For the partners, combining efforts with the entrepreneur gives them access, not just to vast business connections and financial resources, they also get to tap into the entrepreneur’s skills of turning ideas into successful ventures. It is a symbiotic relationship.
World’s Top 10 Serial Entrepreneurs
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A serial entrepreneur takes on this challenge repeatedly. Once a particular business is established, they delegate the responsibility of running its operations and move on to other ventures. They may even sell their earlier businesses and reinvest the profits.
A successful serial entrepreneur can experience windfall gains when they sell their companies or receive continuous profits once the business is established. On the other hand, if the business fails, it has nothing to show for its years of hard work.
What is a Serial Entrepreneur?
As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, an entrepreneur is someone who “makes money by starting and running a business,” while the meaning of the word “serial” is “doing the same thing, in the same way, several times.”
In combination, these words mean someone who makes money by establishing and operating many successful businesses. The term ‘successful’ is important in this definition since establishing many businesses that fail does not constitute someone a serial entrepreneur.
The businesses don’t need to be started and run concurrently. Sometimes, the business owner might come up with a money-making idea, launch the business, scale it, and exit before moving on to the next venture. Either way, as long as someone has more than a couple of successful ventures to their name, they qualify to be referred to as serial entrepreneurs.
In addition, serial entrepreneurs are highly innovative people with special skills crucial to assembling all the ingredients necessary to start a business, implementing them, and scaling the venture to profitability. It may seem like a simple task to outsiders, but the mere fact that only a handful of these multiple-business founders are successful suggests that it may not be as easy as it looks.
4 examples of famous serial entrepreneurs
Many of the more famous and well-known entrepreneurs are actually serial entrepreneurs. Even though they are closely associated with one particular startup or product, these four serial entrepreneurs successfully run multiple businesses.
1. Elon Musk
Elon Musk is best known for Tesla, but before joining the electric car giant, he was a successful serial entrepreneur. He made and sold his own video games, founded Zip2, a digital content company that helped other newspapers and print media get online, and joined and expanded PayPal. While Musk has revolutionized Tesla, he’s also working on his next venture, SpaceX.
2. Oprah Winfrey
You undoubtedly know Oprah Winfrey as a television personality, but may not have thought of her as a serial entrepreneur before. But she is. Winfrey founded Harpo, her own production company, Oxygen Media, and several other print and publishing companies. She also owns OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Channel, where she produces and stars in multiple TV shows and movies.
3. Sir Richard Branson
Perhaps one of the most famous serial entrepreneurs of all time, Sir Richard Branson started his entrepreneurial goals early. He founded his own student-run print magazine called Student and later went on to found the first mail delivery record service, Virgin, which eventually spun off into a recording studio and record store.
4. Wayne Huizenga
Wayne Huizenga was another notable serial entrepreneur who founded three multibillion-dollar companies to date. Huizenga first launched Waste Management in the late 60s, then Blockbuster in the 80s, and lastly, AutoNation in the late 90s. He also owned three different sports teams in his lifetime: Miami Dolphins, Florida Marlins, and Florida Panthers. He also founded multiple other startups. Huizenga passed away in 2018.