Interested in becoming an entrepreneur? In a world where nine out of 10 startups fail, you'll have to learn how to become the one that succeeds.
As an entrepreneur who has successfully started multiple businesses and helps other businesses find success, there are several keys and attributes I'd like to share that you'll need to become a successful entrepreneur.
Every successful entrepreneur knows that setting and maintaining priorities will help them advance. You must be able to create and implement your own ideal system and strategies to figure out what’s important to you -- and what isn’t.
One prioritization strategy I use is scheduling my next day the night before. I list the top five things that I have to do to have a successful tomorrow. This ensures that I know what my top priorities are before others can impose their needs upon my day. A strategy like this will keep you on track when you're distracted by low-priority tasks.
While ideas are certainly valuable to entrepreneurs, solutions are more relevant to customers and investors. Rather than focusing on ideas, direct your energy toward creating solutions. First, identify a problem, then focus your concentration on developing ideas that would solve it.
Back when I owned one of my first businesses, I believed that the only thing that mattered was having a state-of-the-art website. Though my clients thought the website was great, they were more interested in other ways they could gain value by working with the business. As such, I had to refocus my efforts to actualize the growth that I expected.
Know Your Customer
One of the reasons startups fail is because business owners don’t take enough time to get to know their customer. You need to learn who your ideal customer is if you are to determine what he or she wants. Otherwise, you won't have a business. I find that the startups that are most successful took the time to learn about their customer from the get-go.
Be A Doer
It’s all too easy to get caught up in overthinking and analyzing. But, at some point, you just have to get up and do. Entrepreneurs should be doers. Dreams don’t come to fruition by themselves. You must take action to make it happen.
This was the biggest difference in my transition from the corporate world to the startup world. When you're in a lean organization, inefficient time management isn't an option.
Running a business can be a challenge if you try to do it all yourself. This is where your team comes in. Learn to be at peace with the idea of delegating tasks so you can focus on the bigger picture. When you identify what you should do, focus only on the things that you can or should do and delegate the rest, even if you want to do them.
Since I have a technical background, I love code design and user design. However, this can take up a lot of my time, and there are plenty of others who share this same skillset. I learned early on that it was better for me to delegate these types of tasks even though I enjoyed doing them.
Self-motivation is a valuable skill for any individual, but it’s crucial for entrepreneurs. You must be able to continually motivate yourself to persevere even when you don’t want to.
When I don't feel motivated, I fall back on my "surefire fixes." These include working out, talking to my accountability partners and visualizing my goals.
Don’t Expect Overnight Success
You may strike out on your first leap into entrepreneurship. But guess what? That’s OK! Failure will happen, and each failed attempt brings you closer to that sweet feeling of success. It can take years of hard work and dedication for your business to reach the place where you want it to be. Even Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest businessmen in the world, suffered a major defeat with his first company, Traf-O-Data. If he had given up, we wouldn’t have Microsoft.
Maintain A Work-Life Balance
Many entrepreneurs believe that all work and no play is the key to success — but they're wrong. Maintaining a healthy balance between your personal life and business goals will prevent you from getting burned out, which is one of the common reasons why startups fail.
I maintain a healthy work-life balance by treating my workout and meditation time as priorities in my day. By doing this, I more often than not reach my goal each day to be more mindful.
Use Tools That Are Meant To Help You
In the age of technological advances, there are so many great toolsavailable for entrepreneurs that allow them to work smarter, not harder. Take advantage of the various apps and services out there that will help you strategically streamline your business and save time — from finance to meditation.
Create a network of fellow entrepreneurs, investors, advisors, and supportive family members and friends who can help guide you, inspire you and keep you on track when the going gets tough.
Keep in mind that your network may change over time, as people grow in different directions and at different speeds. The types of business owners in my first mastermind group are completely different than the ones in my group today.
Businesses don’t market themselves. It takes lots of work to get your company noticed. You must be willing to put in the effort to promote yourself and your company.