What is the number one factor for success in business? Answered 2018

This is a very general question and many people ask me about the number one factor that leads to success in business or just anything you do. I have been in leadership roles for the past 13 years and I want share my perspective about this question.  Before that let me share some insight about my personal background.

I am born and bred in the Maldives. I completed my general education in 2001 and joined the government to serve a mandatory bond. During my employment in government my tasks were mainly importing a vast array of items such as spare parts for vehicles, medicines, uniform materials, catering equipment, boats etc. I spent 3 years on government job and attended a private college on part-time basis to do high school. After completing my bond I resigned and moved to tourist sector as a receptionist. After working for 3 months I joined the tourism college in Male’. Upon completion of a Higher Diploma I was fortunate enough to get a management trainee programme at a 4 star resort where I became a hotel manager in few months. I had 160 staff and managed a 50 room resort for nearly 3 years. Since then I have been working at hotels across Maldives. Few years ago I took a break to pursue bachelors degree in hotel management.

It has been 13 years since I got my first tourism job. I have spent over a decade in leadership positions. With all my experience today I want to answer this simple question everyone asks. What is the single most important factor that leads to success in any business?

The answer is very simple for me. It is nothing but “interest“. All the years I spent in various companies taught me that it is interest that leads to success in anything.

Interest was the factor that enabled criminals in many high security jails across the globe to break out. Interest was the factor that led scientists to go outer space. Interest was the factor that changed Mark Zuckerberg from an ordinary man to a billionaire overnight. Interest is responsible for Bill Gate’s departure from college to lead soft development.

You may have a different opinion but in my mind I do not have a shred a doubt that interest is the key factor that leads to success in any business. Some people may argue it is one of the following factors.

  • Money
  • Influence
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Luck
  • Right time

While these elements are important to succeed a business it is definitely not the number factor, in my experience. Let me tell you why.

Mark Zuckerberg did not have money when you founded Facebook. As an entrepreneur he managed to get it from another source. The factor of interest lead to money which is needed at some stage of any business, but the starting is always “interest” in most of the businesses that succeed.

If influence makes you succeed it would be presidents of the countries to be the most successful people on earth. Influence is something that varies based on time and other factors. Someone who was influential 5 years back may be nothing more than an everyday Joe at present. How many of old  Bollywood celebrities are living ordinary lives at present? Once they were influential and now they are not. Why didn’t “influence” lead them to success?

Skills are important for any business but it is not the rock-bottom foundation of the business that leads to success. I have a cousin of mine who did not complete ordinary level of education, let alone high school or college. He joined the law enforcement and worked in investigation for nearly two decades. He is still working there today. But, his main source of income is not his full time job in law enforcement, it is a medical company he founded as sole owner that gives him US$10,000 a month. His full time job can’t pay him US$2,000.  He is not a doctor, nor he did any education in medical field, not even a basic certification. He wanted to do a business and he saw potential in that field, he worked hard and won. That is the fuel that keeps you in function till you succeed, and keep you on the track of success. My cousin had no medical skills, no experience and no knowledge. He did not have any business partner, he was on his own and he managed to succeed it.

Success is not a coincidence nor a matter of luck. There may be a bit of luck in everything you do, but it is not the top-most factor that determines success of failure. Luck is like salt in a dish, it enhances the taste. But, you can also enjoy the meal without salt and get your stomach full.

Right time is very important to succeed anything. If you have great interest in something you will know the right time.

The interest in human minds open up all possibilities, it leads to knowledge and experience, it makes you lucky. If you do not have interest in your existing business that you inherited may be you can still make profit for you to live, but it will never be the same.