First Ventures of Famous Founders
Learning unexpected lessons from some of history's great founders and thought leaders, including how they originated their ventures and their value today.
As founders, we all have started somewhere, and somehow - and oftentimes those first ventures are lost to history.
But many of these are valuable lessons that are now disappearing.
I'm going to start posting some of the most noteworthy here that I think we can grab some essential takeaways from.
And hey, maybe some will help you win the odd trivia night at your local bar!
Today we're starting with someone most of you will know or have heard of:
Robert Kiyosaki of 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' fame.
How Kiyosaki Got His Start
Kiyosaki is the type of man that needs very little introduction in the financial world - his book has been a kind of benchmark work that has inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs.
And while most don't go beyond his written work, his personal career also makes for great reading.
Like most founders, Kiyosaki didn't have an easy climb to the top before getting published.
One of his earliest ventures actually targeted the heavy metal trend of the 70s and 80s.
The Power Of The Niche
He started a retail business that made T-shirts, hats, wallets, and bags for heavy metal rock bands and subsequently licensed t-shirts to such bands. Not exactly the first thing you'd expect!
But it does lead me to takeaway number 1:
Don't forget to consider niche markets when you're looking for business ideas. It might be a whole untapped audience up for grabs, with very little competition.
As time progressed the trend started to die down and the venture was ultimately closed.
This led me to think about takeaway number 2.
Trends don't last forever.
You can use them to gain a profit, but it's good to squirrel away some funds/ideas for future use when the wave is over.
Always plan for the future.
Luckily, that was far from the end for Kiyosaki, who went on to create many more ventures before becoming the author we know today.
And that is the final lesson to gain here - never giving up is part of being a founder.
Be in the business of building businesses
By that, I mean that failure is part of the process and you shouldn't let it put you off from trying to launch something again.
Remember very few people achieve success in their first shot.
But that doesn't mean it isn't worth giving it a few tries because you'll learn something with each venture you bring to market.
And maybe, just maybe you'll end up being Rich Dad someday.
I regularly publish fun reads not only here, but also on Twitter - follow me @andrewamann