Entrepreneurship can be a long windy road filled with obstacles and it is often traveled alone. Since almost no one cares to see you succeed but yourself, it is on you to find the strength needed to go on. Here are four traits every entrepreneur must have in order to get to the finish line.
There is a reason you got motivated to bring your idea to life. That same factor is the one you need to keep close as no one out there will motivate you better than yourself. You simply have to remember what is that ticking factor that keeps you going. Try to make sure your motive is not driven by money, as many of the failed attempts to monetize your idea will in turn end up de-motivating you, instead of keep you going.
Waking up at 7am to go to work is probably not the life you envisioned living, especially if you are an entrepreneur but you will most likely have to wake up at 6am instead when working for yourself. It is ultimately your ability to keep yourself in check to maximize your productivity that will lead you to succeeding. If you worked at about 30% of your potential when reporting to others, you will have to triple up that productivity and do so without any reassurance that you are on the right track.
For every 10 failures, you might have one small victory. Make sure to hold on to that one victory and not allow the proportions of success to failure get to your head. Believing in your idea to the very end is key to succeeding, even if there are more rainy days that bright sunny ones.
Being determined to win means being willing to do what it takes to win, and more often than not, you will be reminded of a 100 reasons why giving up makes sense. Being determined means you must have the ability to work your ass off for 100 days in a row only to realize it won’t work and be willing to redo it all from scratch with no one to blame but yourself and no one to remind you that you got ways to go.
Despite having had many successful offline businesses, I hardly considered myself a successful entrepreneur and it wasn’t until I actually started and succeeded with one company that I felt the entrepreneur within me come to life. In 2008, my partners and I launched the business and it wasn’t until two years later that we defined what we wanted to be known for and experienced our hard work turning into what we originally imagined it would be like. It has been one of the best experiences of my life, and continues to be the reason I work so hard every day.
The reason I share this with you today is because without the four attributes above, my team and I would have never been able to see our vision come to life.
Without belief, we would have never kept tweaking our brand to keep improving it and without discipline I would have never stayed awake until 2am to start all over at 6am everyday despite not earning any money. It was ultimately our determination and ability to stay motivated that led us to be able to deliver a great all around motivational experience for anyone that visits our site.
Just remember that you will encounter opposition and disbelief but it is highly irrelevant as others cannot see your vision, your goals, and do not wake up daily with the same feeling of fulfillment, which is ultimately why they don’t understand you and create opposition. People often fear the unknown and disbelief in anything they haven’t seen which is why ideas are attacked with disbelief rather than enthusiasm by others you share them with. I like to think new ideas work somewhat like this.
- Year 1 – New idea – Everyone Including your family thinks it’s stupid.
- Year 2-3 – Some traction - Your family still don’t understand what you do and others don’t care.
- Year 4-5 – People start paying attention and talking about you with mixed feelings.
- Year 6+ – Your family tells stories of your successful business venture that they still don’t understand, and your enemies join you thinking you won’t notice.
No matter how many businesses I start or work on, those behaviors don’t change and regardless of who you are and what you are doing, you are ultimately the greatest weapon against failure, so don’t give up.
What productivity system can you not live without as an entrepreneur? Ask the Entrepreneurs: 21 Systems to Boost Business Productivity for GoodFeatured photo credit: Dell's Official Flickr Page via Flickr