By Abel Pagaling
Dictionary.com defines an entrepreneur as, “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
It’s easy to marvel at what successful entrepreneurs have achieved. We praise and congratulate them. We admire their accomplishments. But to become a successful entrepreneur is a difficult process.
When we look at a successful entrepreneur, the achievement we see is the tip of an iceberg. Look below the surface, and you’ll see sacrifice after sacrifice, stress, conflict, unpredictability, debt, and always being on your toes. As an entrepreneur myself, I’ve experienced this firsthand. I’ve talked to many entrepreneurs, and they always tell me, “It’s not easy,” especially if you’re just starting.
So what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur?
After doing numerous interviews on this subject, reading books and magazines, listening to successful entrepreneurs, and reflecting on my experience, here are nine things I suggest are needed to become a successful entrepreneur:
- STRONG BELIEF: You have to believe in what you’re doing. No one else will believe it for you. If “desire is the starting point of all achievements,” according to Napoleon Hill, then “strong belief” is what makes achievements possible. It’s your belief that will spill over to your partners, investors, your team, and most importantly, to your customers.
- THINK LONG TERM: Success is a series of small steps done correctly over an extended period. For entrepreneurs, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a monthly, weekly, daily, hourly process. Your patience will be tested. Your resources will be stretched. People in your team will come and go. Results come very slow at times. Prepare for the long haul
- EMOTIONAL STRENGTH: As an entrepreneur, your emotional strength is more important than your mental or IQ strength. There will be setbacks, conflicts, missed opportunities, and mistakes (lots of them) as you figure out the path ahead. These will take emotional toll on you. You’ll need emotional strength to pull through time and time again.
- SEEK HELP: No one does it alone. Your time, energy, and resources are limited. As an entrepreneur, I had to accept that I don’t know everything and can’t do everything. I need help. To grow a business, seek help from those who can assist you, and seek often.
- PLAN, BUT EXECUTE MORE: Without execution, plans are just daydreams. Successful entrepreneurs have a “just do it” mentality. That’s how they deliver results. The faster you execute, the faster you learn. The faster you learn, the fewer mistakes you’ll make moving forward.
- EMBRACE RESPONSIBILITY: Don’t pretend to be an entrepreneur. People who say they’re entrepreneurs but don’t work hard or do what it takes to meet their goals are just pretending. If you’re an entrepreneur, embrace all the responsibilities that come with it.
- LOOK FORWARD: Entrepreneurs are forward thinkers. They see the potential of what their business could become long before everyone else sees it. Unfortunately, setbacks, pressures, mistakes, distractions, and criticism can often take an entrepreneur’s eyes of the target. Avoid distractions. Stay steady and always look forward.
- WORK HARD: Starting a business is like giving birth to a child. It requires hard work to raise one, particularly in the beginning. You need to roll up your sleeve and get to work. Here’s a business advice that stuck with me: “Don’t expect 100% result for 10% effort”. To build a successful business, there’s no substitute for hard work.
- BUILD YOUR TEAM: Last but not least, build a strong team! To have a successful business that can expand and grow, you need a strong team. Building a team is full of personal growth opportunities. You will learn from your team, and they will learn from you. Learning is an essential part of growth, in life, and in business.
Entrepreneurship is not easy, but NOT impossible. If you’re employed now, it’s because someone started the company you’re working for. If others can do it, I’m positive you can too.
Enjoy our second issue, and have a great 2017!
FICA Media Inc.