Success. For many of us, it’s the prime motivator in our lives. It colors every aspect. Our choices. Our attitudes. Our outlook. And unquestionably, our careers. But if you’re an entrepreneur, it’s more than just motivation. It’s a calling.
There’s a very good chance just how you gauge success will be on different terms than other entrepreneurs. For some, it may be a question of innovation. For others, funding. Others might look to establish themselves as a recognizable brand. And for more than a few, success is measured solely by two factors: Net. Profit.
But success is never a stagnant quality. It’s a constantly evolving one. Not just because consumers evolve. And not just because sales evolve. But because success is a process—not a goal. A path, not a destination. And it’s as fluid, dynamic and fleeting as water itself.
There was a time in which entrepreneurs could look to a mentor for practical (and at times, brutally honest) advice. And sometimes, you might be lucky enough to be able to do so. But times have changed. Not only have the models for entrepreneurs changed to become more individualized but so has the very definition of success. In fact, it might be fair to say that both success and entrepreneurship aren’t what you become as much as how you get there.
How to best optimize that journey is a different story, however.
If you’re aspiring for success as a young (or seasoned) entrepreneur, here are 10 business tips to keep in mind to guide you there.
If you’re driven solely by the opportunity to seize upon what’s trending, you’ll soon find yourself lacking both the substance and passion for longevity. And people can spot a lack of authenticity from a mile away.
Passion is contagious. Not everyone may share in yours, but the ones that do will be your long-term customer base. Keep their interests in mind, not your bottom line profit. They’ll be both your testimonials and your greatest publicists. And that loyalty is worth more than your revenue.
Your clientele—whether you’re in B2B sales or a tech startup seeking venture funding—will already demand the world from you. And you had better be prepared to deliver.
Only by continually testing and retesting yourself can you establish challenges that you’re going to unquestionably have to confront. And this is applicable even outside the realm of business. Contentment is a surefire path to stagnation. Whatever goals you set, be it in the gym or in sales quotas, strive to exceed. Gradually, or by leaps and bounds. But exceed.
One of the great secrets all successful entrepreneurs will tell you is that adaptation is key to your longevity. And to remain certain of your valuable experience while your competitors are already devising strategies to lure your customer base away is a formula for obsolescence.
Boldness, risks and daring are as fundamental in your business life as they are in any other part. Without taking risks, you may enjoy relative security—but you’ll never blaze new trails. You’ll never be known as an innovator. In fact, you probably won’t be known at all. Being an entrepreneur is about taking gambles. The bolder, the better. Don’t be afraid to make them.
There’s something about being around highly motivated and successful people that feels almost like osmosis. It just motivates you to do even more.
You may not find them around your circle of friends. And you probably won’t find them on Facebook too often, either. But they’re out there. You should be too. Get out there and network. Most cities have entrepreneur nights at local bars and coffee shops. This is not only a great networking opportunity but a great way to hear first-hand advice about the pitfalls you might be in for. Take full advantage of them.
If your time management skills are purely equated with an ROI, you’re not only wasting time. You’re wasting energy. The energy which could be used to much more productive ends.
The key to effective time management isn’t by rigidly adhering to a set routine. It’s about using it more efficiently. It’s about spending less time with NetFlix and more time on app development. It’s knowing when to catch your breath, and when to outrun your pace. It means planning ahead for circumstances so you can seize upon new ideas when they occur. And they will undoubtedly occur.
No one likes actively seeking funding. It’s never guaranteed. And it can be one of the more elusive facets of developing your business.
But it’s also a necessary one. Develop a detailed business plan which outlines your strengths and weaknesses. Set financial predictions realistically. Forecast both quarterly and annually. Develop an attainable five-year plan. Highlight investor value. The more detailed and specific your plan, the more likely a funding source will be able to review and analyze its feasibility based on their own past experiences.
Every entrepreneur needs a niche. But without a thorough understanding of the nuances and logistics specific to its industry, you’re simply playing games. And no one wants to invest in an amateur.
This is why following your passion is absolutely critical. You can’t wade into entrepreneurship half-heartedly if you want any modicum of success. And that means immersing yourself in every aspect of your sector —including the daily minutiae such as shipping and communications that you never even bothered to take into consideration. From immersion comes authority; perhaps the strongest value to have as an entrepreneur.
Every single aspect of your business is contingent on one thing: operating as a cohesive entity. And in order to operate as a cohesive entity, all aspects—from sales to support—need to be working in harmony. That means at an even level.
Aligning your team with your goals and values means ensuring they have a clear understanding of your purpose and are just as devoted and passionate about your business as you are. This requires both discernment and judgment of character, two qualities that are often overlooked when you’re trying to get your business off the ground. But two integral qualities necessary if your business is going to operate at peak efficiency.
Particularly when you’re just starting out. Your customer base is the lifeblood of your operations. And they’re shrewd. They know exactly what they want and they’re expecting you to deliver.
Reach out to customers for input. Their suggestions should formulate the backbone of any and all future business plans. Without them, you’re merely second-guessing your scope and range. Customers are the drivers of scalability and the most consistent measure of success. And the old adage is true: They’re always right.
There’s no single mitigating reason why many entrepreneurs fail on their first run. Timing, experience, and ideas are as equally important to the success of your venture as they are to blame for its failure. And the bad news? There’s no guarantee you’ll succeed.
But failure isn’t a setback as much as an opportunity. One you can use to learn from your mistakes and build a healthier, stronger business model the next round. And there’s always going to be the next round. One which you’ll enter hungrier. Leaner. Sharper. And better equipped to know when to play—and when to fold. Contact us or visit http://michaeltasner.com/ and, together, let’s pave your way to success!