“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all.” — Richard Branson
I often get asked during interviews what it is that makes a successful entrepreneur. The host is usually looking for an insightful answer that reveals something that can achieve one of two things:
It can be the secret that finally inspires them to stop doing what they clearly don’t enjoy and plunge into building a business…
Or it reveals something difficult — something they don’t have and could never have and, therefore, justifies their inner decision never to take the plunge at all.
I sometimes think that my answer usually disappoints and even comes across as vague or new age.
That is until I came across an old Richard Branson interview.
A host asked him exactly the same question and then sat back ready to be illuminated. And guess what?
Richard Branson answered exactly the same way as I do.
In fact, it made me laugh out loud.
At first, he stumbled over his answer, but then said that entrepreneurs usually don’t set out to be entrepreneurs. They’re just ordinary people who want to make a positive difference in the lives of others and are frustrated by what they’ve seen and want to fix it.
It can be a gap in the market or it can be a better way of doing or making something.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear my own opinion confirmed by such a successful entrepreneur as Richard Branson, a man whose desire to make a difference in other people’s lives shines through in the culture of his companies and the attitude of his employees.
Last week, I received several emails from people who are excited by the control they are taking in their lives, and who are considering starting their own ventures.
There are few things in life as exciting as leaving a regular job behind and starting out on your own.