Real Life Entrepreneur Success Secrets
Succeeding in business, especially when the chips are down!
Someone recently asked me to name my 3 most essential secrets for success as an Entrepreneur.
My initial response is that it is not possible to name the three most essential things / secrets / lessons to being a successful entrepreneur because as soon as you think of three, another three that arguably are equally important will come to mind.
But still I got to thinking – what would I select if I could only have three?
As you will see below it was such a challenge for me that I eventually settled on four ‘secrets’ – mainly because I thought the 4th one which would not normally feature on any list, so important. Also, I am not that comfortable with the word secrets any more, I far rather say they are real world business lessons learned in some cases the hard way by yours truly.
Four Real World Business Lessons for Success
Let’s start with the obvious first….
Success Lesson No1 – Be Passionate!
Self-explantory I hope. Really without passion you are unlikely to get started never mind succeed in business. Passion is what motivates you to work the long hours, take the risks and not give up. People buy passion – if you are not passionate about your products and your mission how can you expect your customers to be?
I always feel Steve Jobs was a great example of a passionate leader — and look how that transferred to his staff and customers.
Passion is so important I am letting you have two of my favorite quotes on it below…
“One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested.”
~ E. M. Forster
“Chase your passion, not your pension.”
~ Denis Waitley
Success Lesson No2 – TAKE DECISIVE ACTION
More times than I can count I have wannabe Entrepreneurs come to me with their ideas for a new business – sometimes the ideas are even quite original and good but yet I will meet this wannabe entrepreneurs a few months later or even a year plus later and the still have not got started.
They have taken no REAL action on their idea! Basically they have over thought things, are waiting for the perfect moment (which will never come) and feel more comfortable talking about what they are going to do rather than DOING! Now I’m not saying don’t have a business plan or do research here – what I’m saying is do your research / sound your idea with a few trusted friends and then launch the business.
Even if the business doesn’t succeed I’m a great believer in FAIL FAST (Failure is just road signs on the way to success and honest I promise you it is very rare to find the perfect moment to do anything never mind launch a business!)
Or as American writer Sarah Dessen has put it:
You can’t always get the perfect moment. Sometimes, you just have to do the best you can under the circumstances
Success Lesson No3 – Stay Focused / Stay Calm / Stay Centered
Look there will be plenty of challenges in any business – no matter if it is the start-up phase or you are a long established business. If there is anyone piece of advice I would have preferred to have learned earlier in my business career it is this – Stay Calm / Stay Focused.
You have launched your business – it is succeeding but without the ability to stay focused and calm when challenges arise you cannot hope for long term success.
With hindsight I can say that fortunately for me I learned my lesson about remaining calm as a young entrepreneur (aged 16) when one morning I woke up to discover that my website hosting company (and my website) had disappeared overnight. (Not only that, I had no backup!)
Was I upset – you bet I was! At the time I was super annoyed with the web-hosting company owners – in reality I had been scammed. Now I had every reason to be upset but it was not until I calmed down and started thinking of solutions rather than being upset that a solution came to me.
Sometimes you just have to accept what has happened and move on or as my Irish Grandmother likes to say “no point in crying over spilled milk”
How long did it take me to think of a solution – actually not very long at all once I calmed down. Fortunately it was only a small beginner website (but it meant the world to me at the time) and using Google and the Cache feature I was able to rebuild the bulk of my website very quickly.
Had I not calmed down and got my head around that issue who is to know, I might not even being doing what I am doing today. Being calm and thinking solutions in business is essential for long term success.
Solutions come from Calmness in my experience – rarely from being annoyed and upset.
The thing, when you’re down two sets to love, is to stay calm, even though it’s hard, because people are freaking out, people are worried for you ~ Rafael Nadal
Now for the vitally important last and final secret….and perhaps most important
Success Lesson No4 – Some People Will Disappoint You – Get over it!
This is some what related to No 3 and staying calm but really to me learning this lesson is so important I’d almost be tempted to make it my No1 lesson / secret to success.
OK, lets get this straight, not everyone will disappoint you, in fact very few will disappoint you but those that do can leave you feeling very sore and often angry.
In my business I have content writers, JV Partners, Programmers, Affiliates, Web Designers to name a few that I deal with daily.
Occasionally some of these individuals don’t deliver and what is more when they don’t delivery they will even try and make it out to be your fault. I have had people steal my ideas, copy my websites, abuse my intellectual property, steal my software, fail to pay commissions owed and generally be rat-bags!
When this first happened I will be honest it got me down big time. If I’m really honest, it still gets me down but these days I suppose I have just become more philosophical about it.
Being ‘wronged’ like this is of course not right and really I advise you to take whatever legal remedies are necessary to protect yourself. (We for example use a DMCA service which removes pirated copies of Popup Domination from around the internet)
That said there will be times when legal action is just not practical / worth it, actually a lot of times you just have to GET OVER IT!
Whatever it is that has gone wrong it will almost certainly have cost you time and money – but getting down in the dumps about it and being annoyed will not help much, if at all. Indeed being annoyed and angry is more likely to cost you even more money, because I promise you it is hard to be creative and upbeat and run a business when you are annoyed and angry.
Believe me – I have tried it!
As long as we are in business we will be learning – even when it goes wrong we learn something, even if it is only that we have discovered a method that does not work!
Instead about being angry ask yourself positive questions like…
What have I learned from this? (I have had a chance to practice not letting anger get the better of me!)
What is good about this situation? (really!!?)
What is there to be happy about right now? (I am still alive and building a better more profitable business from the lessons I have learned)
I won’t honestly say that I am over that feeling of disappointment that comes when an individual you trusted lets you down – or even one you don’t know rips of your products but I will say this, I am committed to minimizing the effect on my business and on me personally by getting over it DOUBLE QUICK these days.
Want a longer list?
I appreciate this is not the usual long list of points that I might be better known for in a post but I do hope you agree there might just be something new here that can benefit you and your business. What is more I’d love to have your thought in the comments below and even if you have something that is usually not mentioned to add yourself.
Frankly I wish I’d written it myself – it sums up so many of my own thoughts precisely. Real world advice that I fully recommend to you.
And one final quote that really resonates with me at present…from Paulo Coelho and his novel: Brida
When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.
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