Some entrepreneurs continuously struggle to bring a single idea or product to market while others seem to be able to do it almost effortlessly, time and again. Household names like Steve Jobs, who achieved a legendary level of success with Apple, Pixar and NeXT, serve as examples of these global business auteurs. But there are exponentially more men and women who successfully and continuously launch thriving businesses that may not achieve the same level of global recognition but remain highly profitable just the same.
The greatest challenge for a serial entrepreneur is figuring out how to rekindle the initial hunger, passion and dedication that fueled their first venture. To do so, many surround themselves with connections who've supported them in the past, often leaning heavily on trusted partners for crucial financial, professional and emotional support. To continuously draw from these people, the entrepreneur must inspire an organic dedication among his or her followers.
Often viewed as optimistic and idealistic, the entrepreneur possesses a level of commitment and a vision that are easily observed. They're inventive, aggressive, confident, tireless, highly (and often severely) competitive, and possess an intense level of focus. Entrepreneurs genuinely believe in what they're doing and thereby inspire others toward the same goal. They typically place a high value on creativity and will take a calculated risk if they're fairly certain they can sway the eventual outcome in their favor.
But what inspires such a fierce level of commitment?
Money seems to be the common denominator among serial entrepreneurs. Taking a quick glance over a list of The World's Billionaires
compiled by Forbes, a large percentage are entrepreneurs, including Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison and Amancio Ortega. These men account for the top 1 percent of the world's wealth and have achieved their standing as self-made entrepreneurs.
Also known as the "entrepreneurial obsession," intrinsic motivation is a term used to refer to the predisposition to work on something because it's interesting, engaging, stimulating, satisfying or challenging on a personal level. This is in opposition to the larger set of people who are extrinsically motivated, driven by expected evaluation, supervision, competition or rewards. Entrepreneurs do what they do because they genuinely enjoy it. As a result, many serial entrepreneurs strive to create something that is both tangible and significant and will not pursue objectives they deem to be less of a challenge.
There is no guarantee on the success of any business startup, though the success rate of a serial entrepreneur would seem to argue with that fact. As mentioned above, those willing to risk both time and financial resources do so because they believe in what they're doing. And with entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs or Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, we glimpse a desire to leave the world a better place by contributing innovations that improve the entrepreneur's chosen field. These individuals, who may possess a nearly maniacal level of ambition, tend to provide products and services that strive to improve society and in the process leave a significant mark on the world - in short, a legacy.
How do they do it? Given the repeat success many enjoy, you can pretty much count luck out. And while a wide range of leadership abilities go into the mix, at the core is an innate drive toward success.