A serial entrepreneur, according to Jens Kosman, Founder, and CEO of LeadThree, a technology product incubator based in Virginia, is “someone that has become an expert at building profitable companies from the ground up, and then, preferably, sold them.” This article explains what sets a serial entrepreneur apart from a traditional entrepreneur, growth entrepreneur, and lifestyle entrepreneur.
What Distinguishes a Serial Entrepreneur from the Rest
The Definition of a Serial Entrepreneur
Some entrepreneurs may have a different view than Mr. Kosman on the idea that serial entrepreneurs have to sell their businesses, but he captures the pioneering spirit of this class of business persons. Serial entrepreneurs build and stay in their business until it takes off. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, most often stays in the companies they started until the end.
Thanks to the Internet and the tech industry, serial entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey, and Marc Andreessen are enjoying their time in the spotlight. Society is also reaping the benefits of the products they’ve introduced into the market, such as social networks, electric cars, solar power batteries for homes, and browsers.
What traits differentiate a serial entrepreneur (or growth entrepreneur in some circles) from ordinary entrepreneurs? More importantly, what does it take to become one?
Serial Entrepreneur Characteristics Which Fuel Success
According to a study made by Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor Kathryn Shaw on 2.8 million entrepreneurs in Texas, only one out of four entrepreneurs open a 2nd business. These business people are more likely to be successful even if they are entering a different industry than their first one.
How are serial entrepreneurs different from the rest of us? Here’s a breakdown of their traits:
1. A serial entrepreneur seeks change
— sMedia 2 sCommerce (@Media2Commerce) June 29, 2017
A serial entrepreneur looks at the landscape in a particular industry and sees opportunities for change. They are frustrated by gaps in products and services and seek solutions to consumers’ pain points. This is part of what makes these elite entrepreneurs so innovative and disruptive.
2. Serial entrepreneurs are restless
Serial entrepreneurs are always chasing horizons. Once their startup is flourishing, they’ll hand the keys to a manager who will see to the day-to-day operations, or just sell their business entirely. They are always looking to execute another one of their visions and work on the next challenge.
3. They’re way beyond an employee mindset
Being an employee is easy. It’s safe. You show up, you do your job, and you get a paycheck. Serial entrepreneurs refuse the safety of being an employee. They take on the adventure, risk, and benefits of being their own boss, and that means they’re willing to do anything it takes to succeed.
4. Serial entrepreneurs eat risk for breakfast
Starting a new business based on a novel concept is risky. Serial entrepreneurs embrace this part of the equation and move through each milestone until their solution finally gets built out.
5. They have laser-like focus
Once serial entrepreneurs have their eyes set on a project, they’ll let it occupy their mind most of the time. All they want to talk about is their startup and the next steps they’ll take to get to their next milestone. With that said, most entrepreneurs work on their projects every waking hour possible.
6. They fail
Going back to Professor Shaw’s study, her team found that serial entrepreneurs’ rate of failure is also the same as first-time entrepreneurs’. Serial entrepreneurs, however, live the adage “Fall seven times, stand up eight”.
7. Serial entrepreneurs adapt and evolve
— Chris Williams (@williamsgfx) July 5, 2017
Although many entrepreneurs may fail, they make sure to take notes. They apply their insights to the next business they start. As a result, their hard-won experience becomes the edge that helps their next enterprise succeed.
Watch this video for an animated rundown on how to become a serial entrepreneur!
Have you gained a better understanding of what makes a serial entrepreneur tick? Hopefully you’ll take these lessons of innovation, risk, and execution and apply them to your own ventures.
What are your thoughts on serial entrepreneurs? Who’s on your serial entrepreneurs’ list? Comment down below!