An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. Sara Blakely, Bill Gates, Martha Stewart, Sir Richard Branson, are just a few examples of extremely successful entrepreneurs that made it big. Anyone can become a successful entrepreneur, provided that they are passionate and willing to put in the hard work and most importantly take risks. The following are a few steps you can follow on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Be passionate about what you do
One of the major characteristics that all successful entrepreneurs share is passion. It is key to keeping a business strategy moving. In order to be successful you need to always be motivated and give it your all, which you cannot do if you are not passionate about what you are doing!
Begin by taking small steps toward your goals
Starting anything new is risky and potentially daunting, so you don’t want to move too far too fast. Although almost all the literature that you read emphasises how entrepreneurs are huge risk takers, they take risks with caution and have done sufficient research into the matter at hand. It is important when you are starting out to take baby steps and not rush into anything. Smaller risks allow for losses to be smaller and easily absorbed.
Don’t pretend you have all the answers
No one has all the answers and you shouldn’t pretend that you do. Rather be honest and upfront with what you know and what you don’t know. All of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs all received help along the way. Help can come from a variety places such as a mentor or support group. A good idea is to find yourself a mentor to help guide you along your journey. American author, salesman, and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was a firm believer in the power of having a mentor and said “A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.”
Be your biggest promoter
Confidence is another crucial characteristic shared by all successful entrepreneurs. You need to be confident in yourself, your business and your product or service. Using this confidence you need to become your biggest promoter, the first marketing any company experiences comes from its founder. You need to positively and confidently promote yourself and your business.
Build a top class team
Once you’ve established your business you will need to assemble a team to help you run it. You need to find the right skill sets and attitudes that support the culture of the brand and that will enhance your reputation and foster innovation. Your team is a key part of your business and as such should reflect the values and ethos of the business.
Be mindful of your attitude
The tone of the business is set by the attitude of the founder. Therefore, it is crucial to have a positive attitude which echoes throughout your business and employees. Your attitude will also influence your team and thus you must always be mindful of your attitude.
Having a negative, lazy or entitled attitude will only waste time and money and will ultimately tarnish the reputation that you are trying to build. Even when things go wrong it is important to keep a good attitude and learn from your mistakes and failures. Success largely depends on making mistakes and accepting blame in stride.
Constantly take action
Successful entrepreneurs do not have time to procrastinate, they are movers and shakers. They cannot afford to analyse each detail or they wouldn’t get anywhere. Being a successful entrepreneur demands constant forward momentum. Hence, it is important to make a brief assessment at every step and move on it. Have confidence in yourself and trust your instincts.
Don’t spend all your time working
Many people believe that to become a successful entrepreneur one must dedicate all of their time to working on their business; the stereotype of an entrepreneur is typically someone who is hustling all day every day. If you were to live like this you would burn out fairly quickly. You need to set aside time to spend time with friends and family and time to do things other than business.
According to Virgin (founded by renowned entrepreneur Richard Branson) Nearly 60% of successful entrepreneurs said that spending time with family in the evenings was crucial to their effectiveness as a business owner. And 55% said that it was important to keep their weekends free for their loved ones.
It is believed that taking time off will have positive effects and in the long run it could make you more successful.
Don’t be afraid to fail
One of the best ways to learn is from your mistakes. Part of being a successful entrepreneur is taking risks which will often end in failure. See each failure as an opportunity to learn and grow and make sure that you take advantage of this. Never be afraid to fail and always be open to learning.
Richard Branson believes that risk is not something to be afraid of, saying “Most people immediately have negative thoughts when they hear that word. When somebody is talking to me about risk, I hear ‘opportunity’, starting a business is undoubtedly a risk, but it can be the most rewarding thing you ever do. One of the main things holding people back from starting a business, or from doing anything they want to in life, is self-belief. You have to think: ‘just do it,’ and simply get on with starting your company. Nobody will do it for you – so take a risk, flesh out that business proposal that’s been in the back of your head for ages and go for it.”
Be willing to spend money
There is an old saying “you have to spend money to make money”. Which is true if you are wanting to be a successful entrepreneur. When you start a business, money may be tight but you cannot make any money if you don’t spend any in the first place. It is also important to think and what you are spending your money on and to spend it wisely.