Belfast Telegraph

Great entrepreneurs don't follow the herd

By Debbie Orme

Have you ever watched an episode of Dragons' Den and tried to work out what made each of the Dragons a major success? You're not alone. Business people throughout the UK study the stories of great entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates looking for the vital ingredient that led to international acclaim – and stardom.

Unfortunately, as many have found, it isn't a matter of one ingredient. In fact, the recipe for success in business has so many ingredients it's difficult to know where to start. Put simply, great entrepreneurship begins with genetics, which are shaped by upbringing, and finally moulded and crafted by choices and experience. While every great entrepreneur has a different life story, however, there are some common denominators.

Great entrepreneurs don't follow the herd, they have their own way of doing things. Working through complex problems and coming up with the right decisions, they trust their own instinct to make the final call.

They are also devoted to their business, often to the exclusion and thus detriment of other aspects of their lives. While most people work to live, great entrepreneurs live to work, driven by a burning passion for what they do – and to succeed.

They have no respect for the status quo – nor for those who tell them 'this is how it's done'. Great entrepreneurs honestly believe there is a desire for a product or they can find a better way to do something, and will ultimately prove it. They may not succeed the first time (in fact the average is 3.8 failures before success), Richard Branson being a case in point as his first venture failed, but they dust themselves down and start again. It's for that reason that many of the major moguls have a 'superhero' quality: quite simply, they are truly special.

You can find out if you've 'got what it takes' at the Smart Business Show, Odyssey Arena, Belfast on May 29 and 30. See

Belfast Telegraph