Gorny says he experienced a distinct lack of respect when he first started out as an entrepreneur because of his Eastern European accent.
Tomas Gorny, a serial entrepreneur who promotes the idea that the creation of great things is more important than the accumulation of wealth, once said, “If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, don’t chase the money.”
Gorny learned this lesson the hard way. In fact, his rags-to-riches story repeated itself twice before he co-founded his current venture Nextiva, a cloud-based communications provider based in Arizona, USA, where he now oversees over 500 employees.
Here are three lessons he’s learned over a lifetime as an entrepreneur, as told by Brian Hughes, guest writer at Entrepreneur.com:
Don’t underestimate people based on the appearance or speech: Gorny says he experienced a distinct lack of respect when he first started out as an entrepreneur because of his Eastern European accent. This taught him to never underestimate anybody in life because of looks, demeanour, accent or outfit. Now, before hiring anyone, he only looks at character, attitude, skill level and potential cultural fit.
Do not be afraid to fail: From a PC distribution business he sold in 1996 to a startup he joined in 1997, Gorny has experience all kinds of failures. In fact, 5 years after his arrival in the US he already had two failed ventures and was back were he started on his arrival to the US. But this didn’t discourage him; it only made him work harder to succeed. With about $6000 left in his savings, he launched a web-hosting company and built it into the second largest business in its industry.
Approach everything from the customer’s perspective: Customers are your best teachers as an entrepreneur. A business that can deliver top notch products that solve a customer’s problems will become invaluable, and referrals will come. It is only smart to adopt your customers mindset as a business owner. Gorny recommends soliciting customer feedback as opposed to assuming that your solution is right.
Do you have any experience as an entrepreneur? Are there any lessons you would like to share with other budding entrepreneur out there? Please share in the comments section below. Happy hunting!