These people start with their major goal, which is to create freedom for themselves while doing the work they truly love.
More often than not, these people find it difficult to progress and overcome the hurdles that the realities of the business world bring along their way.
I am always reminded of my yesteryears when I see young entrepreneurs struggle in the early stages of their businesses.
Every successful entrepreneur has had their ups and downs, and most have been faced with business fiascos before finding their footing in the business world to eventually become a star.
A major factor that determines whether we will be successful as entrepreneurs is our ability to learn from our mistakes and, of course, the mistakes of others.
Here are few lessons I learned the hard way during the first stages of my life as an entrepreneur:
1. Do work that aligns with your passion.
Running a business takes a lot of time and energy, and working in a field that does not align with your passion, no matter the paycheck, makes your work a living hell.
As an entrepreneur, you need to do what you love. Be involved in businesses that will make you look forward in going to work every day.
Your passion for your business is the most important “fuel” that is required on your way to entrepreneurial success.
2. Think big, but start small.
Don't wait until tomorrow or until you have $1 million. Start now.
The common Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, and the second best time is now.”
Again, I say, start now. Don't wait for people to invest in you.
Start with what you have, and draw out plans to grow your business. Do your best to get your business up and running, and if you have a very good concept, it won't take long before you will attract the attention of venture capitalists.
Start small, and grow.
3. Never spend your profits.
Don't give in to the temptations of instant gratification. The earnings of your business should be re-invested in it during the first few stages of our business.
Never spend the profit from your business in the initial stages of startup. Never spend your interest because you will not grow fast in business.
Forget about fancy offices and expensive cars; never buy luxurious items and so-called “assets” with your running capital.
The best business advice I have ever received was that I should ensure that I spend only my interest's interest on luxury.
Don't consider yourself a millionaire until the interest on your company's profit can buy you something worth $1 million.
4. Invest in yourself.
Your greatest asset is our mind, so do not hesitate to feed it.
You are what you eat, so make sure you feed your mind with quality materials that can help you in your business.
Read the stories of those that have made it in the business of your choice, and read about the marketing techniques that are essential for your entrepreneurial success.
Keep learning, read everything and anything that will help you thrive in business, have an open mind and keep your mind active.
Read books about latest developments and current trends of your business. By so doing, you'll be up to date about the quality of the services you render, and this will give you edge over your competitors.
5. Don't expect a hassle-free journey.
Don't expect things to be rosy at the start. It will be tough.
Accept this reality, and be prepared for it. Realities of the business world may rise against you and knock you down hard, so don't give up.
Never give up after the first failure. The road to success is not easy, but it will be worth it.
6. Learn to take calculated risks.
Risk is a very important concept in entrepreneurship. It is very important to know that all our decisions and actions carry some levels of risk.
The key to success in business is taking calculated risks, ones which ensure the proper assessment of risk and reward.
Every opportunity that presents itself should be treated with critical scrutiny. Gather enough information and make sure you have a good knowledge about the decision you want to make.
By jumping into every “opportunity” that comes your way without properly assessing them, you as setting yourself up for failure.
Ben Carson, one of the world's leading neurosurgeons, gives an insight to risk management and analysis by pointing out that risks should be critically analyzed by answering these four important questions:
- What is the worst thing that could happen if I do it? - What is the best thing that could happen if I do it? - What is the worst thing that could happen if I don't? - What is the best thing that could happen if I don't?
By critically assessing the situations that come our way by answering the questions highlighted above, we will be able to assess the potentials, as well as analyze the risk to reward ratio of our decisions.
7. Go the extra mile.
Someone said, “Your level of success in life depends on what you do after you do what you are expected to do.”
As an entrepreneur, be willing to go the extra mile and be willing to give it a little more push than necessary.
Be innovative, find out what others aren't doing and start doing it.
Give it your best and deliver more than expected, and the little extra will make the difference.