The journey of entrepreneurship is, for most entrepreneurs, an incredibly challenging, difficult journey, that can make you or break you. Depending on what industry sources you read, you may find that the failure rate of startup businesses as high as 95%, and solidly over 50%, in the first 5 years.
According to the Small Business Association, “The SBA states that only 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10. The SBA goes on to state that only 25% make it to 15 years or more.”
And this is for all kinds of business, across all industries. If you add additional constraints, such as a business that is environmentally sustainable, or triple-bottom-line, or mission-driven, you increase the difficulty level of reaching financial sustainability, because you aren’t dealing with basic supply and demand fulfillment.
If you are reading this, chances are, you are an emerging or aspiring entrepreneur. One of my passions is to unleash a movement of mission-driven business that becomes and unstoppable force for good.
For the past decade, I’ve been on a quest to crack the code to profitable purpose driven business. And that quest has led me to start a podcast where I’ve interviewed to-date well over a hundred entrepreneurs and what it truly took for them to launch their business and grow it so that it could really make the impact that they were hoping to make in the world. Some of these entrepreneurs have launched six seven eight figure businesses. Some of them offer transformational solutions or social or environmental solutions to some of the world’s most pressing concerns and they’ve overcome major obstacles in order to bring their due to get their business off the ground.
So in that research, over the past three years since I’ve been conducting interviews with entrepreneurs, influencers, and thought leaders. I’ve discovered that there are 7 keys to success, that these world changing entrepreneurs possess.
1. Successful Entrepreneurs are Tenacious
World-changing entrepreneurs are willing to move mountains to achieve their dreams. So whether they are dealing with combative government legislation like airbnb or angry taxi syndicates like Uber these entrepreneurs are willing to overcome obstacles large and small to get their business off the ground.
2. Successful Entrepreneurs are Fast, Creative Problem-Solvers
World-changing entrepreneurs are first and foremost, fast, creative problem-solvers, where knocking obstacles out of their way is one of their principle MOs in doing business. These entrepreneurs don’t allow scarcity and lack to prevent them from building the business that they are wanting to build. They don’t let the limitation resources or limitation time really get in the way they either find the money, raise the money or borrow the money to deal with the lack of money. Or they might re-prioritize in order to create more time or hire people to do you know other types of tasks and really delegate. So you know these entrepreneurs will find creative solutions to their problems. They’re not going to let problems get in their way or allow them to roll over and die on their business.
3. Successful Entrepreneurs Invest in Support
Successful entrepreneurs know what they know, what they don’t know, as well as recognize there is a vast landscape of stuff they are completely unaware of, that cannot be ignored if they are to succeed. So they invest in expert support and hire mentors, consultants, and skilled support staff to help them grow their business, because they know the limitations of “free”, random, helter-skelter advice.
They are serious about their business, and nothing speaks more to “serious” than having skin in the game, and putting their own personal money into their business. And if they intend to fundraise for their business, nothing says “serious” more to investors than an founder investing his or her personal cash into their business.
Successful entrepreneurs are constantly cultivating a network of win-win support. So whether they’re cultivating strategic alliances with partners or working with mentors whether it’s an informal mentor or a formal mentor that they may be investing in for guidance or they may be allocating a percentage of their company in exchange for the information and the mentorship.
These entrepreneurs know that they can’t succeed in business by themselves. They understand that doing business by yourself is the path that leads to a much more difficult and lonely entrepreneurial journey.
4. Successful Entrepreneurs Give Value First
Successful, world-changing entrepreneurs understand the value of giving value first. They are not coming from a what’s-in-it-for-me mentality. They’re thinking about you know what value can I give first. Because they understand that. By first giving value by giving first that actually unlocks the floodgates for abundance to come back to them.
5. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Focus
Successful, world-changing entrepreneurs are focused on their mission. They understand that if they change plans because the going feels a bit difficult or if another shiny object comes along a way to distract them they know that by changing plans or getting distracted. This is actually going to kill the momentum that they have already built up through their focus and their effort. So, these entrepreneurs are able to stay disciplined to finish a project from beginning to end.
6. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Decisive & Fail Quickly
They understand that indecisiveness, wavering or analysis by paralysis actually is hurting them deeply. So, successful entrepreneurs will make a decision and make that decision right. Okay they will act quickly, they’ll fail quickly learn from those mistakes get up and keep going. OK so they may course correct. If they discover that an action like that that they took was a mistake but they’re not going to remain in inaction because inaction doesn’t get them anywhere.
Failing quickly is a powerful learning lesson that puts you through a trial by fire that hones your skills and knowledge. Aspiring entrepreneurs who are afraid to fail, and take cautious, small steps, rarely grow their businesses beyond pocket change.
7. Successful Entrepreneurs Are Connected to Their Why
So, world-changing entrepreneurs who are successful are motivated by a deep personal why that lights a fire in their soul and a fire under their ass.
They think about their mission every day and they get up, they spring up out of bed and they can’t work on their mission. OK. And so, their deep personal why not only includes a desire to add benefit to the world to, you know, to leave a positive impact on the planet. But you know that mission that deep personal while also includes themselves as well as their family and community because they understand, that in order to be able to give back big, they must be able to give from a full cut.
So, I’d love to invite you to take a moment and allow those qualities to sink in.
Visualize The Success You Deeply Desire
Now I’d like to invite you to do an exercise with me. Okay, so imagine that you have a magic wand and you could wave your ideal business and lifestyle into existence. Allow that to be seen to unfold in front of you like a movie in your mind’s eyes playing out in Technicolor just watching this whole scene like a movie. You’re in it yourself and this is the movie of your life. Tell me.
- What would you be doing?
- Who would you be serving?
- Where would you be living?
- How much money would you be making every month?
- What would your life feel like?
- What would it be like for you to embody those seven keys to success?
- What kind of person would you be if you knew you had every one of those seven characteristics that these world changing entrepreneurs share?
- How would you feel to know that you have achieved your heart’s deepest desire?
- What would it do for you to have all of that you just envisioned right now?
So take a moment to write that down, write it in your journal. Then visualize it daily.