Saturday, March 31, 2012

5 pearls from British entrepreneurs across the pond-Part 2!

[This is a continuation post.  In Part 1, I presented the story of Matt Stevenson and his aquarium fish to present the importance of understanding yourself and your passions. I also used the example of Sharon Hilditch and her informal knowledge of the beauty industry to present the necessity in developing your knowledge base in the field you are interested in.  I hope you enjoy part two! :) ]

3. Seize opportunities-hustle!
Chris Gorman, founder of DX Communications relates, “Good things come to those that wait, but only the things left by those that hustle.”  When he was convinced mobile phones had huge potential, he moved to London and sold to large corporate clients with extreme success.  Later, he left another job to found DX Communications in order to sell mobile phones through retail shops.  His company exploded from grossing $200,000 to $140,000,000.  He then went on to create an internet consultancy called Reality Group in 1999 which he was able to sell just after a year and profit another $28,000,000.  Chris states the secret of success is seizing opportunities while also believing that failure is absolutely essential.  “One of the things I love about America is that people accept failure as a natural part of entrepreneurialism.” 

4. Failure is necessary for success
Along those lines, Chris goes on to say, “Fear of failure stops people from doing great things but learning from failure helps you achieve even greater things.”  Despite losing $1 million to setup a recording studio and label, Chris considered it a great learning experience to feel the pain of failure.  He acknowledges being at the wrong place and wrong time and states it was better to lose $1 million than possibly more later in life. I am impressed by Chris’ ability to acknowledge and truly experience the gut-wrenching disappointment of losing big yet being able to look forward to even greater things.  Also, I note that instead of attributing his failure to his own shortcomings, he credits the circumstances.  Given his uncanny ability to see and exploit market timing, I’m sure few would say that his self-assessment is inaccurate.  It’s no easy task to delicately tread the line between honesty and self-immolation that accompanies failure in our lives

5.  Be optimistic. You will encounter set-backs. Never give up. 
John Mudd was working as marketing manager of a potato chip (also known as British “crisps”) company when he devised a market selling traditional hand-cooked chips in pubs.  When the board rejected the idea, Mudd decided he was going to see the idea through himself despite being in his early 50’s.  When he finally left the company to setup his own, he realized that his experience in marketing did not translate completely to managing a company.  For two years he worked seven days a week, 15 hours a day.  When his company nearly floundered, John was able to sell stake in his company in order to have his chips distributed by popular supermarkets. 

Another younger entrepreneur Mandy Haberman had never intended to be an inventor.  However having a daughter born with a condition which made it difficult for her to suck drove her to invent a solution to her problem.  After nearly 5 years of research and enduring skepticism from her friends, Mandy setup her own company when she was unable to find a company willing to license her product.  Despite having no experience in this realm either, she persevered and found it incredibly rewarding to see her invention used in hospitals throughout the world. 

Any endeavor will be beset by setbacks.  It’s critical to maintain your bearing and keep moving in the right direction however slow that progress may be.  Mandy was driven as a mother who couldn’t control the fact that her child had been born with an impairment.  Being able to help others motivated her to keep trying despite the numerous setbacks she faced.


1. Review the five principles presented in these two articles.  Which do you think is most relevant in this stage of your life?
2.  What do you find easiest to do?  Hardest?  Write down one thing you can do this week that would help you most in realizing your dreams.  

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