Whether you want to get into entrepreneurship or if you are one in the making, today’s article is for you. I’ll be covering my 15 tips for being a successful entrepreneur in the modern business landscape. The reason I can talk about this is simple. I’ve owned 5 companies with 2 successful ones and 3 complete failures. In the web development context, about 14 years ago, I setup one of the first E-Commerce websites that reached over $1 Million Dollars in sales a year.
Tip 1 – You’ll Fail. A Lot.
You should be prepared to fail and to fall in love with failure. You will fail a lot. Some ideas may work, other may not. Just like heartbreak teaches us to better appreciate love, failures set our expectations of success. It is through failure that we come to better understand that everybody’s definition of success is different and will evolve over the course of our lives and careers.
Tip 2 – Write Down Your Goals.
Set goals for yourself. Once you set them, write them down. You should write them in areas of the house that you frequent, such as the kitchen fridge or the bathtub or your computer’s monitor. Science has shown that by writing down your goals, it will help create better opportunities. This has to do with your subconscious working away at ideas in your mind and influencing your conscious decisions.
Tip 3 – Do Not Take Advice from People that Aren’t Experienced in Business.
Stay away from people that I like to call “dream killers”. They are individuals that like to put other people down with their pessimism or narrow way of thinking. For example, my father always told me to pursue college. I chose not to listen to him and here I am, running a very successful company today, A Nerd’s World.
Tip 4 – Talent vs. Skill.
Some people are born with talent, others are not. The difference between talent and skill is that talent is something that you can have naturally. Skill is something that you can work on and develop. If you’re born with talent for something that you’re passionate about, you’ll have high chances of succeeding. If you’re not, you will have to work that much harder at gaining skill.
Tip 5 – Keep a Tight Circle.
As life has been going on, I’ve learned a lesson to be careful about who you let in your circle. You should try to surround yourself with positive people and friends that can help you succeed. Surround yourself with people that are at a further stage in their careers or businesses. Learn from them, take what they’re doing in. Deconstruct it and reverse engineer it until you figure out what to do in order for you to reach that level.
Tip 6 – Be Passionate.
Find out what you’re best at and roll with it. Without a doubt, your first entrepreneurial failure will always be the most painful and regretful. The process of recovering from failure gets easier with each subsequent failure and each teaches you something new as you evolve as an entrepreneur. By having passion for what you’re doing, you’ll be able to succeed over any hurdle that comes your way.
Tip 7 – Find a Mentor.
Find someone that you can look up to. This can be a family member, a friend or maybe the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. A Mentor can take any shape of person but what matters is that you try to learn as much as possible for them in order to succeed.
In my case, my two mentors are Google and YouTube. I research every idea that I’m interested in using these two. I have spent countless hours dedicated to reading about everything web development related as an example. I’d like to share one more thing here with you. When I go to sleep at night, I make sure that a business documentary is playing in the background while I sleep. It may be slightly superstitious, but I feel like some material may somehow get absorbed into my mind while I sleep.
Tip 8 – Build Your House and Don’t Be Afraid to Tear it Down.
Don’t be afraid to make changes or to restructure things. Not everything will always work out the way you want and you have to be prepared to deal with it. There is no set formula to success, so you have to go through trial and error. When something’s not working in your business, don’t let it sit. FIX IT! Cost and time don’t matter, you must get on top of the problem and tear it apart and restart.
Tip 9 – Hire a Professional.
Just as you would not attempt to put up your dry walling in your home, you shouldn’t try to take on the task of creating a professional website on your own. The key here is to know what you’re good at it and figure out what your weaknesses are. Where you have weaknesses, fill them in by having professional help. Do it right and it will reward you in dividends.
Tip 10 – Don’t Slow Down.
Don’t get lazy. Don’t be complacent with where you are. For instance, I started off with 2-3 staff and a single store. Today, I have over triple that staff and two store locations. Don’t let money be your driving factor. Instead, let your passion guide you to higher success.
Tip 11 – Hit Rock Bottom.
It’s okay to fail. Go bankrupt or homeless, to feel the feeling of starvation. When I was back in high school, I was homeless and sleeping in an old, abandoned warehouse on my own. I had setup a fire to warm up, not realizing that this would trigger the police. Shortly after that, the building was surrounded by police and I was arrested and taken to jail. This was my rock-bottom. I’ve come a long way from there today.
Tip 12 – Patience and Consistency.
Rome wasn’t built overnight and neither will your business be. You have to be consistent and persistent and keep up with your efforts. Because of their natural curiosity, one of the biggest regrets entrepreneurs will have is not trying something and so wondering “what if.” This longing for knowledge and answers provides us with the tools to not only understand how to run businesses better, but also what to avoid. As long as learning is taking place, entrepreneurs become more valuable with each and every failure.
Tip 13 – Use Your Own Money.
I meet with many people that have ideas for businesses. Let’s say that you have aspirations of setting up a social media site that would take $100,000 in capital. Instead of trying to find funding over a course of a year from external sources, start the project on a smaller scale and with your own money. Grow it from there and enjoy the satisfaction that you truly did something successful by yourself.
Tip 14 – Be Different.
Don’t be afraid to be different. At A Nerd’s World, we are the only walk-in boutique web design studio in Toronto. I’ve been told that I will not succeed and that my approach won’t work. Well look, here I am today, very successful. My company builds over 1,000 websites a year. You tell me if that’s not successful.
Tip 15 – Entrepreneurship is Not For Everyone.
An entrepreneur has to be willing to sacrifice absolutely everything to become successful with their ideas. I should mention that a lot of entrepreneurs may be perceived as bad parents. This is because these types of people dedicate the majority of their waking hours on working towards seeing their ideas turn into realities. Not everyone has it in them to do this. The question is, do you?
We hope that today’s article has helped answer some of your questions about being an entrepreneur. We’re here to answer any questions you may have about entrepreneurship. Give us a call today at (647) 348 2020 to talk and stay tuned for new daily videos on our blog.
Chris A. Hughes