Who are your business idols? We all have those people we look up to — not celebrities, necessarily, but the movers and shakers within our industry whom we greatly admire based on their talent, merit, intelligence and success.
One of my business idols is Manjit Minhas, “beer baroness,” investor on Dragon’s Den and also named to many noteworthy lists including the Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs in Canada, Calgary’s Top 40 Under 40, and the “Top Growth Entrepreneur” award from PROFIT magazine in Toronto. It’s obvious why any entrepreneur would look up to Minhas, but as I followed her career I quickly realized that in addition to her stellar drive, talent and market intelligence, she is also… just a regular person!
As much as we idolize these powerhouses of industry, it’s important that we also remember not to put them way up high on a pedestal. They are regular people just like anyone else. The truth is that entrepreneurs have similar traits, and those traits span across stages of life and learning. Whether you’re spending your nights slaving away at your first business plan; contemplating expanding out of your garage into a warehouse; signing off on a multi-million dollar deal to sell your business; or expanding into the global market (or, a household name like Minhas), you share many traits with entrepreneurs at all stages: determination, leadership, market sense, independence and a dream.
So with that, I urge you: take a good look at your idols and find what makes them relatable. Do they treat themselves to pizza every Friday night? Do they shake everyone’s hands at events with the attitude that they are on the same level as anyone else? Do they worry, even now, that they aren’t really qualified for their own success (we all fight feelings of inadequacy, even once we’ve garnered wild success)?
Look to these relatable traits for guidance. Which positive traits do they possess that translate to your own life? Emulate those — whether it’s organization, kindness, laughing in the face of self-doubt, sound leadership, environmental stewardship or something else. These entrepreneurs all worked to get where they are and have traits that can teach you how to achieve your own success. And don’t be afraid to reach out to them! Social media has created the opportunity to engage with our idols. Authentic social media engagement has garnered me as one of Manjit Minhas’s few Twitter followers (honoured!!) and I’ve also been lucky enough to meet another idol, Brian Solis. It all started with me direct messaging him on Twitter and turned into a one-hour conversation about business and entrepreneurship over drinks.
I love chatting about business and entrepreneurship so if you are up for a chat, give me a call!