Entrepreneurship certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. It doesn’t happen without hard work, blood, sweat, and tears! So much goes into getting it right – some things are within your control, but there are also many variables and unknowns. This article explores the secret sauce of entrepreneurship and the magical eight critical success factors you should know about if you are considering becoming an entrepreneur.
There are many myths about being an entrepreneur. Start-ups founders like Uber’s Travis Kalanick and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, among many others, have created the perception that it is glamourous, involves funky workspaces with ping pong tables and fridges stocked with endless amounts of champagne and beer, and that it will make you rich quickly so that you too can travel around the world in a private jet.
But it isn’t all roses.
We hate to break it to you but unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for most entrepreneurs. 9 out of 10 start-ups fail, and only 25% of new businesses make it to beyond 15 years. Our Founder is in that last category, having been in business herself for 15 years and has channelled her real-world experience and learnings into the YoungGems® program.
You don’t often hear or read about the sheer commitment and sacrifice required to run a business. The truth is that success rarely happens overnight. Running a business demands your full attention. It requires a hard work ethic and relentless commitment. It can take years to get your business off the ground, requiring unwavering effort, resilience, and perseverance.
Yet the hard work is worth it.
Entrepreneurship is deeply rewarding for those who are patient and understand that it will present both ups and downs. Our Founder often advises aspiring entrepreneurs, “Be prepared for the rollercoaster ride that awaits you!” The journey is full of triumphs and setbacks; the key is to embrace the highs and learn from the lows.
Traits and attributes of successful entrepreneurs
Here we summarise eight success factors of entrepreneurship that we believe are the key to getting beyond the first few years and build a thriving and sustainable business.
1. Resilience. Resilience helps you face the tough days and help you ride the rollercoaster ride of entrepreneurship, which inevitably has many highs and lows. Resilience is the inner strength that enables you to get through challenging periods, be agile, and innovate when things do not go according to plan.
2. Talent. In your business, you must show up daily, and to do this, you need to have self-motivation, drive, and be good at what you do. When you put so much into something, you want to enjoy and be good at it.
3. Razor-sharp focus. You must remain focused on your business to stay the course and cut through the noise. Stay focused because if you don’t, that will set you back.
4. Self-belief. You have to believe in what you do to make it in business. If you don’t believe in what you do, how are investors, stakeholders or your customers supposed to?
5. Courage. Taking risks is an inevitable part of an entrepreneur’s journey, and you must be brave sometimes to take such risks. Our creator put it all on the line to expand her business into Asia. Both business and personal growth come through pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
6. Vision. Entrepreneurs are visionaries who are always ahead of the curve and can communicate their vision with stakeholders, including partners, investors and customers. Successful real-world entrepreneurs can turn their vision into action through focus and commitment.
7. Value creators. Entrepreneurs are creative problem solvers who create value for their addressable market. They differentiate their product or service by solving real-world problems and will be tenacious in delivering actual value.
8. Passion and purpose. You will shine from within and last the distance when you have passion and purpose. People are attracted to the energy you bring when you genuinely care and are proud of what you do and the difference you make.
In summary, a lot goes into being an enduring entrepreneur! However, the essential success factors of resilience, courage, self-belief, focus, vision and talent combined with passion and purpose, will create value for customers and maintain a sustainable business over time. To learn more and connect with real-world entrepreneurs – Join the YoungGems® program.