Patrick Bet- David is a successful startup entrepreneur, author of four inspiring books and a master motivator. In a recent interview with Harvard University, he talked of the secret to his success.
His journey was full of hurdles, losses and regrets but these problems were what helped him chisel his skills and evolve as a famous, well-known personality all young aspiring entrepreneur’s look up to.
Here are 19 golden lessons he stole from his experiences in the military that help him built his empire.
He talks about the anonymous amount of information that is gunned at us every day and how one wrong decision can collapse an entire business. So the first lesson he wants everyone to imbibe is to learn how to manage chaos, how to pull oneself together in times of confusion.
Mission – Driven
You’ve heard military personnel talk about going on a mission and not just that but completing it. Pat believes in applying the goal as a fulfilling factor in business too. He says there is no success without a mission and what one should seek in a business is to ride towards that mission with zest and passion, not letting a minute slip by.
Military is all about limited things. Limited amount of water, food, space or even safety and one has to survive with all the available resources at hand. A fresh entrepreneur is never full of money when he first takes off his business unless he or she has a very strong financial back up. Thus, one has to learn how to build his business with whatever little he has, to learn to save and develop those savings. Investment here, no matter how small it is, becomes the way in which you make your money two-folds of what it was when you started.
As much is it is important for military to multi-task on ground, in the world of business this skill becomes even more pertinent until one gets ultimate support. When you are starting a business and you do not just start off with an idea, you make a decision to deal with all the excess responsibilities it would lay on you. And when one doesn’t have enough support in its premature stage he or she has to learn how to handle everything by oneself.
Perform under pressure
While most of the people give up when they are put under pressure. Pat believes one needs to learn how to work under pressure to attain success. One needs to learn how to make decisions at the peak of the moment and be prepared enough to deal with the consequence.
Military is unpredictable, with constant risk of your own life and the safety of your nation, and the same is with business. There are end number of risks an entrepreneur has to face on a daily basis and these risks are unavoidable.
The point is how intelligently you manage those risks, which risk you choose to take and how you decide to tackle with them. Thus taking and managing risk is an important factor that helps in building a business.
Military puts you through some tough times, and some tougher people who are too difficult to deal with. This is exactly what happens in business, people leave, they hang up on you, talk behind your back, criticize you, humiliate your cause but the only way to make it to the top is to have a thick skin.
Baring your sensitive side is only going to cause you an emotional rash that pulls you and your productivity down.
Build a tribe
Survival in a military is through friends, those peers who have seem mission and ethics which help push each other to greater accomplishments. In business you don’t just happen to be there you attract your tribe. It’s very important to build a strong, hardworking and a dedicated team for the company to thrive. These are the people that back you up in any situation and you back them up when they go through difficult situation. Thus, team building is essential and to build a good team you need to have an eye for like-minded people with similar goals and aspirations.
You lead, follow or get out of the way. In a business if one does not learn how to lead a group full of confused individuals on track, the whole purpose of building a tribe goes for waste. Leadership is to empower each other and not to own the tag of being the boss. Leadership has to be charismatic, motivating and the one that develops the other as a person.
Learning other cultures
Unless you have a criteria which says people only from your community would work with you, people who come in contact with you and would later be part of your team would belong to various cultures and ethics.
What one has to learn is to adjust, adapt and engage, and with people of different cultures and backgrounds.
There is never going to be a perfect set of situation that would remain in a business situation forever just like the military. There are changes every day; you’re at one end some day and at another on a different day.
In this situation one needs to learn how to adapt, how to deal with market changes, betrayals by dealers, losing clients and everything under the entrepreneurial roof that you may find it testing. Shift the focus and make a backup plan, and never cry over a situation that cannot be changed, that’s what millionaires do.
In business with the competitors wanting to cut your bark off, one needs to learn how to survive. One needs to learn to retain their position and push it through hardship.
Military teaches you how to live on your own without depending on family or any other external help and this quality is one of the stark necessities when it comes to business. You need to learn to get things done without being dependent on someone.
You can’t wage a war without a full-fledged plan, just like how you cannot develop a business without strategy. Business requires strategic thinking and execution of plans to endure positive results and hence having a plan at the back of your head is important in business to make it work.
Military is known for producing the fittest of people, not because it requires the physique but requires the strength build through years of training and management of heath.
A business man cannot afford to be tired and for that he needs to take care of his health, by taking enough measures to guard and protect himself from diseases and ailments.
What happens when you make a business plan? You execute it and to do so you need a lot of preparation and backstage work to be done. Thus, preparation is important to derive results.
Fear makes you do great things at times and having a healthy paranoia is crucial in maintaining the stability of a business. Think what if all good things are taken away from you and how you’d deal with it. This builds strength and resilience.
Military teaches one to follow an ethical way of doing things and what Pat drew from military in his business is to follow the same work ethic. You need to learn how to follow the rules you make and maintain the dignity and decorum of your business if you don’t want people to overthrow you.
Discipline is something we can’t emphasize enough on but is so rarely use with diligence. It is difficult to be serious and follow a routine. It is difficult to build a maturity where you run by the rules but one can’t make millions without order and discipline and there can be no second question to it.
Bet- David gives us every reason to get inspired by him and become millionaires. The question is , how ready are we to matriculate these rules and turn dreams into reality.