6 Rules To Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur
If you are thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you are more than likely wondering what it truly takes. There’s no cookie-cutter answer that applies to everyone.
After failing multiple times and founding a few successful businesses along the way, I’ve come to a few conclusions. Here are five rules to follow if you want to be a successful entrepreneur:
1. Work smarter, not harder.
Many people envision an entrepreneur as being someone who works 18-hour days, doing nothing but eating, sleeping and breathing his or her business. We tend to paint the picture of someone so driven to succeed that their entire life involves working. Of course, hard work is a key to succeeding as an entrepreneur it takes grit, after all.
But it doesn’t quite look like that in reality: Working every waking minute of the day isn’t going to automatically make you a successful entrepreneur. This approach would mean that the entrepreneur is responsible for doing everything, like the old adage, “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” That approach may work occasionally, but the majority of people aren’t capable of sustaining such a grueling pace for a long period of time.
Overworking leads to fatigue, which leads to errors. Additionally, how many people truly have the skills to do everything? Most of us can do a couple of things really well. There are other things we are average at, and plenty of things that, let’s face it, we are just not good at. You have to learn how to work smarter, not harder, and it’s a mindset that will take some time to get used to.
2.Have customers. You are not an entrepreneur if you don’t have a customer. You are a person or a group of people with an idea. Entrepreneurs create businesses. Anyone can have an idea and, in fact, everyone has ideas all of the time. Ideas are worthless; execution is priceless. Real businesses have real, paying customers who exchange money for the value they receive.
3.Build a business. Entrepreneurs build businesses. They focus on creating something sustainable, something with real value. Your product is not a business. The service that you provide to others is not a business. To turn your product or service into a business, you have to acquire enough customers to make it one. You have to scale up. You need to build.
4.Care enough about the business to work. Entrepreneurship isn’t a hobby. Bouncing from one idea to the next idea without ever putting in the work necessary to create a real, sustainable business doesn’t make you a serial entrepreneur; it makes you flaky. If you are an entrepreneur, you do the work. If you don’t want to do the work, become an investor.
5.Generate a profit. Businesssee make money. Well, the ones that survive do. Entrepreneurs know this, and they build models to ensure that they are profitable—and that they can grow the business. No real business tracks their “burn rate.” Real businesses have budgets and goals. Growing a business requires that you find a way to make enough money to invest it back in the business.
6.Be stingy with your ownership. Venture capitalist will give money in exchange for part of your business. So will angel investors. Taking investor’s money is the part of “entrepreneurship” that seems glamorous, especially to young entrepreneurs entranced by stories out of San Francisco. Investment money is expensive; it costs you ownership. You can borrow money from a bank and keep your company. If you are giving up a significant piece of the ownership of your business, it ought to be for something more than money unless the money is the result of selling the successful business you built as a wealth realization event.
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