Entrepreneurs must act like revolutionaries – Business Daily


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Ideas & Debate

Entrepreneurs must act like revolutionaries


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Summary

  • McCourt has indeed proven to be a revolutionary serial entrepreneur, disrupting the telecommunications industry in several markets around the world and earning a fortune in the process.
  • He proposed radical new ways to transform the way customer needs could be met, comparable to what Amazon, Netflix and Airbnb have offered in their fields.
  • McCourt saw how previously unthinkable ways could be devised to dramatically improve services and reduce costs, often by cutting out the middleman.

I am always grateful when my daughter Amy sends me a book to read, including the most recent one I received from her, Total Rethink: Why Entrepreneurs Should Act Like Revolutionaries, by David McCourt, published in 2019.

McCourt has indeed proven to be a revolutionary serial entrepreneur, disrupting the telecommunications industry in several markets around the world and earning a fortune in the process.

He proposed radical new ways to transform the way customer needs could be met, comparable to what Amazon, Netflix and Airbnb have offered in their fields.

McCourt saw how previously unthinkable ways could be devised to dramatically improve services and reduce costs, often by cutting out the middleman.

He won daring contracts, sometimes without fully considering how he could honor them, but convinced that necessity would be the mother of invention… which it usually turned out to be.

So what does this “total rethink” require? What are the characteristics of revolutionary entrepreneurs? It starts when we’re young, McCourt says, with the way our parents support and encourage us, and what our teachers do too.

Then there’s the development of a strong work ethic, again from an early age. As a teenager, McCourt took for granted that he would help around the house and garden – just like I used to! And during his studies – again like me – he always took summer jobs.

In the American education system, there is too much emphasis on overcoming weaknesses and not enough on building natural strengths, notes McCourt, while worrying that virtually all school programs in America are aimed at helping children. to perform well on standardized tests – which then allows them to enter universities.

Here they are subjected to more such tests, as a result of which they qualify to enter higher schools.

“If they do really well, they go to Harvard,” he continues, “where the premise of the business degree is to teach them to think outside the box – the exact opposite of everything they’ve been taught so far. -the. It really makes us happy with our new skills-based program, which has eliminated the problems this revolutionary identified in the American system.

All the best universities in the world now have entrepreneurship classes, McCourt observed, “it’s a hot topic to offer. But if you ask students why they want to be entrepreneurs, they’ll most often say it’s because they want to be rich and because they don’t want a boss.

He is unimpressed, saying that no high-quality entrepreneur he has ever met has chosen this path to get rich, and that despite having no boss, they all depend heavily on mentors. and support from others.

He writes at length on the importance of trust, based on ability; be ready to collaborate and make compromises in order to be win-win; sharing generously rather than being selfishly secretive (especially worrying about middle managers in this regard, who too often see their colleagues as competitors rather than teammates); listen to others and not talk to them (this for all managers, politicians, teachers and others too).

He also insists on the need to be a good storyteller; articulate your message simply, briefly and clearly – as in elevator speech; and write well. He was once told that his “secret sauce” was his ability to chat with anyone, whether he was three or 80, and that he would feel like he could relate to him and that he respected him.

Here he quotes Dale Carnegie, who said that “you can make more friends in two months by getting interested in other people than in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

All I have selected so far are personal attributes, and in my next post I will focus on the business side of entrepreneurship, how to deal with clients in order to get the business. and then how to get there.

But before I wrap up today, I’ll leave you with a question his mentor asked everyone who dined aboard his yacht: “If you could come back in another form, what would it be?” “

McCourt’s immediate thought was that he would return as a revolutionary. To exploit? Maybe a tennis professional or a photographer. And you?

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Thelma J. Longworth