Succeeding in the business world is a topic that occupies troves of books, magazine articles, interviews, and motivational speeches. There are so many ideas, tips, and opinions from successful entrepreneurs and business executives that it can easily become overwhelming for the aspiring entrepreneur. Gleaning actionable advice from these sources can be difficult. Vague statements like “Cash is King” or “Put the customer first” don’t necessarily translate easily into concrete business decisions for owners in niche industries or who are new to conducting business in the 21st century.
That’s why getting back to the basics and following common sense advice from people who have personally succeeded in the business world is the best route to go.
For example, take David Leuschen. He is founder and creator of Riverstone Holdings and has overseen IPOs of new funds valued at over $2 billion. When giving a talk about how he has achieved such astronomical success and wealth in his lifetime, David dispenses common sense advice that seems almost too easy to be effective. Mainly, he emphasizes that “90% of life is showing up”, which is a phrase made famous by comedian Woody Allen.
A simple statement such as this belies the deeper meaning. He isn’t just referring to having a stellar attendance record, being punctual, and never calling in sick. He’s talking about specialization. Sticking with one industry, or one niche within an industry, can yield fantastic returns on investment for the dedicated and hard-working business person. For example, his energy fund requires a large team of people who only specialize in the energy markets. This intense specialization allows them to be experts in their niche and weather industry down periods to take full advantage of opportunities. This dedication to a specific field is difficult for many aspiring entrepreneurs who seek to jump on the next big trend, however the wisdom has been echoed throughout history by other business leaders such as Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie. Economist Adam Smith took this concept’s importance to the macroeconomic level in “Wealth of Nations”, so it is certainly not a new concept.
Another simple …