Online shopping has blown up because of the recession. More people are shopping online today than ever. You get great pricing, don’t have to leave the comfort of your home, and you even can get alerts when new styles or updates of the products you love become available. Among the big names (like Amazon & eBay) is an online women’s retail company, Ideeli. According to Inc. Magazine, in 2011, they had a huge growth of 40,992.2% from 2008. Much of the success Ideeli has achieved has been attributed to founder and CEO, Paul Hurley. His success story has taught me three characteristics that every entrepreneur should have:
1. Don’t be afraid of failure
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.”
Since Hurley was a little boy he was always looking for ways to earn money and build a successful company. You could easily call him a serial entrepreneur because before he could even drive he had gone through business idea after business idea. Though he had unsuccessful ideas he did not lie down. Driven to succeed, he never allowed the fear of past failures to keep him from trying a new business idea. He used his experiences to help guide him to future success.
2. Don’t be afraid of experimenting
“Success is a science; if you have the conditions, you get the results.”
You could say all the businesses that Hurley built before Ideeli was a trial and error experiment. From 2001 to 2006 he started several businesses with his co-founder. They were moderately successful but were not content. A good hypothesis (business idea) doesn’t mean it’s going to be true (or even work). This means you might have several failures before you find the right hypothesis that’s going to work. Both Hurley, and I, believe you learn from your failures.
3. Don’t be afraid of change
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Ideeli didn’t start off as an online retailer for women. It began as a marketing platform to help build brand awareness for up and coming designers. It was moderately successful but as they changed to retail instead of just marketing in 2008, they took off. Don’t put a glass a ceiling on your company simply because you’ve found something that works. Always be looking for ways to improve and make business better.
Hurley didn’t allow a fear of failing, experimenting, or changing get in the way of being a successful entrepreneur. As he went from business to business he said he wanted to “build something big and have a meaningful impact.” Armed with this idea and following the three keys I’ve outlined above, he was driven to create an incredibly successful company. What fears are holding you back from being a successful entrepreneur?
Mike Alder is a University of Utah business marketing student and marketing specialist at Lendio. Passionate about entrepreneurship, small businesses, and inbound marketing. Mike shows his passion by sharing stories of successful entrepreneurs and companies with small business owners on the Lendio blog. He makes these big success stories easy-to-apply in simple and easy to read language for the everyday small business owner and entrepreneur.