Posted on September 9, 2017
Four years ago, I started my own digital marketing agency. I created several businesses before that, but none of them were successful enough to keep around. But in those years before I founded my current agency and tried my hand at other businesses, I learned invaluable lessons. Based on everything that I learned the hard way, below are seven keys to entrepreneurial success.
1. Don’t let your background dictate your future. I feel a lot of times I hear from individuals who want to be business owners, they say something like “Oh, I came from this background” or “I’m this, and I need to stay in my lane.” To be successful entrepreneurs, we must develop a limitless mindset. The opportunity is endless and we all have the chance to become entrepreneurs if we want to. Dream big!
2. Be tenacious. A lot of people think that it’s all about the skills. And of course, we do need to have skills in order to have a business. But it’s also about the determination to move forward with your business. Confidence-building is a significant part of being a successful entrepreneur. Everyone has their own methods. Maybe it’s reviewing positive stories, such as reading articles or blogs online about successful entrepreneurs. For me, building my confidence is exercise. There is nothing like a run to bring up the endorphins and my entrepreneurial spirit.
3. Commit to your business. If being an entrepreneur is your calling, you must commit to your business. If you don’t do it 110% and have one foot in the door and the other out, the business might very well falter. What you focus on grows. If your attention is elsewhere, then so is your business. I think about my business and how I can best improve it from the time I get up to the time I go to sleep (and on the weekends). It’s crucial to mentally commit to your company.
4. Shine during the times of adversity. Certain times are going be very difficult. But don’t allow adversity to break what you’ve built. It’s all part of being an entrepreneur. Hang in there. Work through those tough times, and you’ll be more successful and happier. After failing to start a few different endeavors, I went back to a full-time job, disappointed. But I knew these were just stepping stones on the way to something bigger and better. As they always say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
5. Surround yourself with people you can relate to. Sometimes your family or your friends might not understand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. You might even have naysayers or negative people in your life. That’s also part of being an entrepreneur. Surround yourself with people who you can relate to, such as other entrepreneurs. It will come naturally as you build your own business. You are going meet people in the entrepreneurial space. Listen to their stories and learn from their experiences. In the past year, I have joined several entrepreneur organizations and it has helped grow my business immensely.
6. Continue to learn. Lifelong learning is the cornerstone of being an entrepreneur. No matter how much I know, I still learn something new every day. I go through blog articles, digital courses and books. I listen to podcasts while I am driving. With all the changes that are going on in digital marking especially, it’s important to continue to refine your craft. Maybe 20 or 30 years ago, you might have been able to get away with just learning your core competencies, but now technology and commerce travels at the speed of light. And to stay competitive, we all need to make learning a lifelong habit.