One such man, 27-year-old Timothy Mitchel, started his ascent to success at just 18, when he did so well at Microsoft’s entrance test that they suspected he was cheating. He joined immediately as a senior architect and director and he has since been scouted by Wall Street banks and U.S. government agencies.
He creates computer programmes that have the ability to learn independently, an invention that has huge potential in the business world. The time companies spend monitoring, updating and repairing computer systems could be drastically reduced if the programmes did this all themselves.
Timothy, now chief executive of Dot AIN, the company hoping to produce and sell this intelligent software, gives his advice for turning an idea into a viable business.
“I have seen thousands of ideas die on the vine, because the individuals that have them never get over that fear of failing,” says Timothy. Having belief that success is possible is fundamental, otherwise people simply don’t take the risks necessary. Timothy himself quit his directorship at Microsoft and cashed in important assets including his pension fund to raise capital for his venture.
He says risk-taking is necessary in business. You must be aware of the worst-case scenario and be comfortable with it. Once you acknowledge the potential downfall and realise there is always a backup, it becomes easier to push your fear aside and jump.
Of course, it is important to take the right risks. Remaining realistic is paramount: putting your family, children and friends on the line is never a good idea – many people lose everything.
2. Team up
You might have the ideas and the technical know-how, but are you business-savvy? Do you know how to negotiate, deal with customers and fill in all the important forms? Teaming up with someone who has business skills will greatly improve your chances of success as it takes a project and turns it into a money-maker. Too many creative, artistic and technical people never make it big because they take everything on their own shoulders and end up making mistakes.
3. Be patient
When successful entrepreneurs are asked how long it took to make their idea a business, most say ‘longer than expected’. Some people estimate three years to get off the ground. More often than not, it takes double and even triple this.
4. Don’t be put off by the stats
The statistics (as statistics tend to be) are pretty scary when it comes to start ups. Of the millions of ideas people around the world have every year, only a fraction are developed into anything, and an even smaller fraction of those that do actually become successful. Of course, the entrepreneurs at the FiRe conference weren’t put off by statistics. Today they’re making billions of dollars from their ideas. Never let statistics get you down – you might just be the entrepreneur who makes it.
If you have an idea, why not research it further? Find out about market, competition and potential sales. Enlist the help of a qualified accountant to produce a financial forecast to see where things could be for you in a few years. To find out more, please visit our Start a Business page.
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