in business. You may think passion and hard work is all you need, but I believe that we all have unique strengths and you need to recognize your identity and yours in order to generate the profits you need to grow your business to win. All must be redeemed.
In this context, I believe that most of you already have or can get what you need to be successful in business. I see a good discussion of the relevant strengths and issues in a new book.”unfair advantage, by Aish Ali and Hassan Kubba. These authors speak from their own wealth of experience in tech startups, marketing, and fundraising.
Here are the key elements of the power framework he developed, adding my own insights and experiences for your reading:
1. Money: The capital you have or can easily raise.
While it is indeed honorable and impressive to run your business on a minimal budget, there’s no argument that more funding or access to relevant assets is a force you should seize. It can accelerate growth, win competitors, reduce errors, and lengthen your runway.
In the business world, your ability to raise money is often paramount to your success. In this environment, you need to comprehensively consider and work effectively on all available sources of capital, including friends and family, angel investors, and strategic partners.
2. Intelligence and Insight: Book and Street Smart.
Books represent your current understanding of smart technology and business concepts. The more you have, the greater your potential. Street smarts are primarily about social skills that require emotional insight. Use friends and mentors with extensive experience to assess both.
In my experience, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a better indicator of business success than IQ. EI assesses a person’s ability to recognize emotions, understand their implications, and use that information to guide your next move. Fortunately, you can develop this skill.
3. Place and Destiny: The right place at the right time.
I endorse the old adage that you make your own luck in business. If you need venture capital, you might need to spend more time in Silicon Valley or Boston. If you like your current location, instead of trying to solve a problem elsewhere in the world, seize a great opportunity.
I always advise any business person to have a goal and then be ready to maneuver. This is called the serendipity mentality. What seems like the wrong place or opportunity could be the beginning of an important partnership or opportunity.
4. Education and Specialization: Formal and self-learning.
Don’t believe the myth that formal education brings no gain – it teaches you how to study effectively. Many of us are not inherently self-learners, and experiences and setbacks take a long time. The main thing is to keep learning from mentors, books and online. Focus on Business as a specialization.
As in any career, an advanced degree, such as an MBA or PhD, at least gives you access to more opportunities. From this point on, results and creativity are the drivers. In my opinion, going back to school in the middle of your career can make you a better leader.
5th position: network, connection and personal brand.
To prepare you to gain an external positional advantage, you must first develop and demonstrate the internal positional advantage of confidence and self-esteem. Motivation and recognition are usually associated with elevating our status, and those around you will subconsciously seek and respond to your position.
Personal branding is how we present ourselves to others and is very important in the internet age. Gone are the days when you could hide behind a company brand. I suggest you be more visible at industry conferences and on social media.
After reviewing these strengths and recommendations, you may find that you already have what it takes to be successful, but are not using it effectively. Now is the time to assess your situation, seek input from constituents and mentors, and focus on improving your position wherever you can. Only then can you enjoy the benefits you are entitled to and enjoy even more.
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