What Does It Really Take to Succeed as an Entrepreneur Today?

May 8, 2018 - 6 minutes read

Is it possible to break down the recipe to entrepreneurial success into its key ingredients? This is the exact topic that Rhett Power, entrepreneur and business coach, tackles in his latest article for Inc., “Is Entrepreneurship Getting Harder? 5 Ways to Be Successful in the Digital Age”.

Marc Fischer, our very own CEO and co-founder, is featured! It turns out it takes a little more than just passion to turn your dreams into a reality.

Disrupting the Status Quo Ain’t Easy

It’s difficult to be an entrepreneur; the numbers prove it. Per The Wall Street Journal, the calling to entrepreneurship has reached a low point only seen before the year 2000. Reflecting back on his own entrepreneurial pursuits and time as a mobile app developer, Marc pulls no punches on the reality of the situation: “Graveyards are filled with founders who floundered and failed for a million and one different reasons.”

Marc elaborates that becoming an entrepreneur is easy, but succeeding at it is hard: “Startup founders have a duty to question the status quo, state a bold vision, hack the system, and disrupt everything they touch. Joining the club of entrepreneurship is easy; executing on the vision is hard.”

While the journey to success is difficult, there are a few traits and habits you can take on to make your objective much more viable.

Don’t Write a Check You Can’t Cash

At the end of the day, “it’s all about the Benjamins.” To some extent, at least. You need money to keep the office lights on and your operations moving forward. Therefore, it’s not out of the question for you to understand your business finances like the back of your hand.

“Many new businesses underestimate their operating costs and overestimate their profits, which can lead to failure pretty quickly,” explains David Disiere. Disiere is the founder and CEO of QEO Insurance Group. “Make sure your projections are realistic and your startup is well-funded before you get started, and once you do, stay on top of your finances.”

Disiere says that having an accountant is no excuse to slouch on this endeavor. “Even if you use an accountant or hire an employee to manage the financial side of your business, you still need to understand your fiscal standing at all times to ensure your business stays in the black.”

Take Action… and Advice

Many wantrepreneurs fail before they even begin, simply because they never begin. Famous entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk puts it bluntly: “Too many of you just read and consume and make pretend.” All the knowledge in the world is useless if not utilized or implemented in some way. Entrepreneurs are defined by their actions, not their thoughts.

On the flip side, information is of paramount importance when it comes to executing your plans. With that being said, it’s crucial that you try to be both a sponge and conduit of advice. Nobody knows everything. So it’s important to keep a humble attitude by continuing to learn and refining your implementation.

But it just doesn’t stop there. Pay it forward and share your findings. Rhett aptly quotes author and coach John Maxwell: “The true measure of leadership is not how much you achieve; it is how much you inspire others to achieve.”

Rest and Recharge

We’re not machines. It’s a common theme in startup culture to push the boundaries of what overworking is. Entrepreneurs often boast about the number of hours they have recently worked. But even Elon Musk, who was once quoted to work 80-hour weeks regularly, has eschewed this practice recently. He realized that burnout is inevitable if you keep the engines on all the time.

However, this doesn’t mean that your breaks need to be carefully orchestrated month-long getaways every other month. Just squeezing in some time for simple activities, like a brisk walk, meditation, or a little bit more sleep can work wonders. Regular rest is absolutely necessary for success!

Stay Adaptable

How much you get done and how much of that actually benefits you really depends on your habits. As the famous saying goes, “Tell me how you spend your time and I’ll tell you who you are.” Everybody has a few vices in the form of time-consuming activities that probably aren’t as productive as they think.

But that’s okay. What’s important is to be adaptable. You have to be willing to make changes to improve yourself. In turn, this improves your life and odds of entrepreneurial success. This, of course, is easier said than done. Power recommends systematically tackling this problem by recording your bad habits. Not only will this make you more aware of them, but you’ll also get a new perspective on how much time they consume.

Entrepreneurship is an ever-changing game; what worked yesterday isn’t a guaranteed success today. Maintain an open mind, and keep your eyes peeled. By incorporating these traits and practicing these habits, you’ll build an unstoppable momentum towards turning your vision into a reality.

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