Recently, I had the opportunity to act as a judge at The StartUp100 companies at the Dublin Tech Summit. I was very impressed by the high standard of delivery each of the entrepreneurs and business owners provided.

Entrepreneurs are always taking a risk, but hopefully a calculated risk which yields huge returns.

As I listened to each of the entrepreneurs, I could see clearly their desire and drive to become very successful. Not only this, but they also totally believed in their product. They could see a gap in the marketplace – a problem in need of solving – and they had the solution to fill it.

Entrepreneurs don’t just wait for opportunities, they create them.

Entrepreneurs see ahead and they go ahead. Each came well prepared to share their story, insights, and strategy.  It was a real honour to hear from each of them.

As an entrepreneur myself, I know the importance of desire, vision, hard work, and a forward-thinking approach.

As a business development trainer and coach, I fully understand the importance of having a dream. But I also help my clients develop a blueprint for their game plan to make that dream a reality. Click here to see a previous blog about this.

Hope is not a strategy. Strategy is strategy.

However, when you have clarity, you are totally clear in what you are doing, what you are selling, your role, and how you are going to fulfill it. This creates a strong, clear, strategic, robust plan.

I heard from each of the entrepreneurs, the business owners, and my questions tended to revolve around not their product, but rather their leadership and team development.

Why is this? Because, in the words of John Maxwell, everything rises and falls upon leadership. Your leadership is key to the success of your growing business.

Personally, I describe leadership in the following way:

Leadership is the ability to lead others to places they could not have gone without you.

You see, whatever your product, whatever you are seeking to bring to the marketplace as an entrepreneur and business owner, your leadership and how you develop your team will determine how successful you are in your marketplace.

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As an entrepreneur and business owner, you are the leader of the company. You therefore must have the ability to lead others and to develop the talents around you. As you do, you will greatly benefit from having a highly engaged, talented team. Your team needs you and you need them.

During my two days in Dublin, I also had the honour of speaking to a packed room filled with entrepreneurs, business owners, startup companies and team leaders. My subject was “How to create leadership excellence: 7 steps to transform your leadership, business, and team.” There was a great engagement as well as brilliant questions.

As I travel and speak in many countries, I can see a new tide of entrepreneurs, startups and business owners looking for creative ways of coming into the market for the first time or developing their existing business.

We truly live in a very exciting era as the power of technology increases. There is also ever increasing competition, which always serves well to up level services standards and marketing. Therefore, I often teach my clients about the importance of planning ahead to stay ahead.

Clarity, strategic planning, process to deliver, and having a business development coach and trainer are all part of the many ingredients needed to make your startup thrive or to take your existing business to a whole new level.

Don’t just look to start a business or build a business.

Always ensure you look to build a sustainable business.

There’s a huge difference between the two, which historical data will always reveal.