The story of Reuben Singh’s roller coaster ride to success is a fascinating one. As with most entrepreneurs, Singh had to endure difficult times, but his ability to emerge triumphant on the other side of those troubles is what stamps him as a true entrepreneurial genius.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that all business owners are entrepreneurs and that all entrepreneurs are business owners. This is a mistake. In fact almost anyone can be an entrepreneur, and it does not necessarily involve getting into business. Just as true is the fact that not everyone in business can be considered an entrepreneur. The vast majority of business owners, including many of those who like to adopt the title, are not actually entrepreneurs at all.
Entrepreneurs are people with vision. They are dreamers. They are the people that others often try to put down, telling them to “be realistic”. And of course real entrepreneurs are those who do not listen to such entreaties.
You want a good example of an entrepreneur? How about Christopher Columbus? He believed in his dream so strongly that he was willing to risk his life, and dozens of other lives, to follow it – even when all the scholars and important courtiers from many nations were mocking him and denouncing him as a fool and a fraud. This is the kind of focus you need to have if you want to be a true success. And Christopher Columbus was not a businessman. Nonetheless, he was a great entrepreneur.
That is the same focus that helped Reuben Singh start his Miss Attitude business at the age of 17. Starting with just one small store, he eventually expanded the business to become a massive retail chain with over 100 outlets across the UK. There are conflicting stories about what happened next. Some say he sold the business for a fortune, while others say he virtually gave it away for nothing.
Does that really matter? I think not, because what really matters is not what you get out of a business but what you put in. Singh invested himself entirely into building the Miss Attitude brand, and then when the time was right, he got out of it. Whether for a fortune or not, he didn’t just sit around, but immediately set about creating new opportunities. This is how entrepreneurs are – they never settle, they are always looking for the stimulation provided by opportunity.
Some of his ventures were unsuccessful, and when he was down, there was no shortage of those lining up to give him a kick. This is an unfortunate aspect of the way some people think. All successful entrepreneurs know that good times always follow bad, that every situation is temporary. Those who are unsuccessful are those who fail to realise this important truth.
Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest men, certainly agrees. He made his entire fortune based on the fact that people tend to make irrational decisions and panic in a crisis. By investing in companies that had the strength to endure difficult times, Buffet was able to buy stocks at low prices when the market was in a panic and then sell them at much higher prices later.
Singh’s investments into his alldayPA business was likewise fraught with all kinds of problems, but by believing in himself and his vision, Singh was able to sail confidently to his goal, just like Columbus did more than 500 years ago.