Monday, May 14, 2012

How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

...If only it was that easy! To me this title is a lot like the millions of ads on "how to successfully lose weight." There is no magic pill. We have seen a million different opinions, variables, thought leaders, and methods to subscribe to. Some are good, some fads, some gimmicks and quite honestly like diets, most start-ups fail. You can blame it on genetics, lifestyle, income, whatever. But in the end it simply comes down to dedication and effort. Here's a few tried and true tips that carry over from your body to your mind, to get you on your way. Only you can control the results.

  1. Define your goals. True success can only be measured by defined goals. The more specific the goals, the more specific success. Take an honest assessment of what you wish to accomplish, then breakdown strategies, barriers, assets, and create a timeline for each goal. Success doesn't happen over night. 
  2. Track progress and log results.  By breaking down the steps and creating task-oriented mini-goals with deadlines, you can celebrate each step of the way. This makes the whole process of starting a new company much less over-whelming. Just take it one step at a time. This will also help you see problems and patterns that arise, and time to work through them.
  3. Be realistic. Of course I want my body to look like a Victoria Secret model's. Even better if I can manage it by Susi's pool party next weekend (kidding, sort of). Again, those kind of results don't happen over night and especially not in any lasting manner no matter what bandwagon I jump on. Yes it's true, instagram sold to facebook for $1billion dollars fifteen months after it started.  But they had also proven their worth with millions of users, and millions in funding. Miracles do happen. Just don't bet on them.
  4. Stay positive. A study by Discovery Health found that  "Self-talk is very powerful. By repeating the same thoughts over and over, the mind actually comes to believe they're true. We tend to act in ways consistent with our deepest internal beliefs. So, frequently, the statements become self-fulfilling." There's a reason why The Secret has been so successful, and meditation has been practiced for centuries. Believing in your self is key to any success.
  5. Buddy Up! Surround yourself with like-minded people who can help you stay motivated. A friend you can call on when times are tough, compare notes with, or plan weekly meetings with, will help keep both of you on track.
  6. Call in the experts. Just know it's gonna cost you. When it comes to dieting, if you want a beach body in six weeks, individuals will spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on personal trainers, gym memberships and clubs. If you want your new business to take off sooner than later, you might also have to call in the experts. The amount of time it takes to learn code, might be worth hiring a developer. Or if you're strong suit is tech, reach out to those who's specialty lies in marketing. A good team that brings different skill sets to the table greatly increases your chances of success. No man is an island.
  7. Don't quit your day job. That's right. Until your company is self-sustaining think twice before letting go of a sure thing. Don't stop everything you're doing (although sometimes it's nice to take a week to do just that). Rather, get up extra early, squeeze time in at lunch or go to classes at night. The key is simply make the time. Any successful entrepreneur will tell you huge success only happens with great risks. That's 100% true. But it also takes huge sacrifices. Be prepared, and realistic about what that means, and what you're prepared to do.
  8. Think outside the box. Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you do the same thing as everyone else, how do you expect to break the mold. You must think differently if you want innovate new methods and products.
  9. It's a lifestyle. Yes, we all want to make money. But the reasons why successful people are able to take risks, and think creatively, is they are hard wired to do so. Passionately. To be truly successful you have to love what you do. Maybe not all the time (there's a reason it's called work and not play) but it's critical to have conviction in the products and brands you stand for. It's a lot easier to risk it all for something you believe in than something you don't. Success comes after years of trial and error, and habitual dedication.

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