A typical entrepreneur is someone that will often come up with an idea to start a business, see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of that company. A serial entrepreneur will be the one to come up with the idea to start a business, get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new business idea and a new venture.
The term ‘serial entrepreneur’ is frequently used these days. Who wouldn’t want to be someone that has many groundbreaking ideas they can’t channel all of them into just one company. Instead, they choose to focus their genius on creating multiple, money-making businesses. This can be a good thing if the individual has lots of unique ideas and is the best one suited to get each one started, but can be a bad thing if the individual stops putting time into a company that needs his or her help, in order to try to move forward with a new idea that may not succeed.
While this sounds exciting most people use this term loosely in describing their career path. Saying that you started many businesses sounds great, but are all of them successful? The term appears to be boastful, just a title to impress others. You’ve never heard of a serial author, as there are many people who wrote multiple books, or even serial inventors, so why should entrepreneurs be different? If you take a look at the professional network LinkedIn, you will see the number of serial entrepreneurs. As with everything else, there is a good and bad side to it.
With that being said, what makes a serial entrepreneur? There are a few traits of being a serial entrepreneur.
They have exceptional optimism. There’s optimism and there’s exceptional optimism. While most exceptionally successful serial entrepreneurs make it look somewhat easy, the trust is that they have encountered a number of setbacks. The difference is that they don't look at these setbacks as permanent ones. No matter how many companies one launches, there will be major reversals. What sets exceptionally successful serial entrepreneurs apart is the exceptional optimism that keeps them balanced during tougher times. Their day to day circumstances doesn't take their eye off of their long-term goals.
They have great time management. Time is the single most valuable asset because it's the only asset that can't be renewed. As a result, there is a need for aggressive, intentional time management for anyone who wants to be a serial entrepreneur.
They know when to move on. Determination and perseverance play a major part in being an entrepreneur, but it's equally important for a serial entrepreneur to realize when a project is not working and moving on to the next thing. You must be able to identify failure fast and then let it go. Many entrepreneurs hold on too tightly to a misguided idea or project that exhausts them as well as their resources. It's important to know when to cut your losses.
They have the ability to set concrete goals. There are goals like, “I want to be successful one day.” and, “I want to build a tech company that generates $10 million in annual revenues by the end of 2020.” Serial entrepreneurs set specific goals because they understand that this is the only way to accomplish tasks consistently.
They have a great passion for hard work. A serial entrepreneur has to have a passion for what he or she does, regardless of the final result. Of course, it all always starts with a vision, a goal, but then later the strange idea morphs into something real.