I'm not an entrepreneur & I don't want investors
- By Rob Ford -
- Jun 26, 2012
Today's entrepreneur guest blog looks at the idea of a true entrepreneur and why they'd certainly never refer to themselves as one...
So often I read people’s profiles, Twitter, Facebook, etc and cringe when they call themselves an entrepreneur. If you are still asking yourself the question: am I an entrepreneur?
I don’t believe a true entrepreneur, by definition, would ever call themselves one. It’s not a title to aspire to and is something people often focus on rather than chasing the dream and following a passion. If other people refer to you as an entrepreneur, you, most likely, have earned the title.
With big success stories such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc, we seem to be in a world where people have the sole focus of being the next big thing, trying to come up with the ultimate unique idea that will make them a billionaire almost overnight.
It’s not going to happen if that is your focus.
Back in the late 90s, I started a journey, first with web design and then with internet recognition, a journey that would see me work for six years without generating any income and living off savings, a dream that would see me turn down £500K investment opportunity and a dream that took away my entire 30s without a single day off. My spare room became a life of solitary confinement.
In the year 2000, I launched Favourite Website Awards, now known purely as FWA, a recognition programme for cutting edge websites and now an entire network of showcases, from web, mobile, offline, photography and video. The network has grown organically, by word of mouth and with hard earned respect from the digital industry. You might have seen the yellow FWA award ribbon on some of the world’s biggest brands’ websites, examples here.
What is my point?
Quite simply, you don’t need investment, grand titles or swanky offices to gain success online. The ingredients for success in any business are passion, dedication, perfection and unwavering ethics. If you have all four, you are immediately in a very strong position.
Whatever your passion is in life, follow it and take that passion online and share it with everyone. You will be amazed how things can grow, branch out and develop, just like nature. If you live and breathe your passion, everyone with a common interest will feel it. If you can convert your passion into daily content, you are on the road to success.
Always think small and focus on the details of what you are doing. Perfection is everything. Overheads will kill you so do everything you possibly can yourself.
FWA is one of the longest running internet sites, with over 12 years under its belt and more than 150 million site visits. I have managed to slowly grow from very humble surroundings and limited skills to having created the most visited web award in history.
I avoided investment as keeping stress to a minimum and only answering to me is one of the most important things I have ever learnt. Of course, you must play by the rules of business, i.e. tax, VAT etc but this is a bi-product of success. The more tax you pay, the better.
I now work 3 days per week and go offline for the other 4. That 4 day hiatus most weeks has freed up the creative side of my brain and by the time I am back online, I am eager to take everything to another level. My sites have been automated to cut out hours of maintenance and now I only have to focus on quality content. I have a team of almost 100 volunteer judges to help keep things running like clockwork, and without them I’d be back in solitary. People will help you if they have that common interest and whatever your passion is, there will be others with it as well. Birds of a feather do indeed flock together.
In summary, don’t focus on figuring out the Lotto numbers, just follow your heart and take it online… share your passion with the world and people will enjoy sharing the feel good factor you have created. You never know what it might lead to so enjoy the ride.
This guest blog complies to Virgin.com terms & conditions.