Daniel Hansen discusses the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit behind the companies OMNIA invests in.
I really do believe that doing business successfully comes down to one thing – and I’m not talking about money. It’s all about people, how they lead and the relationships they build.
Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that the driving force behind any successful business is the people in it, rather than the details of the financing that supports it. Sure, of course the money is critical – if a venture doesn’t have the financial resources to succeed, then it will fail, absolutely. But without great people on board, those financial resources won’t be there either – I know from my own experience that people generally invest their money in the people they trust, rather than the businesses themselves.
But if it’s not the business idea or the financial plan or the sales growth projections of a company that people are willing to back, then what is it? What lies behind this sometimes intangible idea of investing in people rather than in a businesses?
Well, here’s how it works for me. I believe that it all goes back to the idea of entrepreneurship. I’ve always been attracted to other entrepreneurs – I guess I see something of myself in them – and there is something about them that inspires me to want to work with them or to invest in their businesses. For me, this is all about entrepreneurial spirit. But what does that really mean in a practical sense?
Entrepreneurs are a special breed – and they tend to share certain characteristics that I think make them worth investing in.
Firstly, they’re inspirational. Their passion (an often over-used word in business, but in this case it really does apply) for what they do shines out of them – you feel it the minute you meet them, when you hear them talking about what they want to achieve, and how they’re going to go about it. They are the kind of people who you feel will do what they say, and throw everything they have at a challenge until they succeed. These kinds of people are truly inspirational, and they take others along with them.
Secondly, they’re positive. Once again, you feel it when you speak to them: they’re the kind of people I love to engage with because I know that they will look at any potential problem as a new opportunity – they’re open to finding new ways of doing things, and that kind of challenging spirit is what inspires me too.
They’re also incredibly adaptable – again, they’re great people to do business with because they’re prepared to see the possibilities that can come out of change. I’ve always enjoyed thinking on my feet, and being prepared to quickly change plans and projects when I need to in order to get the best results for my business.
They’re also, unsurprisingly, great leaders. They generally have a very clear vision of what they want to achieve, they’re passionate enough about it to be able to communicate their ideas, and they have the positivity and flexibility required to lead their business through whatever challenges come up.
For me, the people behind the numbers are the most important aspect of any growing business, because they are the ones with the vision, the passion and the positivity to drive the venture towards achieving its goals.
When you look at the qualities of entrepreneurs in this way, hopefully it’s easy to see why I prefer to do business with people rather than businesses – and why I look for these kinds of leaders in the companies I invest in.