Every decision you make in your life is a result of the factors that surround and influence you. Your favorite food might be a delicacy introduced to you by your closest friend, or you chose the university you went to because you aspire to be as great as the people who graduated from it.
This means that you are who you surround yourself with — people, places, or ideas. Your life is a culmination of all your experiences, adventures, and interactions with other people. That’s why it’s important to note how valuable external factors play in your decision-making process.
Influence can also manifest in your decision to try your hand at entrepreneurship once you realized that the corporate world wasn’t for you. This may have been strengthened by the stories of people who chose the same paths and succeeded despite all the challenges they faced.
So in one way or another, your decision to begin a business where you are at the helm was influenced by other people. It can be someone you personally knew or somebody you look up to in a specific industry. These individuals have managed to influence and motivate you to pursue your own entrepreneurial path.
Choosing Your Role Models
Sometimes, it can be difficult to pinpoint who exactly inspires you to reach greater heights or what qualities you aspire to have in yourself. But these are important to have when you’re starting a business, especially because your internal motivation is what will keep you going in the long run.
If you don’t have a specific role model in mind yet, then you can start by identifying key people both in and out of your industry that you feel have influenced you in some way. You can list the unique qualities they have and how they have used those to get to where they are now.
For instance, if you plan to build a business that aims to serve the masses, you can research Seah Moon Ming, the chairman of a public transport provider in Singapore. With him at the forefront, the SMRT Corporation continuously works to provide a safe, reliable, and comfortable service for the public.
Your chosen role models don’t have to be the best in their field, nor should they need to be someone that everyone knows. What matters the most is that they inspire you to become a better person and entrepreneur who cares about more than just getting profits.
Learning from Other’s Experiences
With a role model, you can use their wisdom and experiences to strategize how you approach certain business decisions. Many people say that experience is the best teacher you have and making mistakes is how you learn. But if you could learn from other people’s mistakes and experiences, why would you deliberately choose failure?
Through the experiences of your role models, you can grow as a person and as a budding entrepreneur with big dreams. You can pick up a thing or two from their experiences and apply it to your own decision-making process. But that doesn’t mean that you will be immune to failure and making mistakes as you continue to grow.
Those are still important experiences that you have to go through to build your own personality. While you can always follow your role models’ footsteps, it’s also vital that you make your own path to inspire others to follow you — like how your role models influenced you to do the same.
Keeping an Open Mind
Having a role model doesn’t mean you need to become their blind follower, especially if they’re doing something that violates your moral standards. While it may not look like it, even public figures who have amassed both wealth and power can make human mistakes that disappoint those who look up to them.
Putting them on a pedestal will only be a guarantee for disappointment once they fail to meet your high expectations. Instead of revering your role models like gods, you should treat them like indirect mentors who teach you how to become successful in your chosen field.
That way, you will still be giving them the power to influence you, but only up to a certain point. You must not let yourself blur the lines between blind loyalty and having a source of inspiration because when this happens, it can be difficult to separate the real you from the person you’re trying to become.
Leaving behind the corporate world to try your hand at entrepreneurship will only work if you find the courage to stand on your own two feet. You’re not only becoming your own boss, but you’ll also become a person that your employees will look up to. So while having a role model is good, you must also strive to become your own role model.