Mark Zuckeberg (Facebook), Steve Case (AOL), Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Jerry Yang (Yahoo), and Pierre Omidyar (Ebay) and a host of other internet entrepreneurs became wealthy working online. Just what were the secrets of their success and what can you learn from their strategies to reap wealth on the internet too?
Principally they used the following seven categories:
1. They recognized a trend and seized it
2. They started from the bottom up
3. They worked without salaries
4. They were innovative
5. They gave themselves a strong mission
6. They offered free services to all
7. They reinvested their income in their businesses.
Now, let’s look at the strategies one by one:
They recognized a trend and seized it
The internet millionaires and billionaires did not just become rich. They were prepared for it. This preparedness enabled them to seize the opportunity when it came their way.
At the time these guys started their businesses, the internet was just a fad. Recognizing its potential, they set about harnessing its potential and their foresight paid big.
If you want to make money on the internet too, you must be on the lookout for the trends; then accept the change and use it to advantage. This is what sets successful entrepreneurs and their average counterparts apart.
But know that there are no shortcuts to business success. What are needed are hard work and the right positioning which will enable you to keep your options open. In this way if opportunity knocks, you can see it and grab it.
They started from the bottom up
We all know that wealthy internet entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Larry Page did not start rich neither did they make it overnight. They started small, from the bottom and worked their way up. You are permitted to dream big but if you don’t have the means and you don’t start where you are, you are never going to get where you want.
Is it again necessary to repeat that Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page, Jerry Yang, David Filo, Sergey Brin, etc. started their internet businesses from the dorms of their schools? Did you know that Jeff Bezos even started Amazon from his garage?
Now, is it the idea which worked for them? No, says Mark Cuban. According to him if it were the ideas everyone would become rich. Why? Everyone has ideas. What is it then? The homework which enables to know if the idea would work in a particular industry, then preparing oneself to work the idea into reality.
The lesson here is that when these internet millionaires and billionaires got the idea, they did not wait for a big investor before putting them into practice. They started with their meager means and kept going until the idea brought fame and fortune.
Are you prepared to do the same if you had an idea? Of course you must, if you want to be like these guys one day.
They worked without salaries
Another quality to learn and practice is the ability to sacrifice. Mark Zuckerberg made it clear that he and his colleagues did not work for the money. What was important to them was that they had created an information flow for people.
You too must be prepared to work for free for your idea in the startup stages of your internet business. Like those millionaires and billionaires, don’t worry at all if you are not paid a dime. Like them, concentrate solely on developing your business idea and keep on sacrificing for it. Success will surely come one day. Why? Because you would not be killing softly the hen that will lay the golden eggs.
They were innovative
Innovation is key to success in any business, maybe even more so in internet entrepreneurship. We said above that the internet millionaires and billionaires were well positioned to seize the opportunities which came their ways. Dos this mean that they were pioneers in their niche?
No. Many of them were even latecomers but the difference was that they brought innovation into the sector. Larry Page once made it clear that they were targeting innovation and had the belief that mobile applications were essential.
He was right.
Before Google and Yahoo there was the ask.com search engine. Other small independent online bookstores existed before Jeff Bezos created Amazon and positioned it as the world largest bookstore. Facebook wasn’t the first social networking site either; MySpace was already an established social site. But Mark Zuckerberg hitched up Facebook. Thanks to the innovative spirit of these internet entrepreneurs, you know the rest of the stories.
So you don’t necessarily have to be the first in your industry to make it big. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel either. The most important requirement for success on the internet is that you bring innovation (improvement) to bear on an existing idea and success will follow.
They gave themselves a strong mission
Mark Zuckerberg really made this clear when he said that what he really cared about was the mission to make the world open.
The internet millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs mentioned above and the others believed that they had a mission to fulfill with their internet businesses. Not just any mission but the one which would enable them to change people’s destinies.
If you want to give yourself such a mission too, then at the beginning of your internet business you must ask yourself why you want to start the business. Then never lose that focus as the business grows.
Is your answer similar to Jeff Bezos’ who claimed that the most important goal for him was to focus obsessively on the customer, to be the world’s most customer-centric company? This can make the difference between success and failure. This is because a business mission helps maintain focus, keeping the entrepreneur right on course.
The business mission must also be strong. That will help you sustain success when it comes. Maybe this is what made the difference between MySpace and Facebook as this latter’s stronger mission became the driving force which made it eclipse the former. The same is true for Google’s phenomenal success. According to Larry Page their mission was to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible anywhere on the planet.
They offered free services to all
How much did you pay to use Google search or to have a Yahoo, Google or Facebook account? Nothing.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook enabled family and friends maintain vital contact for free. Google furnished vital information for free; Craiglist is also a free resource. As people love free services, no doubt they flocked these sites and the internet service providers became richer and richer. Didn’t Rich Dad say that if you want to be rich, simply serve more people?
So if you want to be successful on the internet too, offer a valuable service to people for free or at least at an affordable fee.
They reinvested their income in their business
The seventh secret to the success of the internet billionaire was that they reinvested what they earned in their businesses. Jeff Bezos for instance didn’t pay a dividend for five years; Larry Page and Sergey Brin worked hard without any gratification. Reinvesting their profits, time and resources these internet guys stayed committed and expanded their business via strategic acquisitions. No doubt they became millionaires and billionaires.
If you too want to get where they are now, re-investing in your business would be critical for business growth and expansion.
Now that you know the seven secrets to the success of the internet millionaires and billionaires, why don’t you make them your roadmap to success?
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