Create. Succeed. Rinse. Repeat.

Posted: March 22, 2015 by Jerry Malsh in Innovation, People

jerry-malsh-2015Before you break an arm patting yourself on the back for being an entrepreneur, consider these folks:

Elon Musk, Thomas Edison, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey,

Wayne Huizenga, Benjamin Franklin, Jerome Lemelson and Geroge Bernard Shaw.

They’re serial entrepreneurs.

A special breed of entrepreneur for whom creating, growing and sustaining just one business wasn’t enough. While you and I created, grew and sustained a single business, serial entrepreneurs created, grew and sustained an empire of businesses. Where we stopped, they started … with an extraordinary passion to achieve unlimited success in as many ventures as possible.

Musk co-founded software company Zip2 which he sold to Compaq for $22 million, then co-founded PayPal, receiving $$165 million when he sold it to eBay. He also founded spacecraft maker SpaceX, co-founded electric car maker Tesla Motors and SolarCity, already the second largest maker of solar power systems in the U.S. Est. net worth $12.1B (Forbes)

Edison, holder of 1093 patents, invented the light bulb, motion picture camera and phonograph, to name just a few.

Branson, a high school dropout, founded Virgin Group (brilliant name) which includes more than 400 businesses and humanitarian organizations that span the globe. Est. net worth $4.9B (Forbes)

Oprah heads an eponymous international brand name synonymous with numerous entertainment businesses and supported by millions of devoted fans.

Est. net worth: $3B. (Forbes)

Huizenga, a college dropout, created Blockbuster Video, AutoNation and Waste Management-all multi-billion dollar businesses. Recent venture is Swisher Hygiene, a full service provider of sanitation services. Est. net worth $2.6B (Forbes)

Franklin invented bifocal glasses, the lightning rod and the Franklin stove as well as publishing several newspapers, Poor Richard’s Almanac and creating the nation’s first free library. Of course, he also co-founded a world famous 200+ year-old enterprise that’s still going strong: The U.S.A.

Lemelson’s 600 patents include the invention of automated warehouses, industrial robots, cordless telephones and fax machines.

Sound like you? Me neither.

So what’s the difference between serial entrepreneurs and just plain entrepreneurs like you, me, the butcher, baker and candlestick maker?

How we measure success.

I never caught the serial business bug.

I caught the serial client bug.

Instead of creating, building and sustaining more businesses for myself, I chose to collaborate with my clients to help them create, build and sustain their own businesses.

By focusing solely on their businesses, I built my business on my terms, at a scale, a pace and a balance in life that I’m most comfortable with.

If I’m as good as my clients think I am, then success for both of us will always follow. So far, so good. No regrets.

I’m sure many of my fellow entrepreneurs can share a similarly fulfilling experience. A career filled with thousands of satisfied clients and their customers was all I ever wanted to accomplish.

So what do ordinary entrepreneurs have in common with serial entrepreneurs?

A vision that most other people don’t have.

A vision best expressed by George Bernard Shaw–Irish playwright, critic, philosopher, political activist, co- founder of the London School of Economics and the only person to win both an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize–quite a serial entrepreneur in his own right, eh?

To quote Shaw:

“You see things; and you say ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’

If that description fits you, then go ahead and pat yourself on the back.

You’ve earned it.

You’re no one-hit wonder and you’ll never be a slouch.

 

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