__"Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision". Peter Drucker
Over the years I have spoken to you about the #JuniorClass and the #SeniorClass entrepreneur. But a week ago, when Richard Branson went into space on his venture Virgin Galactic, I started to talk about the #MasterClass entrepreneur. These are the guys who don’t just play the game [of entrepreneurship] very well, but they have the ability to change the game completely!
Most entrepreneurs spend their lives simply trying to join and beat the pack in their industry. You hear them they say things like: “I want to be the best hotel” or “I want to be the best mobile network” or “I want to be the best palm oil producer”… But entrepreneurs in the MasterClass, they want to rip up the whole game and play by a different set of rules.
When I saw that rocket plan, I knew that the game of aviation and its related hospitality services had just been uprooted!
# What is “space tourism”?
# How many people will go up there?
We don’t know! What I do know is that it will start out expensive, but the cost will become more accessible over time, just like commercial air travel has over time [in many places, not everywhere]. And it will create a lot of other opportunities and jobs along the way.
I remember when I would tell people that one day they will all one use mobile phones, or that they would use Mobile Money. Most people back then did not #Imagine how much consumers would love all the products and services made possible by these innovations! Did you?
To become MasterClass, there are no shortcuts; you must master the basics of Junior Class, followed by Senior Class; then comes MasterClass!
How will you know when you have done it?
MasterClass is not like MasterChef where you win a competition. You must be able to build a multi-billion dollar business from scratch! Most great businesses out there began with a MasterClass entrepreneur.
The MasterClass entrepreneur is not only someone who has the visionary ideas to start something, or even the ability to scale through 3Ps. There is something else you must have which is rarely ever mentioned, but which everyone knows is the decisive quality: #Courage!
Richard Branson knew that if anything had gone wrong, he would have lost his life, his legacy, and so much more. Some would have said to him: “Richard, you are over 70 years old; you have kids and grandkids. You have nothing to prove anymore.”
If you are a person who is afraid to fail, or you are always worried about what others might think if you fail, this is really, really not for you. Just know there is a #MasterClass!
That Virgin Galactic Unity22 spaceflight which lasted about an hour was 17+ years in the making. Those of you who have listened to Business Wars now know that this is the type of dedication it took to build some of the greatest companies. As an entrepreneur myself, I only shudder to think about what it really took.
Tomorrow [Tuesday 20 July], Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, will also go up into space on his own rocketship called Blue Origin. There is another Business War brewing which includes Elon Musk and several others you have not even heard of.
On the historic flight tomorrow, sitting with Bezos and his brother will be an 82-year-old aviator who's spent six decades of her life trying to reach space! She never gave up on her dream!
Are you asking yourself: Why Space? [Believe me, I have heard a lot of people ask that question lately!]
There is no limit to the wealth that is up there! Don’t get caught up in the media hype that space is just “billionaire vs billionaire”… Even the JuniorClass should be able to see the flaws in that simplistic analysis.
I think you all know by now that Jeff Bezos' first job, at age 16, was serving as a cook at McDonald's, frying eggs and burgers back in the kitchen! It was there under the famous "golden arches" as a teenager that Bezos said he first learned about the importance of customer service. He may be a billionaire now but look where he started!
Every lion was once a... yes, you know the answer.
What about you? What are you learning right where you are that you can apply to your entrepreneurial journey ahead?
Is the sky the limit anymore? Was it ever?
Image credit: Dan Galati #Waowafrica. Serengeti, Tanzania.