In the world of entrepreneurship, success stories often emerge from unexpected backgrounds. One such inspiring tale is that of Everette Taylor, who rose from battling homelessness to become the CEO of the renowned crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter. Taylor’s journey is a testament to the power of risk-taking and empathy in achieving remarkable accomplishments. In this article, we will explore the key traits that propelled Taylor to his current position and how you can cultivate these skills in your own entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Power of Risk-Taking
Embracing Calculated Risks – Everette Taylor’s fearless nature as a child played a significant role in shaping his approach to risk-taking. While he now takes a more calculated approach, Taylor recognizes that taking chances is crucial for leaving a lasting impact on the world and those around you. Throughout his career, he has embraced risks that have propelled him forward.
At Kickstarter, Taylor implemented a four-day workweek for his employees, a decision that came with both pros and cons. This risk could have affected productivity and caused burnout. However, Taylor’s gamble paid off, as productivity remained high or even increased. This bold move showcases the power of taking calculated risks to drive positive change within an organization.
Learning from Failures – Taylor’s journey to success was not without its share of failures. As a teenager, he made the regrettable choice to sell drugs, a path that could have led him down a destructive road. Thankfully, his mother intervened and encouraged him to pursue legitimate employment. This pivotal moment taught Taylor the importance of learning from failures and using them as stepping stones to success.
According to Taylor, every failure is a piece of the puzzle that leads to the overall picture of your life. Rather than dwelling on potential negative outcomes, he encourages a more optimistic perspective. Recognizing that there will always be new opportunities and jobs available, Taylor advocates for seizing them fearlessly.
The Power of Empathy
Empathy in Marketing – A crucial skill set that Taylor attributes to his success is empathy. He believes that marketers must have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of their customers and potential customers. This understanding enables marketers to connect on a deeper level and create meaningful experiences.
Taylor’s approach to empathy extends beyond marketing. As a leader, he values empathizing with his employees and colleagues. Recognizing that individuals are more than their work, Taylor emphasizes the importance of supporting and empowering those around him. By displaying genuine care and concern, he fosters an environment conducive to growth and success.
Cultivating Empathy – Developing empathy requires genuine curiosity and active listening. By asking meaningful questions and paying attention to both the words spoken and the underlying emotions, individuals can deepen their understanding of others. Psychologist Daniel Goleman suggests that exercising curiosity and actively listening over time can enhance empathy and improve one’s ability to accurately sense the thoughts and feelings of others.
Everette Taylor’s journey from homelessness to the position of CEO at Kickstarter exemplifies the power of risk-taking and empathy in achieving success. By embracing calculated risks and learning from failures, entrepreneurs can navigate their entrepreneurial journeys with confidence. Cultivating empathy allows individuals to connect on a deeper level, fostering meaningful relationships and driving positive change.
Through Taylor’s story, we are reminded that success can emerge from the most unexpected backgrounds. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from his experiences and apply the principles of risk-taking and empathy to their own ventures. By combining these traits with determination and perseverance, anyone can carve their path to success.
1. How did Everette Taylor become the CEO of Kickstarter?
Everette Taylor’s journey to becoming the CEO of Kickstarter began with his experiences in entrepreneurship and marketing strategy. He leveraged his previous roles and skills to navigate a path towards leadership, ultimately landing the top job at Kickstarter.
2. What are the key traits that contributed to Everette Taylor’s success?
Two key traits that Taylor credits for his achievements are risk-taking and empathy. Embracing calculated risks and learning from failures propelled him forward, while empathy enabled him to connect with customers and build strong relationships with his team.
3. How can I cultivate risk-taking in my own entrepreneurial endeavors?
Cultivating risk-taking involves adopting a more optimistic mindset and recognizing that failures are stepping stones to success. By embracing calculated risks and viewing them as opportunities for growth, entrepreneurs can push boundaries and achieve remarkable accomplishments.
4. How can I develop empathy as an entrepreneur?
Developing empathy starts with genuine curiosity and active listening. By asking meaningful questions and paying attention to both the words spoken and the underlying emotions, entrepreneurs can deepen their understanding of others. This understanding enables them to create meaningful experiences and build strong relationships.
5. What can I learn from Everette Taylor’s journey?
Everette Taylor’s journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. It teaches us that success can emerge from unexpected backgrounds and that risk-taking and empathy are essential traits for achieving remarkable accomplishments. By following his example and combining these traits with determination and perseverance, anyone can carve their path to success.
First reported on CNBC
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Guille Álvarez; Unsplash; Thank you!