Success – Hard to Achieve, Harder to define
The term success is hard to define, but most of us can recognise success when we see it. One of the more common definitions of success is “Achieving the goals you set out at the beginning of a venture”. In the real world, this is a very narrow, even naive definition. You may fail at most or all of your initial goals, but you might end up being successful.
Success in itself does not, however, define what makes you a successful entrepreneur. There are some well-known entrepreneurs who have failed over and over again in different ventures, but the lessons they learnt from their failures helped them achieve success eventually. What makes you successful and what drives your success is your mindset. You need to be able to take failure in your stride and learn the right lessons from your setbacks. Not all business ventures, even though they show a lot of promise at the start, will be successful, but the one trait that sets successful entrepreneurs apart is that they persevere through the worst of times and despite their many failures.
Don’t be afraid to fail
Failing is a part of life. The earlier you learn this lesson, the faster you can understand that failures teach you important lessons for your future. Every successful entrepreneur knows how to dust themselves off and try again. Failing is not pleasant. Failing multiple times is far less pleasant. An entrepreneur’s life is such that the expectation of failure or the fear of not learning from your mistakes is what motivates them and what drives them to success. Expect to fail, but don’t plan to fail or sabotage yourself. Don’t let the negativity of your failures get to you emotionally. It is normal to feel downhearted, but good entrepreneurs are not normal or ordinary individuals. Be extraordinary. Give yourself the best chance to succeed and if you fail, you need to learn the right lessons from it and try again with a different venture or change the rules to benefit you.
Knowledge is the key; know how to harness it.
Always be prepared to learn, not only about what your own failures taught you but from others’ experiences as well. Join a collective of entrepreneurs and get the opinions of those who have already succeeded to learn how to be a good entrepreneur. Be mindful though, that what worked for another may not always work for you. Sometimes it’s also necessary to adjust to the times. What worked two decades ago will not work in modern times. This is true more in tech than in other industries, but it applies to all industries, as technology permeates all industries throughout the modern world.
Another aspect of learning is academic knowledge. You don’t have to do an MBA, but you can use the knowledge. There are vast amounts of research done and a wide variety of books written on business. An entrepreneur with a success mindset gains knowledge in a number of ways:
Gain knowledge through formal education
Getting a formal higher education such as a University degree, diploma, or certification.
Gain knowledge through informal education
Reading books, articles, journals, and your own experience; all count.
Hire individuals with the right knowledge and experience
You might not have the time or the capacity to gain the knowledge yourself, and a part of being a good entrepreneur is getting the right people in the right places to do what you want to succeed.
Learning should be a life-long endeavour. To keep themselves abreast of their wealth of knowledge, some of the most successful entrepreneurs keep a journal or a notebook – old-school pen and paper or use your phone/tablet – where they record what they have learnt. You need to use a technique that suits you. You may be a verbose writer who fills pages upon pages of notes, a person who writes bullet-points, or someone who draws illustrations to help you visualise things. Find what works for you, but keep doing it. It will be your guide when you need to remember what happened before. It will also help you keep a clear mind. Note-taking has also been known to improve comprehension and recall, so it will help you remember better. If all else fails, you will have your notes to fall back on for reference.
Weed out the negativity
One of the most disparaging things about being an entrepreneur is the negative forces you may have in your life. Your family, friends, colleagues, other entrepreneurs, the media, and the general public may not see your worth or try to put you down, especially early on and after a failed business venture. Often one could find themselves being made a laughing stock on social media or even the traditional media. Your competition might organise a disinformation campaign against you, but whatever you do, do not let others influence the way you move towards success. If you find that it affects you mentally, seek help from a trained professional or find something that helps you get your mind off your failure. Eventually, you will be able to dust yourself off and get back up. Now more than ever, users on social media can be brutal in their criticism – fair or otherwise – owing to the anonymity it provides them. Although it’s not always easy to ignore the negative posts, memes and comments on social media all the time, a successful entrepreneur with good mental fortitude will know that if you lean into the criticism and become your own worst critic (not in a negative way), the insults and bad language will eventually go away and you will earn more respect that way.
Visualise for success
A success mindset is not complete without an active imagination. You need to learn how to visualise your ideas and make plans for each scenario. Your plans should be grounded in reality and should consider the lessons you have learnt from your previous ventures as well as common sense. The most important aspect of this should be to analyse market trends and to visualise where the market and the customer base will move in order to make long-term decisions. It might even help you create a trend where there is none at present. For example, introducing an alternative material for single-use plastic consumer items such as plastic handle bags, straws, or containers where the use of these items is highly prevalent. Your material should ideally be biodegradable and should be created with minimal impact on the environment. When you are the trend-setter in the market, you need a holistic approach to your business, from your supply chain to your marketing. You need to drive your solution in the market by creating hype about the advantages it has over the existing products. Visualising, first at a higher level by yourself as the entrepreneur, and at a lower level with your team, will help achieve your goals of capturing a new market.
Find the right source of Funds
Having goals, visualising them, learning, etc. All of these are great things for an entrepreneur to do, but most often the first and most pressing challenge for any budding entrepreneur is startup funding. This is where Equitymatch.co steps into the forefront. Our global network of investors is willing to listen to your pitch and we consider it our responsibility to find fundraising for startups who have exceptional ideas. We also offer advice on how to pitch your startup idea to investors and we strive to provide an overall solution to your startup needs. Get your startup idea sorted and contact us, and we will match you with an investor willing to put up the funds.
Success does not happen overnight for everyone. If it did, everyone would be successful. Being an entrepreneur with a success mindset means you do your research, learn what you must, surround yourself with the right people, arm yourself with the right tools and optimise your funding sources. Your success will be inevitable.