There are many paths to entrepreneurship. Some people stumble into it, while others have a clear vision from the beginning. No matter which path you take, there are certain foundational principles that all successful entrepreneurs adhere to. In this post, we will discuss these principles and how they can help you achieve success in your own business!
First and foremost, the harsh reality: The #1 reason that most people are not ready to become entrepreneurs is they lack radical personal accountability. This means if the business fails, you have no one to blame other than yourself; and that is a lot of pressure in a world where everything is everyone else's fault. None of what I am about to write will be valuable if you are not ready to take complete responsibility for your life. You will see this bleed over into every area of your life: friendships, marriage, career, physical health, intellectual growth, finances, and your faith. So, before you read any further, it's important to take inventory of the rest of your life.
Ok, now for the meat and potatoes.....
Did you know that less than 9% of entrepreneurs have MBAs? This means that entrepreneurs who make up 70% of the economy and create over 60 Million jobs didn't learn how to be great business operators in school. School is the least entrepreneurial and worst way to become an entrepreneur because it lacks context and pragmatic application.
So how did they learn how to run their businesses?
There are four different ways that you typically grow your knowledge and experience as an entrepreneur:
- The Family Business: You're born into a family business, and it has always been a part of your life.
- The Employee to Executive: You work in an industry for 7-10 years and climb the ladder until you can’t go any higher; so you go off on your own.
- The Purebred: You learned by throwing yourself headfirst off a cliff with no parachute.
- Mentorship/Coach: Rather than learning from your mistakes, you try to limit the brain damage by aligning yourself with a mentor who has been there before.
As you can see, schooling did not even make the list. That is because the foundation of becoming a successful entrepreneur is being in the game.
Knowledge + Experience = Confidence and Competence
In other words, you can't escape the work and remove all the risks! There is no amount of courses, coaches, degrees, or certificates that will allow you to escape the work. Why? Because your mistakes and failures are your greatest teacher. That said, you can lower the risk curve by following a few things from my playbook that separate entrepreneurs who make it from those that don’t:
- You have to have a clear vision for where you want to be in 10 years, 3 years, 1 year, and the next 90 days. Otherwise, you are starting a journey without a clear destination and you could end up somewhere you don't want to be.
- You must remain ridge in your vision, but flexible in your path to get there. Your business is iterative, which simply means it is constantly evolving and changing as you learn new information. Although planning is important, it is going to change rapidly. This is actually what I love about startups the most. Start-ups are small, fluid, and nimble. A great book on how to best scale at this stage is, "The Lean Startup"
- You must be brutally honest with yourself, and admit that you are not great at everything. So that you can hire people who are. In other words, delegate to elevate and put yourself in the best seat to win.
- Lastly, you must implement a business operating system. The vast majority of entrepreneurs are flying by the seat of their pants, without a clear system for managing the business. As a result, they quickly become overwhelmed, lose sight of their vision, reach burnout, and do paralysis analysis. This is also the fastest way to lose buy-in from your team. Its hard to lead people somewhere, if you can keep the business on the rails.
By following these principles, you will be on the path to success as an entrepreneur. You must take complete responsibility for your life, have a clear vision, and be willing to put in the work. With these foundations, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below.
To Your Success,
P.S. If you want more tips on how to become a successful entrepreneur, check out the Pain to Profit$ podcast, YouTube Channel and Tiktok.