April 10, 2009 in Entrepreneurship

What Makes a Winner?

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Last month, I attended the CREATE your Future Conference organised by Women Unlimited. The event was focused on providing inspiration as well as practical knowledge and skills that women business owners could use straight away in business and life.
One of the entrepreneurs that presented was Julie Meyer CEO of Ariadne Capital. I was really looking forward to her speech as I’d watched a video interview she’d given at cmypitch.com and was curious to learn more about the woman who a decade ago co-founded networking group First Tuesday which was sold in 2000 for £33 million.
Julie didn’t disappoint. She talked about how men and women are built differently and as such approach business differently. She pointed out that:

  • Women learn a lot by sharing.
  • We know a lot more than we think we do.
  • We want to build each other up.
  • We don’t want to take credit for other people’s work; just our own.
  • We understand our role in the community/eco-system.

These traits give us a great advantage. Thus, women should worry less about breaking through glass ceilings and build our cathedral. That’s why she created Arianne Capital – to create her own rules of engagement and more importantly spread her wings. In regards to what makes a winner, Julie points out that:

  • They feel like one before they are one
  • They expect success
  • They focus on their unique contribution to the world
  • They build long-term relationships with people
  • They look for their unfair advantage
  • They don’t treat the losers like losers

With that, the critical success factors include:

  1. Be as Unreasonable About Success as an Entrepreneur: Entrepreneurs have a view of the market and/or a consumer behaviour, which drives them to bring an innovation to life.
  2. Acknowledging that You Know More Than You Think You Do: Don’t just trust your instincts but listen, hone and refine your instincts.
  3. Invest in the success of others: Focus on being a net contributor to the system rather than a net taker, and what you find is that your sphere of influence over the system increases.
  4. Be Radically Open To The World: Build reliable means to continually pull in what’s relevant and potentially threatening to your business.
  5. Exact Accountability: The best entrepreneurs and executives are both leaders and good managers.
  6. Create the Conditions of Trust so that Great Things can Happen.

With this sort of mindset, no wonder Julie’s business which has equity stakes in 24+ high-growth private companies continues to go from strength to strength. Should also mention that she is one of the entrepreneur investors in a new online version of BBC’s Dragon’s Den.

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