The daily tedium, stress and uncertainty of being an entrepreneur is a malady most of us are familiar with. For entrepreneurs generally, the most common mantra might be a variation on the theme, “Just let me get the business on an even keel, and then I will get the rest and enjoyment my labors deserve”.
Against this backdrop, the subject of this article might sound absurd, but if you want to truly stand out from the crowd, accomplish all of your financial objectives and realize your dreams, the best approach may be serial entrepreneurship.
I am not suggesting dilettantism: You cannot be a dabbler in any pursuit and expect to be successful. But once you have your first business operating effectively, efficiently, and making a predictable profit, why not hire management to replace yourself, and proceed forward toward your next venture?
Why? The answer can be found in history. Specifically, the history of the Medici family in the 15th Century, and the key to their many successes.
The Medici Effect
The Medici’s were a political dynasty and banking family, that found its initial success in the textile trade, branched into politics, and eventually inspired the Italian Renaissance… by creating an environment where artists, sculptors, poets, financiers and astute businessmen shared ideas and built serial successes by crossing disciplines. The Medici Bank became one of the most prosperous and respected institutions in Europe, transforming the Medici family into a bastion of wealth and prominence. The real key to their success, however, and with it the success of Florence, Italy, was not their genius or hard work, but rather their unique ability to transfer skills from one discipline to another.
A few years ago, an author named Frans Johannson, penned a short book entitled “The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures.” The book’s key thought was that if you step into the intersection between divergent disciplines, new and very powerful ideas may be created. In a business context, if you transplant the pivotal ideas and methods you used in one successful venture into a totally different one, the result can be explosive. It is likely that your first success was due to your creativity, perseverance, and innovation… and not to your industry-specific knowledge. If that is true, then morphing into a new business is a unique way of capitalizing on those skills.
In today’s social media driven, online business climate, where starting a new enterprise, marketing it and developing traction can be done inexpensively and quickly, serial entrepreneurship makes perfect sense.