successful entrepreneur

What It Really Takes to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

What does it really take to become an entrepreneur? This is a question that many people ask, and the answer is not always clear. There are many different pieces to becoming a successful business owner, from developing a great product or service to marketing your business effectively. That’s why entrepreneurship coaching is such an important tool – it can help guide you on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. 

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the key things that you need to do to achieve success in your business. The recommendations here are based on my success – and failures – in the world of business-building. One of the best things you can do when becoming an entrepreneur is learn from others, so here we go!

 

The Truth About Entrepreneurship

There are advantages and disadvantages of entrepreneurship – just like employment. One isn’t necessarily better than the other; you have to decide which you’re best wired to navigate. 

Being a successful entrepreneur requires a lot of hard work, dedication, and determination. You need to think creatively and develop innovative ideas for new products or unique methods of service delivery that will help your business stand out from the crowd. The idea doesn’t have to be an Earth-shattering breakthrough, but it needs to have a distinct perspective aligned with your target audience. 

Key Characteristics to Succeed as An Entrepreneur

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must also have a solid understanding of marketing and sales principles as they relate to your niche. Oh yeah, you also need a NICHE! This means building an effective marketing strategy, as well as targeting potential customers effectively through various channels while having the confidence to navigate those leads through your sales process. 

In general, you need to bring confidence to your entrepreneurial journey. You don’t need to be egotistically cocky, but you must have faith and trust in your concept and ability to put it out into the world. No one else will have confidence in it if you don’t!

The Down-Side of Being an Entrepreneur

Now that we’ve set some baseline personality and mindset needs for your start-up exploration, let’s dig a little further into the pros and cons of becoming an entrepreneur. 

Consideration 1: I can work less (thanks, Tim Ferris and the 4-hour work week)

Interestingly enough, as people enter the life of an entrepreneur, they often expect to work fewer overall hours than they did in their previous job. The truth is that you may work longer (more) hours owning your own business than being employed. 

You may have to take on multiple roles within the company and wear many different hats, which can be overwhelming at times. That said, the rewards, scalable income, and autonomy of your own business may outweigh these challenges, many of which are temporary and experienced during the various stages of growth and scaling your (hopefully successful) business will experience! 

There’s this saying in the entrepreneurial world: I’d rather work 100 hours for myself than 40 hours for someone else. 

Let that sink in. 

If it resonates, there’s a good chance you’re wired to be your own boss.

Consideration 2: Risk of failure and your personal tolerance for risk. 

One of the biggest risks of becoming an entrepreneur is the possibility that your business may fail, especially in the early stages. Career Benders is my 13th – yes, lucky #13, business endeavor. Previous attempts either fizzled or failed miserably beyond any possible words I can put together to help you understand the severity of the crash and burn. 

This can be stressful and discouraging, but you can mitigate this risk by doing your research, getting feedback from others in the industry, and seeking out expert advice on how to best manage your business. Do these things, and you can reduce your risk and potential financial loss considerably, but you should also know – failing isn’t a terrible outcome. 

Here’s another cliche quote: You never fail; you learn. 

Each of my sucky attempts at successful entrepreneurship taught me something that strengthened the foundation upon which Career Benders was born, grown, and scaled. 

 

Consideration 3: Lack of stability (financially). 

Many entrepreneurs assume they’ll never have the same level of financial security as those who work for a company or organization. While this is certainly true in many cases, I don’t believe it’s a hard and fast rule. Yes, you’ll likely experience fluctuations in income throughout your business’s life. Create a strong financial plan – and save – to allow yourself to weather the cyclical nature of business while continuing to grow your business over time.

At the end of the day, you’re in control of your business’s destiny, your income, and your solvency. Unlike employment, which can (not always!) provide a false sense of security because you’re not entirely in control of your employment status, you can develop a business that has a strong financial foundation that can produce consistent, career-like income. 

It just takes time and patience, which I attest, is why most people fail quickly. They don’t have the faith, trust, conviction, and patience to see their business rise to its full potential. 

Despite these potential downsides, becoming an entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding journeys anyone can experience. As I like to say: there is no better exploration into self-discovery than starting and building a business. It’ll expose your strengths – and every single weakness you have. You will be tested, you will evolve, and you will create something that not only gives you complete control of your life and career but you can make some serious impact on the world around you at the same time. 

Advantages of Starting your Own Business

As mentioned above – the impact you can create through your own business can be more rewarding than anything you can experience working in a company. Trust me, there are plenty of organizations doing great work out there – join one of them if that’s you’re inclination and definition of fulfillment! 

If it isn’t – start a business. I never thought I’d impact 1,000s of people through my work the way I do with Career Benders. It’s humbling, and it blows me away every time I stop, pull my head out of the grind (yep, I’m still in one of those, too), and think about the outcomes we’ve been able to generate. 

Wow. 

In addition to impact, there are other substantial advantages of being an entrepreneur. 

Let’s get optimistic!

(Doesn’t every successful entrepreneur see the glass as half (ok, ¾) full!? 

Three Advantages of Being an Entrepreneur

  1. Autonomy and flexibility: As an entrepreneur, you’re in complete control of your own schedule and how you spend your time. This can be very liberating, as it allows you to choose the projects that really interest you, the hours that work best for your lifestyle, and the number of PTO days you allocate to yourself annually. Heh.

2. Opportunities for growth: With entrepreneurship comes great opportunities for personal and professional growth. As mentioned above – self-discovery is huge in the entrepreneurial world, so get ready! You’re about to embark on a learning journey where you’re constantly learning new things through managing your business and becoming a better leader.

3. Unlimited earning potential to make a difference: No more 4% cost-of-living raises (when the cost of living has increased 10%!). You control your income by setting the pricing of your products and services, the volume you decide to do, and so many other factors that give you total control and sky-is-the-limit possibilities when it comes to your earning potential. 

I bought us a house. This seemed like a pipe dream for so many years until my business got big enough, stable enough, and consistent enough that we qualified for a mortgage in the town where we hoped to purchase real estate but thought, financially, we’d never be able to.

The possibilities are endless. 

You Can Dream Big as an Entrepreneur

When you work for yourself, you can dream big and achieve even bigger. Whether your goal is to purchase a new home or expand your business, becoming an entrepreneur opens up a world of possibilities that simply don’t exist when you work for someone else.

Yes, there are risks – but isn’t that the case with any big decision or change? You could take a new job tomorrow and find out within three days it’s the most toxic environment ever. That’ll lead to some soul-searching! 

Calculated risks are a healthy part of life. I don’t think we take enough of them today; we accept mediocrity and the status quo as the only acceptable reality we can obtain. What if there was more out there for you? What if you give yourself the chance to start, create, and grow something meaningful to you and the people you helped?

I hope your wheels are spinning! 

Living Outside of the Comfort Zone

To offer one last cliche to this article: growth doesn’t happen inside the comfort zone. 

Pushing yourself to do things beyond your boundaries takes courage. It also takes an open mind, some serious grit, and an unrelenting spirit. If that sounds like you, and you’re always thinking and researching ways to advance, start a side hustle, impact others, or make passive income. Becoming an entrepreneur might just be for you. 

Ultimately, this means that you are always thinking and researching ways to advance, hopefully bringing a tremendous amount of joy once you realize success. 

Trust Career Benders to Make You Into a Successful Entrepreneur

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes hard work and dedication. The results don’t come to everyone, but with the right support, tools, and resources, you can maximize your chances of success and achieve the dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur. 

If you’re looking for help developing a winning strategy, give me a shout. If you didn’t notice the never-ending opinions in this article, I can talk about business all day long. I’d love to bring you into the Career Benders family and help you get one step closer to making the transition into entrepreneurship. Check out our entrepreneurship coaching programs and packages, and drop us a note if you’d like to chat about your entrepreneurial hopes and dreams!

Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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