14 Innovative Entrepreneurs You Can Learn From
Image Credit: Brooke Lark via Unsplash
To make it as an entrepreneur, you may have benefited from a good education, experience in your chosen industry and most importantly, possess the self-confidence to slavishly pursue your goals.
These are admirable attributes to have. But ultimately, to make it as an entrepreneur you have to also believe in your ability to innovate and strive to go that extra mile.
Here are 14 innovative entrepreneurs and their top tips for success.
1. Richard Lorenzen – Stick to Your Guns
Many of us had a paper round at age 15, not Richard Lorenzen. When most teenagers were studying for exams, Lorenzen was setting up his own New York PR firm. Now at 24 years old, Richard is CEO of Fifth Avenue Brands, a public speaker and author of Surge: Supercharge Your Life, Business & Legacy.
Lorenzen’s tip for innovating in your chosen field; stick to one venture and do everything you can to make it successful. Learn, test, improve and keep trying until things start working out for you.
2. Jason Nazzar – Solve Customer Problems
Some of the most innovative entrepreneurs seek to solve their customer’s problems by sharing knowledge and experience. Jason Nazzar, as CEO of online platform, Comparably, aims to do this by taking away consumer confusion in claiming workplace compensation. He is also host of the hugely popular Startup Uncensored business conference, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Business Insider and Wall Street Journal.
3. Mark Cuban – Learn to Think Critically
Staying ahead of the curve in business requires critical thinking skills, according to self-made billionaire Mark Cuban. As technical skills and knowledge become increasingly obsolete, Mark believes that the first self-made trillionaire will master AI and apply it in aspects of our daily lives we haven’t yet thought of.
He told a packed-out SXSW talk that automation can outstrip jobs in industries like accounting and manufacture. He said that with the way AI is going, he would rather go back to college and major in philosophy than study to be an accountant. He asserts that learning to look at things from a ‘global perspective’ will lead to more valuable and exciting entrepreneurial opportunities in the years ahead.
4. Pat Flynn – Use your Time Effectively
Passive Income is Pat Flynn’s forté. With his site, Smart Passive Income, he teaches his subscribers to generate passive income the ethical way. Flynn is an innovative entrepreneur who champions the ‘work smart, not hard’ ethic. In his books, podcasts and courses, he unveils a multitude of clever tactics to gain and maintain a large internet following, like this top tip of using virtual assistants to help your business grow.
5. Joel Contartese – Try Something New
Every entrepreneur has to take a leap of faith in business and try something new. For Joel Contartese, belief in Instagram being the up-and-coming monetizable platform paid-off, and he is now one of the most influential marketers in the world.
As Managing Partner of Media Monsters, Contartese now oversees multimillion-dollar marketing budgets for his clients. And his methods for gaining social followings have attracted over 50 million followers worldwide.
6. Ryan Foland – Get your Brand Message Right
Getting your communications right in business is a challenge every startup will face. Strategic marketing, when it’s working at its best, will boil-down all of your sales messages into one central message and target it to the right audience.
Successful marketing guru and keynote speaker, Ryan Foland, developed the ‘3-1-3’ method for strategic brand communications. The main idea is to break down your three main sales points into three sentences, then three words, then present this pitch to your audiences as a compelling call to action.
7. Ann Makosinski – Follow your Passions
Commitment to a great idea is what helped young entrepreneur, Ann Makosinski make a success of her inventions. The 19-year-old was placed in Time Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list for inventing a flashlight powered by the heat of your hands, as well as a mug that can charge a battery using the heat from a cup of coffee.
As a child, Ann told CTV News that she had always made things for a hobby. Upon hearing that she had placed in the prestigious Time Magazine list, Ann posted to her Instagram followers,
“Always pursue your most passionate interests in your spare time, for most learning happens outside the classroom after class, and not during.”
8. Owen Tripp – Put Your Heart Into Your Business Goals
Big data is sweeping the world of health, thanks to companies like Grand Rounds, co-founded by Owen Tripp. In the wake of personal tragedy, Owen was inspired to bring big data and medical specialists together.
Grand Rounds aims to reduce waiting times and streamline company medical insurance expenses, to help save lives. Getting to grips with big data and how it could enhance the lives of your customers will give smart entrepreneurs the distinct advantage through 2017 and beyond.
9. Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen – Focus on ‘Word-of-Mouth’
Word-of-mouth recommendations are a steadfast way to build your brand. The way to generate positive reviews is to offer your customers an outstanding service, the kind of service they will want to tell their friends about.
Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen figured out a method for solving a common retail consumer pain-point, wanting to try the product at home before making a decision to buy. The team developed an Afterpay app that lets customers take an item home to try, before then deciding to pay for the product using their smartphones. This app also allows consumers to pay for their goods in installments.
The app has become so popular, many customers are now encouraging their favorite retailers to take up the service, and reap the benefits of increased sales revenue.
10. Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli – Concentrate on Customer Service
With all of the excitement in business coming from technology, AI and big data etc. entrepreneurs will also do well not to forget the more ‘human’ aspects of what builds a successful business.
Greg Moshal and Beau Bertoli at Prospa focus their attentions on solving their customers problems, i.e small business owners looking for funding. They have enjoyed huge successes in recent years for taking out the excess ‘noise’ in business lending, as well as over-delivering in terms of customer service and advice.
11. Caleb Elston – Gather Feedback Regularly
Feedback is the key to creating a product or service that offers the best to your customers. Entrepreneurs, no matter how big their businesses may have grown, will also need to regularly check-in with their key customers, to ensure that their product still appeals to them.
12. Adam Pisoni- Don’t Give Up
Perseverance is key when it comes to making your startup a success. For every one victory, you may have a dozen failed attempts beforehand. Good entrepreneurs know this and they are not deterred when one venture falls flat.
“I think there’s a cognitive dissonance that an entrepreneur has to hold in their head—irrational belief in the outlook of success with a rational fear of failure. I think that’s a big part of being an entrepreneur.”
13. Jane Lee – Find A Core Fanbase
Jane Lee, Shopify’s Entrepreneur in Residence believes that having a strong internet community behind your product before you launch will stand you a better chance of making a good impact on new customers. In 2015, Lee started her own bra company, Silly B Intimates. Through learning to build a web store from scratch, she picked-up the valuable lesson of gathering vital feedback from an established core group of fans.
Armed with valuable customer insights it’s easy to do last-minute tweaks and changes before a new product launch. Making adjustments through an easy-to-use DIY online store builder can also make the process quicker to implement and then test for effectiveness once more.
14. Roxy Jacenko – Take A Flexible Approach
Flexibility is a highly desirable personality trait for running a successful business. Roxy Jacenko, founder and CEO of Sweaty Betty PR, reached a crossroads back in 2012 and decided to take a more flexible approach to expanding her company.
She told Courier Mail that she decided to open The Ministry of Talent as a ‘side-step’ venture, rather than expand her fashion and lifestyle PR firm any further. She had noticed the emerging influence of social media personalities and wanted to take this golden opportunity to jump on the trend and provide representation to emerging talents.
Entrepreneurs looking to make a success of their startup need a mix of winning traits; an optimistic attitude and a willingness to take a hands-on approach in all aspects of business. From creating a webstore, to social media marketing and everything inbetween.
About the Author:
Victoria Greene is a branding specialist and freelance writer. She spends most of her time planning and implementing SEO strategies for her wide range of clients. She also makes time for sharing her best tips and advice online.