Success in entrepreneurship is often equated to winning the lottery. A gamble, stakes high, and higher rewards. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The higher the risk, the bigger the rewards. But, unlike the random chances of betting, there is actually a science that dictates success in business.
When starting a business, we always aim to succeed. We put resources at stake, work long hours, and make sacrifices to achieve the dream. However, the chance of losing everything is still looming, ready to pounce on your most desperate time, when you’re not paying attention, or when you let your guard down.
Some make success look too easy, while many are struggling just to get by. Is there a secret recipe for business success?
I’ve read somewhere, a very accurate description of success as it applies to me; Success is a duck effortlessly gliding across a pond. We see the beauty and grace above water, but not the furiously paddling feet under.
Most of the people I met have the impression of me just getting lucky, of success handed easily to me, just like winning the lottery. I gave the impression of just rolling with luck, effortlessly popping out ideas, and reaping profits like it’s my only job. But the real entrepreneurs know better. They know the struggle and they see the backend work that produces the frontend me.
Entrepreneurship worked for me not because I was lucky. It was more because of the characteristics I have that propelled me to success. Here are four of the pivotal elements common to successful entrepreneurs;
Courage. That graceful duck was once a struggling duckling. But, the risk of drowning didn’t stop her from taking on the pond. It didn’t question the depth of the pond nor his ability to learn how to swim. He just went right to the water, floundered a few times, and then started to float. It wouldn’t be long before it will acquire the agility and grace of its mother.
My quest for an effective educational app for my child started my career in tech and app building. Upon knowing its possibilities and opportunities, I committed to learning more about the industry. When I started building my first app, I have zero knowledge of the industry. But I didn’t let that deter me from jumping into the business.
Drive. To survive the challenges and pressure of running a business, one has to have the drive, the persistence, and the tenacity of an Olympian. You cannot give up on your first flounder, your first failure, or your first mistake. Ducks don’t cross the pond on their first try. Master chefs don’t get perfect meals on their first try. Olympians don’t get medals on their first try. I will take years of bitter struggle, practice, failures, and getting back up. Quitters never make it to the success podium.
Inspiration. My entry to business was almost spontaneous like it was the most natural thing for me to do. Like how the duckling saw other ducks gliding, I saw my father and other businessmen and women prosper. If they can do it, then there’s no way I won’t be able to do it too. I know I have a lot to learn, that I could lose everything. But I have faith in myself, and the alternate life simply was not acceptable.
Identify your strongest desires and your worst nightmares. These are your best motivators. For me, I dreaded the idea of myself leading a nine-to-five, five-day-a-week existence. That alone is enough motivation for me to strive and work hard. I dream of being able to unite women entrepreneurs and my advocacy for gender equality in business inspires me every day to be the best that I can be.
Creativity. The most successful entrepreneurs are also the innovators, creators, and pioneers in their respective industries. One has to be passionate about what they’re doing. That is the only way creativity will flourish. Your passion and engagement will lead to creative problem-solving, great product designs, and inspired business ideas.
Do not be afraid to learn new things, to work hard, to be creative, and to face your fears head on. Follow that spark of interest, the journey will be hard and daunting. You’ll never know where it’ll take you, and how you’ll end up will be all up to you.
My journey as an entrepreneur has certainly been an exhilarating ride. It has taken me to the heights of success and to the depths of despair. But I have my visions clearer now, I have learned a lot and is still learning. I have become stronger to battle forthcoming challenges. You see, the struggles will never end, we just have to learn how to deal with them better. The duck does not stop paddling, he just gets better at it.
CEO and Founder World Women Network