Roadmap (well something like that) to being a successful Entrepreneur

We have so many entrepreneur wannabes, permit my choice of word.
Truth is, at one point or the other, we all need some financial independence and tend to start tilting towards the ‘be an employer’ mindset; which is all good to me.

But beyond the initial rush of adrenalin at the prospect of starting something new, being in control of one’s life and finances, beyond the surge of energy urging go..go..go..is the need to gather information and adequately prepare for the enormous, yes enormous task ahead.

Being an entrepreneur takes a whole lot of time, energy, strategic planning, innovative thinking and lots and lots of patience. Lots of entrepreneurs around get easily frustrated when their million dollar idea fails to become a money spinning venture overnight. They fail to realize that it takes many skills to build and maintain or sustain a business under any circumstance and today’s instant expectation of instant gratification leaves no room for patience and practise to develop the skills required which are actually prerequisites to being successful.
I have heard this saying bandied around that success comes before hardwork only in the dictionary.

Ask Steve Jobs of Apple, or Mark Zuckerberg of facebook (I got the spelling, right?), etc. Even musicians spend hours and hours in the studio trying to come up with a ‘hit’, also check out successful sports figures.

Building a (successful) business is an arduous task and requires discipline, focus, practise, etc to get it right, you are lucky if you get it right the first time.

Thomas M. Sterner outlines how people acquire the necessary skills for any aspect of life in his book, “The Practising Mind”, you may want to check it out. He believes that creating the practicing mind, and acquiring any skill, without stress and futility, comes down to following a few simple disciplines:

  • Keep yourself process-oriented. As entrepreneurs, we have a very unhealthy habit of making the product or service the focus, instead of the process of “changing the world,” which was the big vision in the first place. When you focus on the process, and see progress and learning with each small step, all pressure drops away.
  • Stay in the present. In business, the world of customers and competitors changes every minute, so you learn by iterating and listening, taking all feedback as positive progress, rather than delays and mistakes. Don’t lose touch with your original dream, but fixating on the “final” solution is not productive or satisfying.
  • Make the learning process your goal. Use the original dream as a rudder to steer your efforts. Success in business comes to those who learn most quickly, and adapt their processes most effectively. Don’t get caught up in achieving the exact product or service of your entrepreneurial dream, because it’s almost always wrong anyway.
  • Be deliberate, and keep a clear picture of your destination. A random walk does not lead to business success. Deliberate intention is focused on a destination, but realizing that every step need not be predicted. Being deliberate is making each iteration land nearer to the destination, focusing on positive thoughts and positive actions.

Most times, the anxiety entrepreneurs experience stems from the perception that there is an end-point of perfection in every product and business. Truth is there is no perfect business, each improvement or growth increment is meant to bring fresh challenges ultimately requiring further planning, skills and practise.

(Would be) Entrepreneurs should be unafraid of failure as each time you fail, you learn a new way of not doing things, you get presented with another opportunity to hone your skills.
Prominent Professionals all have ‘failure tales’ to tell, these are actually victory tales because it is part of the learning process and actually culminated in their success.
Success would not be wholly success without failing at least once (in my humble opinion).

So then, find your passion;
Get knowledge / information,
Get more information / education;
Write your market plan (SOSTAC, etc;
Count the cost (as in the COST!);
If you require a change of habit, then do it
Get started on implementing your strategies;
Work hard;
Persevere…more hard work…
And you are on the highway to being a successful entrepreneur.
These are by no means exhaustive of all you need to do but it would sure help on the journey.

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