The statistics are alarming. Yet, I’m hearing every day, more and more people becoming entrepreneurs.
Sure, it seems attractive. You get to make your own hours, be your own boss and work when you want. But there’s always a flipside to the coin. I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs start and fail during my time. I’ve been successfully running my own business LoveJojo since 2012 and recently started my second one.
Besides the technical side of things, here’s my list of 8 things you need to succeed as an entrepreneur:
This is the number one reason for failure in my opinion. I’ve seen so many of my friends and acquaintances start businesses, only to give up within 12 months. The truth is, running your own business takes hard work and perseverance. You will rarely see significant results in the first year. Listen to your heart; if this business is true for you, do not give up!
Similar to perseverance, although I’d say this is probably one of my best traits. I’m naturally a very stubborn person and I always saw this as a bad thing. But after running my own businesses, I realised what a strength it was. Being stubborn means you don’t give up easily. I tend to stick it through with most things all the way to the end, until I get a result out of it. I love to prove myself right and others wrong!
3. NOT AFRAID OF REJECTION
When you run your own business, there’s no boss to hide behind. You must take everything that is thrown at you. Negotiating, requests and applications are all processed and communicated by you. You can’t be afraid of someone saying no to you. It’s all about moving on when faced with rejection; reflecting on what can be done and taking necessary action. Don’t let your emotions get in the way.
Are you obsessed with what you’re doing in your business? Oftentimes, I see people are hugely passionate about one thing and they start a business with it, only to get bored of it after a short space of time. To reach success, you need to be obsessed with what you’re doing. You have to be faced with it every single day – can you take that?!
Of course, dedication also means time. Are you willing to put in the time commitment to make it work? I remember working 16 hour days, 7 days a week to get my business to take off. And people around me would always think that I worked less than them and that I had lots of free time. They don’t see the sheer amount of work that went into it.
Like I said, it’s not an overnight thing. You will need to be dedicated to the cause and put in the necessary commitments to make it work. Don’t give up just because you aren’t seeing results or because of a few setbacks. (Setbacks are inevitable and you just have to brush it off, get over them and strategise with what you’ve got.)
When it comes to your own creation, there really is no secret one-size-fits-all formula. Your business will be unique to you and like a mother to her newborn, only you know what your business needs. Sometimes, it can be about a potential collaboration, a new product line or a huge investment. But listen to your intuition before diving in. Sometimes, opportunities are disguised as distractions.
7. GOOD NETWORKING SKILLS
Ever heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, but who you know”? This is definitely so true. I remember when I was starting out and feeling my way around my business, I would go to lots of networking events and seminars. I’d meet so many other people who were on the same journey as me. I’d get recommendations from them (insurance brokers, graphic designers, SEO etc), as well as being introduced to people in their network that they recommended. So many of these recommendations were integral to my business’ growth. Not only that, but there’s a saying that you’re much more likely to succeed in something if you’re surrounded by other people who are also on the same journey as you are.
This one goes without saying. Creativity comes in the form of many things, but most important in my opinion is being able to think outside of the box. Don’t try to copy someone else and don’t try to be someone else. Be yourself, but realise how much potential there is!
Share with me your thoughts in the comments below!