What is a serial entrepreneur and how to manage multiple projects? 

What is a serial entrepreneur and how to manage multiple projects?

The entrepreneurial career is difficult and bumpy, and achieving success often takes longer than anticipated. The key to success on this path is to adopt the right mindset, in which we can discover vast and endless reserves of persistence, courage, and intelligence.

This is especially true for serial entrepreneurship, where your routines, methods, and ideas must work in perfect harmony to care for a series of endeavors.

People like Elon Musk have already discovered the right mindset, unleashing a portfolio of incredible startups, with their eyes currently set on the horizon of another planet.

Have you had a hard time developing the right thinking for entrepreneurship? Have you ever wondered how entrepreneurs can create one successful startup after another?

Here’s a brief guide to the key thinking tweaks you can make to effectively navigate your serial entrepreneurship journey.

What is serial entrepreneurship?

Serial entrepreneurship is the activity of founding multiple businesses and running them successfully. Serial entrepreneurs use the momentum of their early successes and recycle it into a chain of startups.

Running multiple businesses may seem like science fiction at first glance. But at the heart of the serial entrepreneur’s adventure lies a solid foundation of the right perspectives that anyone can adopt and use effectively.

The following perspectives of thought can give you a boost at any stage of your entrepreneurial adventure and are essential when it comes to running multiple ventures.

How to run multiple businesses

1. Divide and conquer your businesses

Elon Musk’s business successes may seem superhuman or magical to some. In a way, they are. However, if you examine each achievement and see it by its small steps, dividing each achievement into steps and more small steps, in the essential core you can find small spaces of achievable tasks. Just when you look at it all, it all looks like the handiwork of a superhuman.

Here’s a bold analogy Have you ever seen breakdancers perform at the RedBull BC One competition? His incredible athletic performances seem nothing short of superhuman acts. Words simply cannot express with full justice how well-developed these athletic tasks and performances are. So it would be good if we took a look at them to try to learn something from everything they do.

Each performance of these dancers is a giant mix of specific moves, flashes, jumps, windmills, and air chairs to name just a few, and each one has a step-by-step guide to mastering the move.

With the right perspective, the right attitude, discipline, and genetic luck, one can conquer move by move to create a true work of art in breakdancing. You can apply this analogy to virtually any stage of your entrepreneurial journey, whether you’re solving complex problems within a single entrepreneurial journey or managing the complexities of multiple startups.

Using the Divide and Conquer engineering approach can allow you to better understand what it takes to solve problems on a smaller scale. Actionable tasks on a small scale are easier to master the process.

This tactic is a game-changer for serial entrepreneurs. It allows them to tackle big problems with confidence while understanding that it can be overwhelming to tackle all the tasks at once.

2. Failing at serial entrepreneurship

Serial entrepreneurs have an impressive portfolio of successful companies. However, focusing only on their successes can distract us from the most valuable moments of their successful journeys, their failures. Certainly, we should use our intelligence and intuition to avoid misfortunes as much as we can, however, and paradoxically, we should embrace moments of failure with great care and attention.

Jewish philosophy declares that pain invites wisdom that cannot be achieved in any other way, and this is certainly true.

“Pain and suffering are opportunities to challenge the way we look at life. When things are going well, we tend to take life for granted, but trauma pushes us to the edges of life, allowing us to look at it from a new and revealing angle.”

In the weird world of entrepreneurship, this is exceptionally true. The relationship between success and failure is not mutually exclusive and is both beautifully symbiotic. Your triumphs will take you to new horizons where failure is nothing more than a kind of statistical certainty. And your failures will serve as an opportunity for introspection and growth as you prepare for the next big thing. When it arrives, you will be able to leverage the new, uncovered growth to propel yourself to heights that were simply impossible before.

Failure forces us to do what we naturally avoid, which leads us to introspect, reflect and become wiser for the next opportunities that await us. Those who avoid introspection and do not harness the incredible power of failure cut off their ability to see beyond their current horizons.

In the world of entrepreneurship, the prospect of failure comes with each new territory conquered. It is estimated that more than half of new businesses fail in the first five years and that two out of three last less than a decade. The goal here should be to keep failures short and sweet and mitigate long-term damage effects. When failures happen, it’s important to create the perfect balance between swimming through the pain and knowing when the time is right to look forward.

Elon Musk is an example of someone who shows us incredible resilience in the face of failure. He had wiped out his entire capital after three failed attempts at launching a reusable rocket at Space X. His company had pretty much failed, and no one wanted to be a part of it. Muck had to use the money he had earned from the PayPal sale to fund his own fourth and final launch. Either he launched successfully or he would have to move back into a friend’s apartment.

In an interview on 60 Minutes, Musk was faced with this question: “When you saw your third failure in a row, did you think it was time to pack up and call Space X over?” To which the entrepreneur replied:

“I never quit, I would have to be dead or incapacitated.”

Under immense pressure from three failed launches, investors, family, and close friends, Musk had heard from many voices that it was time to end his losses and resign. But instead, Musk didn’t let failure keep him from his dreams. Today, Elon Musk is the richest man in the United States, with a net worth of $208 billion.

3. In front of the troubleshooting board

Serial entrepreneurs operate on headlong efficiency, often ending up stuck in one area that can make their entire workload unsustainable.

Much like a college student choosing courses for the next semester, an entrepreneur’s workload can be perfectly manageable until he takes on too much to do. After which, each class, or each task in the case of the entrepreneur, becomes exponentially more stressful.

Serial entrepreneurs remain effective by having incredible problem-solving skills or, more importantly, by being able to foresee the collision that could come and avoid it. They are constantly evaluating new problem-solving models, optimizing what works and shedding what doesn’t. One such problem-solving method is known as “double-loop learning.”

During the Iraq war, the US military reported a significant and unexplained growth in the number of eye injuries. This led surgeons to come up with more innovative forms of optical surgery and even new protocols to reduce the risks of long-term damage to the eyes.

Dr. Atul Gawande, an American surgeon, writer, and medical researcher identified an emerging model and asked a slightly different question, “Why are there so many eye injuries when they have protective supplies?” He soon discovered that the soldiers’ goggles were slightly uncomfortable to wear and didn’t look good. The military then hired a designer to make Star Wars-style goggles that felt good and looked awesome. Since then, the number of eye injuries has dropped dramatically.

4. Double and single-circuit learning

This might involve finding creative ways to respond to an issue after the fact, focusing energy more reactively. Although this solves the problem at hand, it is comparable to bringing a jackhammer into an operating room.

Dr. Atul Gawande recognized an underlying pattern and resolved the root cause of an ongoing problem. This was a proactive approach to problem-solving, rather than a reactive one.

Serial Entrepreneurs leverage their problem-solving skills in every part and element of their work. Whether it’s showing your leadership to a project manager where there’s a repeating cycle of frustrated clients, instead of spending too much energy trying to do damage control, you should identify emerging patterns and review internal communication protocols on such hidden issues. Or recognize patterns and behavioral traits in customers that tend to drain company resources and keep you away from potential company stress points.

Final thoughts

Entrepreneurs serve as the backbone of human ingenuity, channeling their ideas into revolutionary inventions. Serial Entrepreneurs take things to the next level by leveraging insights and sound business thinking to take humanity to new heights. It’s easy to look at Elon Musk’s array of successful startups and feel like he’s superhuman. The truth is that the illusion of a whole can be broken down into smaller, smaller actionable steps, and with the proper thinking perspective, you too can take humanity to incredible new heights.

With information from LifeHack.

Author

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