The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is often long and tedious, full of trial and error and setbacks. However, for those who are able to persevere and overcome those setbacks, the rewards can be significant. The world is full of people who dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Some of them want to start a business, others want to create a groundbreaking new product, or solve an existing problem with a disruptive solution. However, the large majority of people who want to start a company or become an entrepreneur either don’t ever get started or fail miserably. So how does one go about becoming a successful entrepreneur and what does it take to start a successful company?
Choose Something That Matters to You
Recently, Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg shared some of his insights about starting a company in an interview with Y Combinator. Mark started his own company when he was only 19-years-old, so he knows a thing or two about getting started early in life. However, he has some words of advice for any young person who wants to do something to impact the world. “I always think that the most important thing that entrepreneurs should do is pick something they care about, work on it, but don’t actually commit to turning it into a company until it’s working.” In reality, he said, a large percentage of the best companies that have been built have followed this pattern.
Motivated by a Desire to Make a Difference
In other words, the best companies often come from people who are passionate about changing something but not necessarily from people who decided upfront that they wanted to start a company, without really having a product or service in mind. In Facebook’s case, for example, Mark says he didn’t really set out to start a company and he wasn’t really sure of the moment it became a company. “I think it became a formal Delaware company when Peter Thiel invested about six months in.” Despite its an initial promise, he said his plan was to actually go back to school and continue his education while working on Facebook on the side.
A Company Born Out of Necessity
He and his partner just got busier all the time but they still didn’t drop of school. However, as the workload increased it became more evident that they couldn’t do both at the same time. Eventually, they told Harvard they were going to take a semester off. After that, they took another semester off and then it turned into a year off. They ended up not going back. So for Mark, even though he wanted to keep working on Facebook and taking it to loftier places, he didn’t start out dreaming of building a company. It was only after he and his partner, and eventually their investors, developed the groundwork of what would become the largest social media platform in the world, that they realized it was time to start a company.