You want to be one of those “successful” entrepreneurs, but running a business can be hard, eh? You have so much passion for what you’re doing and hope that with a lot of hard work and dedication it will take off.
Yet at times that seems so far away.
Your greatest fear is that you won’t make it. You will have put in so much blood, sweat, and tears yet have nothing to show for it. You don’t want people to think you’re crazy. You don’t want to look like you’ve failed.
So how can you increase your chances of being a successful entrepreneur?
successful entrepreneur do 5 things differently
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs just like you. They all start with nothing but an idea and add in a helluva lot of determination.
But the successful entrepreneurs have more than just determination and passion. What is it that sets them about from the rest?
They have done these 5 extra things.
1. recognise they can’t do it all
A successful entrepreneur will know the things that come naturally to her and will know which things she struggles with. She will be honest with herself and with others about these strengths of and threats to her business.
Why does it matter? When you are self-aware, you can make better decisions and better decisions will lead to better business.
For example, let’s imagine that you’re not very confident with the financial side of your business. If you’re honest with yourself about your dislike for numbers, you can make a decision. You can decide ignore your finances (and possibly go bust), you can decide to learn how to manage it, or you can decide to speak with an accountant.
2. ask for help
A successful entrepreneur will be humble enough to ask for help. She will understand that she can’t do it all alone and will unapologetically seek out others to support her where necessary.
Why does it matter? If you want your business to grow, you cannot do it all on your own. There is only so much that you can do in a day.
Eventually you will have to spend money in order to make money, so weigh up the cost versus the benefit of any help that you bring on. But remember that cost is a function of both money AND time. Your time. What could you be doing instead if someone else could take some of the tasks off your plate?
3. create a network of support
A successful entrepreneur will surround herself with other entrepreneurs. She will share her successes and her challenges with them and be open to learning from others.
Why does it matter? Starting a business is a hard journey that not many people understand. You can start to feel isolated and deflated if you’re always on your own.
Being with other entrepreneurs helps you to see that you’re not alone in your struggles. Other are going through the exact same thing and may be able to share some tips to get you through any rough patches. They will provide the support that your friends and family aren’t able to offer.
4. build in accountability
A successful entrepreneur will create deadlines and have others hold him accountable to them.
Why does it matter? When you’re the boss, you don’t have anyone telling you that you have to do something. Without accountability, you might procrastinate and not make progress towards your business goals.
Publicity sharing deadlines within your peer network, with clients, or with advisors, makes you more likely to do whatever it takes to hit them. As a business coach, I hold all my clients accountable and challenge their excuses.
5. remain open to criticism
A successful entrepreneur will use objective metrics to understand what is and is not working in her business. With these, she’ll make adjustments.
Why does it matter? The first (or even fifth!) iteration of your idea may not be what customers really want to buy and if you don’t have a market, then you don’t have a business.
Put your pride the side, ask your target market for their feedback, and actually listen to what they’re saying to you. Then build your product or service around what they need.
over to you
What do you want to start doing in your business to increase your chances of success? Leave a comment below and let us know.
adrian ashton says
thanks for this checklist – in my experience, most entrepreneurs struggle with points 4 and 5;
my own approach to these parts include the development of a social impact reporting framework that I openly publish my performance against each year in various forums and groups, and also invite people to ‘prove me wrong’ on my own blog
Danielle Anderson says
Hi Adrian. Having a reporting framework that you openly publish is a great way to hold yourself accountable. You may even wish to consider publishing something more than once a year if you find that you’re ever struggling to stay motivated.
I also like that you invite people to ‘prove [you] wrong’ on your blog. Engaging in open and honest dialogue is useful for ensuring that you’re delivering something that people really want.
Lisa McLoughlin says
Really useful checklist thank you 😉
Lavinia Goddard says
Great tips Danielle. I must admit I haven’t paid enough time and attention to building all of these into my entrepreneur journey. It is something that I have had in mind for a while now though, particularly seeking more help and building a support network. Your post is further confirmation of the importance to prioritise initiating them. It’ll be worth the investment in the long run I’m sure.
Thanks for sharing.
Danielle Anderson says
Lavinia, I’m pleased that you found these tips useful.
If you’re London-based, I do run a monthly support / networking group that you would be most welcome to attend. You can find more details about it here: http://www.stepandstone.com/support/social-sound-off-event/
Kryptolight UVC light says
Another important trait is DESIRE…that is, entrepreneur’s must have a burning desire to achieve his/her goals, dreams and vision. Without this deep desire to be successful you’ll never be driven to succeed.