Naveen Jain is an entrepreneur and the founder of InfoSpace, which became one of the largest internet companies before the dot-com bubble. After the bubble, Jain co-founded Moon Express that won him a contract with NASA and is participating in the Google Lunar X-Prize in 2011. He has also been awarded the Light of India Business Leadership Award for being a visionary entrepreneur.
When it comes to being visionary and being an extraordinary entrepreneur, Naveen Jain may be the right person you want to learn from.
Here are the top 10 rules for success from Jain.
1. Think Big and Bold
Jain is famous for his entrepreneurial spirit and being a visionary. He always dreams big and thinks big. And this is why he is in the aerospace business dealing with intergalactic travel to make traveling in the space possible.
Regardless of what industry you are in right now, if you want to produce and create a remarkable result, you must dream big. Just like what Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul often said, “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think big.” There is no way one can accomplish big dreams without thinking big. Your thinking will determine your life.
There is an old saying, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” Big dreams will make you creative. When you think big, you will find extraordinary ways to achieve them. Your thinking will shape your strategies and plans. And because your mind will work out according to your thoughts, when you think big, your mind will find creative solutions to get there. On the contrary, when you think small, your mind will fulfill your thoughts by showing you the plan to achieve tiny results.
Thinking big is necessary if you want to be successful and produce an amazing result in life. Thus, believe in yourself and start thinking big, like what Naveen Jain did.
2. Follow Your Instinct and Trust Your Gut
Jain said this during an interview, “The most valuable lesson I have learned was trusting my own gut instinct. It’s not about the spreadsheets, it’s not about the numbers, and it is about what you feel in your heart.” Sometimes, you cannot just depend everything on statistics and data. You have to make decisions based on your gut instinct.
Studies have found that your intuition is shaped by your experiences and the existing knowledge you have gained. Meaning to say, your gut feeling may be right most of the time because they are formed by what you currently know. Plus, your intuition is encoded in your brain with feelings and emotions. When you feel expansive and excited about something, most of the time that feeling is a signal to tell you to go ahead. On the other hand, you will feel exhausted, lethargic and terrified when something is not right.
According to John Assaraf, the guru featured in The Secret, one simple way to practice and make your gut feeling stronger is through mindfulness meditation. Schedule a time to be mindful of what is happening and be at the moment.
Just like Naveen Jain, the more you use and horn your intuition and gut feeling, the more powerful they will be. As an entrepreneur, sometimes you need to follow your heart and do what you feel is right.
3. Always Get Yourself Ready
According to Jain, being in a business is like going to a war. And if you are going to a war, you must completely ready and prepare yourself. Unless you have your mind, body, and soul ready for what is coming, you cannot fight and win the battle.
Robin Sharma said, “He who sweats more in training bleeds less in war”, and he is absolutely right. If you fail to plan, you will be planning to fail. While your plan may not work out because you simply cannot predict the future, but having a plan is better than having no plan at all.
Think about, when you have a plan, you will know what you should do. And when you do not have a plan, you will become reactive and respond to whatever is happening around you. You will waste your time to think about what to do and where you should start. Things will be completely different when you have a plan and you know what to do. You will fly like an arrow straight to your target.
This is why Jain practiced a productive morning routine. He wakes up at about five each morning to work on his mind. He said that he will meditate, exercise and prepare himself for the day.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Fail
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must never be afraid to fail. Most people are too concern about how others will look at them and as a result, they fear failure. They are afraid that if they failed, others may laugh and ridicule them. This is not true at all.
Jain said that an entrepreneur should never be afraid to fail, instead, entrepreneurs should make more mistakes so that they can learn faster and do things better. Treat your failure as a feedback to improve yourself. You have to understand that there is no such thing as failure, only lessons. When you look at your failures differently, you will learn and grow to become a better person worthy of success.
Being a businessman or an entrepreneur like Naveen Jain requires you to take a lot of action and do things where other people are yet to try. This is why this principle is extremely important in order to discover new grounds in your venture.
In fact, the best lessons one can learn about life and success are from their failures, not success. Bill Gates once said, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Your failure will become the opportunity to succeed when you learn something from it and transform it into the stepping stone.
5. Never Limit Yourself
Your biggest enemy is you. You must learn how to overcome your self-doubts that are stopping you. There is no such thing as whether something is possible or impossible. Everything happens in your mind. If you think that you can be successful or you cannot, either way, you are right.
A lot of people are not realizing their inner potential and they lock their greatness within them because they are doubtful with themselves. Jain says it best, “Don’t limit yourself. Go out and pursue your dreams even if you know nothing about what you’re going to do, go out and do that.”
You are powerful beyond measure, so get rid of your limiting thoughts that are not helping at all. When someone tells you that something is impossible, go and make it possible. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the successful Hollywood actor, bodybuilder and also a politician said during one of his speech that when someone told him that something is impossible, he would get excited and did it because if he accomplished it, he would be the first one to accomplish it.
6. Be Flexible
You want to be persistence, but at the same time, you want to be flexible too. Jain said that many entrepreneurs spend way too much time focusing on writing up the perfect business plan rather than doing the real work. He said that it is better to do it even if the plan is not perfect. You can always be flexible to change and learn from what is coming than sitting and doing nothing.
And because you will never how things will turn out, what you need from your business plan is just the ideas and guidelines, not the entire roadmap that will restrict you from being flexible.
Just like how Jack Dixon puts it, if you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results. Flexibility is important to an entrepreneur when something does not work out, you want to be able to facilitate change to produce the right results immediately.
7. Solve Big Problems
Naveen Jain is famous for his billion-dollar question. He will ask, “Do you know how to make a billion dollars?” And continues, “You just need to solve a billion-dollar problem.” And he is absolutely right.
The bigger the problem you can solve, the more money you will make because the bigger the opportunity is there. This is the difference between a specialist and an ordinary in every industry. When you go to see the doctor, the general practitioner will charge way less than a specialist. A heart surgeon can command higher price tag than a doctor based in the community who treats patients with minor illnesses.
This is why you must ask the billion-dollar question. When you are able to solve a bigger and more serious problem, you can request for a higher pay because people will value your work and pay you higher. Therefore, aim to be the best and the specialist in your industry. When you become the authority figure in your industry, you can charge a premium fee and grow your business to a higher level.
8. Stay Connected
Jain said that one of the keys to building a successful business is to stay connected with other people. And by staying connected with others, he means building a real relationship with others. It is not about how many people you get to meet or how many business cards you collected during a conference that counts, what truly counts are how many people have connected to you and trust you.
A lot of times, people misunderstand and thought that being an entrepreneur and to build their business, they need to network and socialize with other people. This is true only to a certain extent. When you network and socialize with others only for the sake of doing it, it is not a real connection.
You have to ask yourself, “Can I trust them and will they come to the rescue when I needed them most?” If your answer is a yes, congratulations, it means you have built a deeper relationship with them and you are connected to them.
Hence, don’t just build a relationship for the sake of doing it. You must understand the difference between knowing someone and connecting with someone.
9. Do More Good
One of Naveen Jain philosophies is to do well by doing good. What he means is that whatever you do in this world, at the end, you must aim at doing good to the world. This is a success principle that almost every successful people believed in. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started The Giving Pledge to encourage other successful leaders to give back to the world. Robert Kiyosaki believed that the more you give, the more you will receive.
So aim to do more good. If your business can solve people’s problem and make people’s lives better, you should strive and do your best. Success will not come to you out of the blue. When you are able to solve a problem, the market will value your expertise and pay you for what you are worth. If you are not aiming at helping others and doing good to the world, your business will never sustain and will eventually fail.
10. Take Action
The last success principle you are going to learn from Naveen Jain in this article is to take consistent action. Jain said, “It’s not about the great vision it’s always about the great execution.” The society and media have conditioned us to believe that success is about having the big ideas and being innovative, but it is actually not.
Success is more about execution and taking massive and consistent action. Your ideas and knowledge are a form of potential power until they are executed. If you are not doing anything but daydreaming about becoming successful, you will never achieve it. Success is associated with execution. When you act, you will receive results. And it is the result that will determine your success.
These are the top 10 rules for success you can learn from the billionaire and successful entrepreneur, Naveen Jain. However, never settle for just what you can learn here. There are many more principles and success secrets to be discovered from Jain. What you have learned here is only the tip of an iceberg.