1.Believe you can do it
One of the most over-looked benefits to becoming an entrepreneur is that it forces you to confront your own demons. While expanding on the different types of emotional barriers we can face is better left to its own article, here are a few general tips:
Understand that YOU get to define what success means to you. You don’t have to be Oprah to be a success! In fact, maybe you don’t want/need that much money, attention, or time away from your family.
Understand that your personal worth is NOT dependent on your career success. You are a perfect shiny-diamond today, and that doesn’t ever change.
Surround yourself with people that inspire and support you. It’s true what they say – that you are the average of the 5 people with whom you spend the most time.
2. Think through your business.
* What is your product or service, and who are the potential customers?
How will you attract these customers?
Who will be your competitors? If you can’t answer these questions, your risk of failing to launch will be high. This will be your life from now on: constant market analysis and pivoting when necessary.
3. Test Your Business Idea
This sounds like a no-brainer, yet a sad 90 percent of startups still fail. Before calling it quits, test your idea for viability. On paper, your business idea may sound perfect – you solve a huge problem with an innovative solution. But don’t forget about the following factors:
Production costs and strategy. There’s nothing worse than turning a great idea into a mediocre product.
Target market availability and potential competition.
Next, get equipped with some more data to analyse carefully. Research the potential market and the ideal buyer persona; run a few thought experiments; gather any data about past attempts at implementing a similar idea – did they fail, and why? Last, think of the financial aspect – what are the estimated costs, will you need additional funding, and how will you look for it?
4.Build the life you want to live.
A good way to think about this is to start acting like a company, as this will give you a framework to work with:
Write out your personal vision statement for your life (start it with “to be…”).
Write out your personal mission statement (start it with “to do…”).
Describe your own personal brand (what do you want others to think of when they think of you).
Constantly review your behaviours for alignment with your vision, mission, and brand.
Make planning a habit, and put EVERYTHING on the calendar. Your time is valuable and limited, so you’ll want to make the most of it.
5. It’s never too late to start.
Many successful entrepreneurs started later in life. J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter author), Julia Child (chef), and Sam Walton (Wal-Mart) all started their wildly successful brands after they were comfortably along in their lives. Having the experience that comes with age can give you a unique outlook on your business. Life experiences bring depth that the most educated young adult, by his or her nature, is less able to foresee.
6.Commit to a goal, not a plan.
One of the most important things in becoming an entrepreneur is flexibility. You can’t control everything about your business, and adaptation is vital to survival. If you’re overly committed to a plan, you may sabotage yourself.
7. Constantly take action.
Entrepreneurs are movers and shakers. They can’t afford to analyse every detail or they’d never get anywhere. There is no place for procrastination in a startup. It’s a 24/7, no-vacation-or-sick-days kind of job that demands constant forward momentum. Make a brief assessment at every step and move on it. Trust your instincts.
8. Hire the right people.
“Business is like sports: The best team usually wins. So make sure you have the best team you possibly can. Take time over hiring, get to know the people who are going to be working with you, and make sure they are a good fit for you and your company in terms of their outlook, values, and personalities, as well as their actual job skills. And once you’ve got the right team, make sure you keep them by giving them jobs that they’ll love and the opportunity to grow.
9. Execution, execution, execution.
Unless you are the smartest person on earth, it’s likely that many others have thought about doing the same thing you’re trying to do. Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling. All of us have seen entrepreneurs who waste too much time writing business plans and preparing PowerPoints. I believe that a business plan is too long if it’s more than one page. Besides, things never turn out the way you envisioned them. No matter how much time you spend perfecting the plan, you still have to adapt according to the ground realities. You’re going to learn a lot more useful information from taking action rather than hypothesizing. Remember—stay flexible and adapt as new information becomes available
10. Be honest and show integrity.
I can’t imagine anyone ever achieving long-term success without having honesty and integrity. These two qualities need to be at the core of everything we do. Everybody has a conscience—but too many people stop listening to it. There is always that faint voice that warns you when you are not being completely honest or even slightly off track from the path of integrity. Be sure to listen to that voice.