- Success requires courage.
It takes courage to start and persevere in your own business. In some ways, starting is often the most difficult part of the whole journey. Remember that courage is really 50 percent fear. Being courageous means having a goal that you believe in. The more deeply you believe in that goal, the more fear you are willing to overcome.Your goal should be more than financial profit. Having your own business is usually a very long — even lifelong — project. With the inevitable obstacles and setbacks that will arise, doing something you really believe in is essential to finding the courage to continue.
2. Be passionate
If you don’t love what you do, don’t do it. I truly believe it’s as simple as that.As an entrepreneur, you’re going to have to put in long hours and make sacrifices for your business.When you’re passionate about what you do, putting in the long hours won’t feel like a sacrifice anymore.If you’re not passionate about what you do, you’re not going to have the motivation to keep going when you’re stressed and tired.Have you ever noticed those entrepreneurs who never seem to get tired? Those entrepreneurs who get that gleam in their eye when they talk about what they do? Yeah, that’s passion.Forty-four percent of entrepreneurs started their business because they saw an opportunity to create something great. They are passionate about their business. Are you? Be passionate about what you do, and being an entrepreneur gets just a little bit easier.
3. Take risks
Humans are generally risk-averse, but part of being an entrepreneur is recognizing the risks that you should take.Successful entrepreneurs take risks. It’s part of the job.Successful entrepreneurs also know which risks to take and which they shouldn’t. Learn to recognize the risks that will benefit your business and take them.Taking risks has a dangerous side, but the opportunities they present often far outweigh the potential dangers.Learn how to identify which risks are worth taking and you’ll learn how to be a successful entrepreneur.
4. Trust yourself
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will?Being a successful entrepreneur means that you’ve learned to listen to your intuition and rely on your wisdom when making decisions.Your ability to trust and believe in yourself will show your confidence. People are more likely to follow and trust confident leaders.Trusting in your own skills will also take some of the pain of uncertainty out of being an entrepreneur.
When you feel uncertain, remember how much experience and knowledge you have. Most entrepreneurs start their business after years of experience working for someone else.There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it or turning to a mentor for advice, but you also have to learn to trust yourself and your own judgment without input from others.Learn to trust yourself and you’re already starting down the path of entrepreneurial success.
5. Reduce fear
Fear stops action. Entrepreneurs have to be able to pivot and quickly take action when they see an opportunity or recognize a mistake.With fear riding on your shoulder, you won’t be a successful entrepreneur.As an entrepreneur, if you let fear be your guide, you won’t be able to listen to your intuition, you’ll be afraid to take the necessary risks, and your judgment will be clouded by emotion.
Find ways to reduce and manage your fear and you’ll be a much more successful entrepreneur.Remember, fear has to do with your perspective.
Research has shown that the more crime TV that you watch, the more likely you are to fear crime. Reduce your fear by changing your perspective.
6. Visualize goals
This tip is less abstract than you might think, so bear with me.When I recommend that entrepreneurs visualize their goals, I don’t intend for them to close their eyes and see the goal in front of them.What I want you to do to visualize your goal is to define it so clearly that it’s real and tangible.For example, which of these is a more accomplishable:I want to become a successful entrepreneur.I will become a successful entrepreneur by starting a business that solves a problem for this specific niche of my audience.The second one, right?When you can clearly articulate and visualize your goal, it becomes more achievable.There are many ways to visualize your goal if you aren’t sure how to start
7. Hire great partners
I’ll admit that this one might be a little bit obvious.Successful entrepreneurs aren’t successful within a vacuum. We all have a great team and support network behind us.And when I recommend hiring great partners, I don’t just mean someone who can do the job you’re hiring them for.I want you to hire partners who have great character and whom you like and respect.You and your partners will be working long hours together and making stressful decisions. If your partner has a character that you don’t respect, your team won’t last long.Fill your team with people who have great character and you’re well on your way to success.When choosing your partners and team members, always remember that you can teach skills, but you can’t teach character.
8. Plan your finances
Startups and entrepreneurial businesses need money. It’s just a part of the lifestyle.Many entrepreneurs spend too much time looking for money and not enough acting, but that doesn’t mean that you can leap into the abyss without a plan.For most entrepreneurs, they’re using their own savings to start their business. That’s risky. Have a plan and you minimize your risk.Plan out your finances in the beginning and try to stick to it, but know that the plan will have to be adapted along the way.
9. Who’s your customer?
One of the most common reasons that entrepreneurial businesses fail is that there isn’t a customer.If you start a business or make a product but don’t know who will buy it, that person might not actually exist.Before you make a financial plan, raise capital, or even choose a name, make sure that there’s a customer who would buy your product or use your services.Without a customer, you don’t have a business.Successful entrepreneurs know who their customers are.
There is no such thing as too much networking. Well, there is, I guess. Don’t let networking get in the way of building your business.What I mean to say is that you shouldn’t ever stop networking because you never know where your next lead will come from.And you’re not alone. Chances are, if you network with enough people, you’ll bump into another entrepreneur who might have the ideas and connections you need.You might find a new connection while grabbing a beer at the airport bar, you might meet your next business partner in an elevator on your way to a meeting, and you just never know who’s sitting next to you on the bus.Meet everyone you come into contact with and have a short chat. You never know who you’re sitting next to and what connections or resources they might be able to offer you.
The life of a successful entrepreneur can feel scattered and disjointed, but it’s important to limit your time spent multitasking.Research has shown time and time again that multitasking doesn’t work. Humans aren’t capable of it.And yes, multitasking includes being distracted by your phone and email tabs. Close them and put them away.Learn to focus and take time to do just one task. Giving one task your full attention will mean that you’re more likely to get it done and do it well.It’s also important to know that too many tasks on your to-do list can make you ineffective and distracted.Learn to focus your to-do list on the tasks that you’re capable of finishing in the amount of time you’ve allotted for them.
For example, each night, set the three tasks that you’ll complete the following day. And each month, set the overarching goal for your company that you want to achieve in the next 30 days.These techniques can help you to learn how to focus and more effectively manage your business.
12. Get inspired
Being an entrepreneur is a creative pursuit. As an entrepreneur, you have to make connections, solve problems, and create new things that no one has thought of before.Creators and creatives need to be inspired.Successful entrepreneurs take time for the things that inspire them.Maybe your inspiration comes from being in an art museum, maybe it’s reading books, maybe it’s doodling — whatever it is that inspires you, do it. It’s good for your business.Successful entrepreneurs are inspired. Don’t let that magic slip for too long. Whenever you can, and definitely when you’re feeling burned out, get out there and get inspired.Inspiration is the spark for ideas. Ideas make successful entrepreneurs.
13. Help others
Entrepreneurs are busy, so this tip sometimes trips them up. It’s easy to think, “I don’t have time to help anyone else! I’m so busy already!”But helping others can be inspiring and massively beneficial.How good does it feel to help others? And as an entrepreneur you have a network with whom you can share your expertise and jobs you can hire people for. Why wouldn’t you help others? When you help someone, they will likely find a way to help you. It might not be today or tomorrow, but somewhere in the future, they will be there to help you when you need it.Helping others is also a great way to build a loyal and supportive network around you.Successful entrepreneurs help the people they meet.
No one ever said having a small business would be easy. These 13th points are essential to having a prosperous business while avoiding unnecessary challenges. These points are not just cold hard facts. There is an artistry to their implementation. To be successful in business means to practice and develop that artistry over time. It starts with some thoughtful reflection and research. Then find the courage to wisely and artfully take that first step and every step thereafter, day after day, month after month, year after year.