Nick Woodman: Stories of Success
Forbes is a magazine for the businessperson looking to gain a little insight, a little
inspiration, and a lot of motivation to achieve his or her own unique set of dreams. Forbes.com, the online version of the popular business magazine, is a great resource for the budding business owner. With incredibly inspiring stories of business champions, helpful tips regarding how to start a business and stay motivated, and current business insights and insider advice, there's always something to learn.
In the most recent issue of Forbes magazine, the publication is spotlighting one of the most successful businessmen in the world. Nick Woodman may not be a name familiar in households throughout the world, but the average consumer is probably familiar with the products and the company that are the brainchild of this incredible businessman. You can check out some details about Nick Woodman and the upcoming Forbes publication featuring Woodman's business journey by following this link.
Stories about successful business executives are not intended to show you just how far you still need to go. Reading these stories shouldn't discourage you or make you feel small and insignificant. Instead, it's important to take inspiration from these stories and pull life tips and applicable lessons that you can apply to your own unique business situation. Nick Woodman's personal business history can be broken down into several "chapters," and these chapters are universal for finding success in a tough business market. Here's the breakdown of Nick's successful journey:
Identifying a Gap in the Market
The first step in running a successful business is finding a gap in the market. Your business cannot compete with established competitors unless you are bringing something new and fresh to the table. Perhaps the gap in the market is affordable products. Maybe the gap involves finding products made of high quality materials. The gap that your business identifies and fills may require a brand new invention or the customization of an existing product. Essentially, you must locate a need, and communicate that need to consumers. People won't invest in your business unless they feel like your product offers a solution. For Nick Woodman, the need was discovered on a surfing trip. Woodman wanted to take professional-quality photographs of surfers catching the Australian waves, but his amateur camera simply couldn’t zoom in far enough to capture the action shots. The need was apparent, and Woodman got an idea.
Making a Decision to Fill the Gap
The next step, of course, is making a decision to start a business that will fill the gap you've identified. This may sound like an obvious step, but it's one of the most important in your personal success journey. This decision requires a commitment. Nick Woodman recognized a need for action cameras that could be mounted to helmets and gear to enable athletes to capture unique and impressive photographic shots. Recognizing the need, however, was only the beginning of the journey. Nick Woodman committed to finding a solution to the problem and providing that solution to a large audience of consumers. That decision got him where he is today.
Doing the Dirty Work to Raise Capital
One of the least appealing parts of the business journey is the dirty work, or "grunt" work, necessary to raise capital and provide your business with the tools it needs to get off the ground. Nick Woodman's dirty work came in the form of selling hand-crafted jewelry to tourists from the back of his van. He collected shells and stones from the beach, and wove them into necklaces and bracelets. This work had nothing to do with his business concept, but he was willing to do it in order to fund his bigger dreams.
Generating New Ideas
Even when you are doing the hard work, don't let your imagination stop churning. Nick Woodman actually developed an idea for a more attractive and comfortable camera strap while he was selling jewelry from his van. He didn't expect to have the idea, but by keeping his mind working and using his imagination, he was able to find inspiration from the most unlikely source. This is a great business tip that will help move your business forward at all stages of the growth process.
Nick Woodman and his GoPro business are a perfect example of starting small with an upstart business. You can't tackle the world right out of the starting gate. The first action cameras that GoPro produced were 35mm cameras. They started with real film cameras. Only after those cameras started to take off and become popular did GoPro start developing digital cameras with added features. Your business doesn't have to make waves right at inception. Build with small, incremental steps, and you'll be more likely to succeed in the long run.
Adapting with New Technology
As a businessperson, you must also be willing to embrace new technology at all times. Technological developments can dramatically improve your business, but they'll only help if you stay abreast of the changes. If you allow technology to pass you by, you'll find that your ideas and products quickly become irrelevant to the current market. Nick Woodman's company, GoPro, has stayed relevant by offering video cameras, shooting in HD quality, and now even creating 3D camera shots by using devices with two separate lenses.
Staying Relevant with a Niche Market
Even though GoPro has expanded dramatically in the past few years, Nick Woodman and his company have remained true to the original niche market that he targeted: extreme athletes. By choosing a niche market and focusing your marketing efforts on that market, you're more likely to develop a solid and loyal following in business. It can be tempting to expand your efforts and appeal to a wider population. The larger your audience is, though, the less relevant you are to each individual.
Nick Woodman's success story is an inspirational example of how to turn a concept into a thriving business, make money and profit!
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