Core Insights for the Entrepreneur’s Path
I wish that someone had passed along these few golden nuggets of entrepreneurial wisdom when I first started my own business; fortunately, over the years I began to surround myself with others who were likeminded and successful entrepreneurs, as well as business owners. I also spent a good deal of time reading and scouring the Internet, researching the paths of those who had succeeded before me and learning from their experiences and their stories.
The following are a few core insights I’ve gained through others, in my own pursuit of the life and business I’ve always dreamed of having:
Opportunity only ever waits for the first guy to come along and grab it.
When you see an opportunity, don’t wait for the right time, the right amount of money, or the right education; grab it, and fake it till you make it if you have to. If you don’t, it will pass right by you and the next person, who is willing to go for it no matter what, will benefit from it.
Goals are essential, but must be flexible.
You may have a great idea and strategy, but you should never hesitate to divert your approach or modify your goals if it means the difference between success and disappointment
Persistence is vital; without it, it’s only a matter of time before you fail.
On persistence, Calvin Coolidge said, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
I think old Calvin said it pretty well, so I’m just going to leave it at that.
Education is a limitless quest.
No matter what the nature of your business, you can never stop learning. In an ever-changing world of modern technology, everything about the way we do business is constantly evolving. If you are not relentless in your pursuit of education around everything from marketing to payment processing, you are bound to be left in the dust by your competitors.
Everything worth anything is challenging- some of the time.
And, failure is unavoidable; it’s what you do with challenge and failure that counts. Ultimately, the thing that defines our ability to succeed is our willingness to push on through the obstacles we face: the inevitable rough patches and the cost of making our dreams come true (both monetarily and energetically).
If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.
You’re finally doing what you set out to do: you’re running your own business, you’re your own boss and you say what’s what, dammit. Not only that; you’re making pretty good money too. No more 9 to 5 for you; no, Sir.
The only problem is, you’re not getting any sleep because you lie awake all night worrying about this, that or the other, you’ve got a bubble in your throat due to stress-related acid reflux, and you can’t stand your partners or your customers. Everything about your day sucks and you’ve become an angry, negative person who barks at everyone.
Stop! This is NOT what success looks like. Which brings me to wisdom nugget number 7:
Success may not mean what you think it means.
Most people equate success with earning a certain amount of money, or gaining a certain amount of prestige, but most truly successful entrepreneurs would totally disagree with that assessment.
Anthony Robbins, well-known business and life coach, and arguably one of the most successful entrepreneurs among us says, “Success is doing what you want to do, when you want, where you want, with whom you want, as much as you want.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Find out what your “why” is, and make sure that what you are doing is aimed at fulfilling that, but never at the expense of your peace of mind and happiness. If you find yourself saying, “I’m NOT doing what I want, when I want, where I want, with whom I want and as much as I want” then something is very wrong and its time to take a step back and really consider the meaning of success.