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10 Things You Need to Do to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

As humans, we all go through our day-to-day lives aiming and craving for success but the truth is very few people know the real definition of success and even more few are ready to give it what it takes. A lot of things are easier said than done and success is very renowned when it comes to this; nobody wants to be a failure, we all want to be a success but very few of us are ready to pay the price.

A lot is happening nowadays that is redefining the real meaning of an entrepreneur; people want to take the easy route and by so doing they follow the footsteps of others and pave the way for their failure.

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary the real definition of an entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit. I will be explaining some principles below which are required for the success of every entrepreneur (note the word “entrepreneur”) – these principles might not apply to everybody as far as success is concerned but the truth is you really need to follow them if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur.

1. Learn To Live by Risks

If you take a look at the definition of the word “entrepreneur” one word that should shine is the word “risks”. An entrepreneur is not just an entrepreneur because he knows how to make money but because he learns to make profit by taking risks.

Take a look at all the major project there is, all the major projects that helped some of the biggest entrepreneurs make their name, all the projects that helped most of the small entrepreneurs make a living and all the projects that helped entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and one thing you will notice about all these projects is that they are a product of risk.

As an entrepreneur there is little to no assurance of you profiting from your investments; it doesn’t matter what the stats or the experts say, there is still little to no guarantee of you succeeding but you have to take the risk anyway. For example, if you take a look at the blogging and make money online field you will notice that highly successful bloggers like Darren Rowse and John Chow will tell you that blogging is easy but looking at the number of people who start blogs every year and how a “very large” percentage of them fail you will see clearly that this is not true. The truth is, as far as building a successful business is concerned, the result two different people will get under the same circumstance will be completely different. If Darren were to start a new blog today he will be able to build it to a successful stage as a result of the knowledge he has already acquired; this knowledge was gained by the risks he happily took and the cold hard truth is that risks are what help us build our lives and add to our success.

It doesn’t matter what you think or have been made to believe, a true entrepreneur live by risks; and when I say “live by”, I’m not just talking about taking one risk and forgetting about it, I mean you will keep on taking risks every single day of your live, you will keep on taking risks with every business you start and you will keep on taking risks with every decision you make.

Whether you like to believe this or not, we are gods if we already know the outcome of the decisions we will make; and not knowing the outcomes of our decisions is what is called risks, and this same thing is what makes us humans – you shouldn’t shy away from this, but, rather, you should focus on adapting your life to it.

2. You Must be a Man of Decision

This also goes in line with the aspect of taking risks. Each major risk you take is a product of a strong decision you have to make and the weak at heart or the indecisive entrepreneur will have a hard time succeeding. True entrepreneurs learn to make wise decisions and they always make it fast, and a great thing to know when trying to make the best decision is to know that you’re not perfect or infallible and that there always will be a failure in whatever you do – this is not to prevent you from making some decisions but, rather, be prepared for the worse.

Everything in life has advantages and disadvantages and a true entrepreneur won’t just condemn a decision because it has disadvantages. You should also be firm and stand with your decision no matter what and you should make the term “not wavering” your watchword.

3. Learn to Live by Faith

One great characteristic of highly successful entrepreneurs is that they are unshakable and immovable and they don’t need external gratification to believe that what they’re doing is going to work out for them – the day you start expecting gratification from the outside in anything you do is the day you start failing, believe it or not!

The bible is a great book when it comes to faith but many people believe a lot of the characters in the bible are some sort of special people and that the theory they hold doesn’t apply to us. If you don’t read the bible you at least read other motivational books (another characteristic of a successful entrepreneur) and one major thing you can learn from reading these books and taking a look at the lives of the most successful men history has ever produced is the power of faith.

Faith is having a great belief (if I may use that word) in the unseen; it is the strong belief you have in yourself and your project before you ever start it, it is the great future you see ahead of yourself and your business and it is the great power that drives every entrepreneur to success.

I see a lot of people make a great mistake and I laugh at them, I was once a believer and supporter of this great mistake they make but I learnt my lesson the hard way; that mistake is in the saying that it takes money to make money – this is total B.S and believe me, I don’t need you to believe me when it comes to this. I have read a lot of books, seen the lives of several successful entrepreneurs and applied a lot of principles to my life but one major lesson I have learnt is that it really doesn’t take money to make money. No wonder the popular author Napoleon Hill says that every single thought of man has a way of affecting the universe.

I’m not trying to say having more money can’t increase your chances of success but my point is that not having money is not an excuse for you to be a failure.

The only thing it takes to succeed is tenacity and a very strong desire to succeed. Our mind is a very powerful tool that can achieve a lot of things beyond our imaginations, even far more things that we presently have discovered, and a really wise entrepreneur will effectively use this to achieve success for himself. The truth is, in our day-to-day activities and every single decision we make we are influenced by our minds.

If you don’t believe me when it comes to this take a proper look at the lives of many of the individuals we have in the world today and you will notice that the reason a lot of them are a continuous failure is the way they are brought up; they have been greatly limited from a very young age (especially by their parents) and they have been made to believe a lot of mundane things such as it only takes hard work, going to school and getting a job to succeed in life, they no longer think beyond the cycle of going to school and getting a job and they keep on working the heck out of themselves, yet, they still can’t afford the dreams of their desire.

Your mindset needs to change and you need to transform yourself from the realm of the impossible to the realm of the possible; the truth is, nobody will help you do this. People can preach to you all they like but the decision is yours to make and the result is yours to get.

4. You Must be Ready to Improve

Many entrepreneurs are brought to a piece of bread because of the thing called “ego”, they are too proud to learn from their mistakes and the funny thing is we keep on looking for excuses to make bad things look good (believe me, that is why the named pride ego).

It doesn’t matter whether you call it pride or ego, it can’t take you anywhere as an entrepreneur. The key to real success lies in bring yourself low because only he that brings himself low will go up and he that sees himself as the ultimate is doomed already.

We are humans, we can never know all and we are so developed in such a way that we have to keep learning, no matter how old or young we are, but what matters is how you learn and how you take your learning. There are a lot of ways to learn and improve yourself as an entrepreneur, it can be by learning from your mistakes, by learning from people who are highly successful, by learning from those who are below you and even by learning from living and non living things; there is never something called too much learning.

The truth is, we can only imagine where the world will be in the next 5-10 years and this largely explains why a lot of things that were the talk of the town in the last decades are completely irrelevant now. Real entrepreneurs always adapt to changes and are always ready to improve, they are like an amoeba that has no shape and like a chameleon that has no color, they will always succeed wherever they are, in any business they start. Keep improving and the sky is your limit!

5. You Must Challenge the Usual

I am tired of a lot of things in my life lately and one of those things is being stagnant and on the same spot for a very long time, in an attempt to make sure I move up and experience an exponential growth I took a look at some of the entrepreneurs who are finding it extremely easy to succeed nowadays and one major thing I found out about them is that they are unconventional. It now takes being bold and completely truthful to succeed (which is exactly how it is supposed to be). The cold hard truth is this, people are already tired of you telling and giving them what they want, they now really need to hear and get what they need. A large percentage of these people will disagree with what I’m saying but what really moves people to take action nowadays is what they go against; that is why the most controversial posts get shared the most and why the most controversial products go viral and bring about success. A lot of people are already doing what people want and this makes entrepreneurs predictable – unpredictability is a great weapon and you should always make sure people never know your next move; the only way to do this is by doing what no other person does.

Success as an entrepreneur really doesn’t exist in doing what people want you to do but in doing what you need to do. In case you want to hear what people want you to do I will give you an idea: People want you to go to school, they want you to get the best grades, they want you to get a job and work the heck out of your life and they believe that is the only way to live happily in life. Do you really believe that is how things work? How many people can boast of living the lives of their dreams as a result of the certificate they have? The truth is a lot of people are unable to get a job now even with the high grades they have and a lot of those people employed are quitting their jobs without an alternative; they’re just tired of it. I’m not trying to tell you to go against what people think, after all, you are the maker of your decision. You can decide if all you want is the mundane life people have built for you for centuries or if what you really want is achieving success your own way.

The fact is we never really can be happy doing things other people’s way; we can only be happy following our own way. And this means if you don’t believe success is as a result of going to school you should immediately drop out of school and stop living other people’s lives – I’m more than confident about this, the key to being successful now lies in being unconventional more than ever.

6. Live by the Records

As human beings we all want a lot of things but we really don’t need a large percentage of the things we want. While living the entrepreneurial dream can afford you the comfort you’ve ever wanted, true entrepreneurs don’t just get things because they want it, they get things because they need it.

I recently started experiencing some significant success as far as making money online is concerned and it became really evident to me that it is very easy to go bankrupt as an entrepreneur than many people think. If all you see and desire is all you get then you’re on your way to total failure.

Make sure you have a record that shows you how you make money and how you spend it; at the end of every month make sure you personally do the strenuous task of calculating how much you make vs. how much you earn to see if you’re really benefiting. Try to adjust how you live your life to better fit how much you earn as time goes on and ensure you’re not at the brink of anything that can completely destroy your entrepreneurial career; I’m still regretting a lot of my mistakes till today and one major thing I’ve realized is that prevention is indeed better than cure.

7. Never Walk Alone

I can’t remember clearly where this is but I have a faint idea that there is a particular bible passage that says one will kill 1000 and two will kill 10,000. Why the great different between the two? Why is it that two doesn’t kill 2000 but 10,000? The reality is that even God, the master and creator of all, knew the power of working together and it is one of the greatest things he respected the most; this can be further proved by the construction of the tower of Babel, the Almighty God noticed that all the people spoke one language and they have one goal of building that tower to reach the heavens – the only way he could stop them was destroy the relationship between them. I’m not trying to be a preacher here but what I’m trying to tell you is that networking is really important that even God respects it.

As long as you can join forces with other people to achieve one aim and one goal there is nothing, I mean nothing, which can stop you.

Another major mistake I see that people keep on making is not networking with the right people. I take a look a lot of blogs on the internet, a lot of businesses both online and offline and I see many people doing the most foolish thing that can ever be imagined; they are focusing on building relationships that can never work and the end result is failure and almost eternal pain for the both parties. I case you don’t know, I will like you to know this carefully, no relationship can work if your only aim is to please the other party, believe me! If you’re networking with me because you want to be on my good books or you want me to love you then you’re already bound to fail. Real relationship has to be mutual and both parties must benefit, the day one party starts to lack behind is the day that relationship begins to crumble.

8. Utilize the Power of Association

First, I’d like to tell you that there is a huge difference between association and networking. Networking is more of a long-term relationship that works for both parties while association is a little bit more selfish.

Association is like use and dump (it is not always that, though) and a sad truth is that successful entrepreneurs know you sometimes have to be brutal, trust me!

When I’m talking about association I mean you have to utilize the power of another successful and well-known person to build your credibility – this doesn’t has to be done in a way that hurts any party and the wise entrepreneurs will do it in a way that even if cheated, the other party will still be happy at the result he got.

A great way to do this is by using people who are more successful than yourself to advance your career. Do your best to get the endorsement of a more successful figure in your field, do your best to get his/her recommendation and do your best to be seen together with him – this often difficult to do thing always bring the best result, it increases the way the public perceives you and establishes you in a way that people begin to see and respect you as the person you were associated with.

9. Focus on Professionalism

If only I had a great idea, if only I can do this, if only I can do that and other sayings of these nature are what brings about the failure of many entrepreneurs. Many people are yet to realize that in this our age what matters most is not your idea but how you package it. What matters most is not your content but how you present and deliver it – you shouldn’t expect people to just take your word for it and believe your solution is what their problem needs but you should rather do things in a way that without being told they will want to try your solution for their problems.

A more typical example is blogging, there are blogs that are so beautiful that one of the reasons people read them is because of their great design and how well they present their content and there are blogs that lose as much as ten percent of their readers because of their unprofessionalism. I know you might want to give some examples of those that stand out without having a great design but the truth is that in most cases, not being professional will cost you your success as an entrepreneur.

Let’s take this case as an example; There are two people promoting the same product they want a particular big company to be using, the first one went to the CEO casually and unprofessionally to tell him about the product while the second one dressed elegantly and perfectly, taken that every thing is equal, which of the two do you think will be more accepted? I can even assure you that in most cases the first person who dressed casually won’t be allowed to see the CEO: Whether you like it or not, that is life, and you have to learn to adapt to it.

10. Always Revise

I wish I could get a better word for the last point but I think what really matters is you getting my point.

I can give you one million and one theories on achieving success as an entrepreneur but the really true entrepreneur is the one that is uncontained. The real entrepreneur lives by no set rule but has tried as many rules as he’s heard, the reason he lives by no rule is that he keeps on dropping what is not working for him while improving on that which gives him the best result.

Take a look at the above 9 points, read and utilize them effectively and consistently do a thorough revision to prune and completely get rid of those that are not working for you – there is no crime in doing that, after all, a real entrepreneur is the one that lives by no rule.

Over to You

What do you think really makes an entrepreneur? Which of these rules do you have and which ones do you want to have? Feel free to share your views in the comments below.

35 Comments on "10 Things You Need to Do to Be a Successful Entrepreneur"

  1. Akhilesh says:

    This post is a must read..
    For me, a entrepreneur is a person who “does” what he has in mind. Take a look at Facebook. Mark Zuckerburg wanted to make something to take his mind off his girlfriend, and he succeeds in it. But the better thing which happened is that he builds another site, which has 500 million active users worldwide. So what i say is that you must do what you want to , but the better happens…
    Good luck with your blog…..

  2. Andreas says:

    An excellent time management is an important factor for successful entrepreneurs. Knowing how to schedule their work and projects within their work is a key skill in order to be successful.

  3. Samuel says:

    Awesome post bro,
    An entrepreneur must be ready to challenge the norm and must be ready to give the game a life! Trust your gut, and if at all you fail, you will learn from it.

    Life is nothing to worry about, besides life is too short so you just have to live today like the last. Design a life for yourself and forget about what people say.
    If you are going to the top alone, I think you need to think twice because it’s lonely at the top. Only smart teams win! Thanks for sharing bro.

  4. very helpful thoughts and instructions on business thanks for this

  5. Great advice as always Onibalusi. Everybody wants to be successful but few are ready to do what it takes to make it happen. I agree with all 10 of your tips that really makes an entrepreneur but more so with number 3 “Live By Faith”.

    As entrepreneurs we will experience hardships and it is our strong beliefs in the unseen that will get us through the tough times when they develop. Thanks for sharing

  6. Very good post, as usual. I don’t get to comment as often as I’d like, but we’re having an ice storm here, so I have some extra time at home.

    Your final point about revising and adjusting is the most important one. As you find things that do and don’t work, adjust.
    Gip

  7. Wow… that was amazing Oni 🙂
    An entrepreneur is not like an employee, there are many things that must be learned by entrepreneur. Those things are truly important for entrepreneur, if one missed then becoming successful entrepreneur will be hard to be achieved.

  8. Henway says:

    I think focusing on faith, and risk is important but MORE importantly, you need to do market research. Luck, faith, and what have you will not be what will propel you to a successful business. Learning what the market wants, and is willing to pay for and executing a solid strategy will. The other stuff needed is a positive attitude and confidence in the idea. But faith? not really.

  9. Great post, as usual. The first 4 points are most important.
    Thanks Oni.

  10. Shaun says:

    Great post, this is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. I don’t think it only applies to entrepreneurs, I think it applies to anyone that is looking for ways to improve themselves and their lives.

    Thanks again

  11. Alex says:

    You know Oni,

    I too, observed that many successful people have started with a gamble. They risked going into an idea they thought it would be a great business.

    Those that always try to be safe and start only sure to succeed business, will only have small successes that wont add up to what they can succeed if they would have just taken a risk, just once.

    Improving and learning from your mistakes it’s an other sure way to succeed. If you start doing something and you are happy with your business just the way it is, it will never progress, you will never grow bigger. There is even a possibility to regress.

    Great advices Onibalusi!

  12. Hey Buddy!

    This was a great article… From such a young mind, too.

    I’ve been in business 20 years and the last 10 of those I have started, owned and operated 4 different companies. I have sold two of them, at a profit, and still control the other two, whilst launching more.

    I love the energy and passion you display in your writing.

    You keep this up, and one day, you’re going to be very, VERY successful, my man.

    Keep rockin’.

    C

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Chris,

      It’s really awesome of you to comment here and I so much appreciate it!

      You’re so right. I discovered what many people are practicing now is no longer “entrepreneurship” they’re afraid to take risks and are following the crowd and at the end of the day they complain of not getting results.

  13. Shaiq Uddin says:

    I think that whatever the author is saying here is absolutely right and these are the basics of becoming a successful entrepreneur in Internet world. I’m really impressed with this post 🙂

  14. Jeedo Aquino says:

    Oni,

    You nailed it right on the head. If I might share a bit. I just did point number one and took the big risk of stepping away from the corporate world. That was the best decision I made in December 2010.

    I’ve never felt so free and unrestrained. Now, I’m diving head on at the world wide web as an entrepreneur. Allow me to state that you are one fine example of an online entrepreneur.

    Cheers,

    Jeedo

  15. Considering that one of the most popular blogs I can think of off the top of my head is Jeff Jarvis’s blog Buzz Machine, I’m not really sure that a beautiful blog is the be-all, end-all of ensuring success. His blog is very spare and straightforward. The reason people check it out is because of the solid content. Content is definitely the most important thing for a blogger to focus on.

    At any rate, this article gave me a lot to think about, so thanks!

  16. Confidence and Patience. I believe these two behaviours must also be present in every entrepreneur. Your business won’t be that successful in just one click. You need to have patience in order for you to grow more mature and more challenged until the time that you will be successful.

  17. Fantastic article. Will definitely make me a better entrepreneur.

  18. Greg London says:

    I recently got married, so the tip about not trying to succeed on your own really relates to me. I really like this blog.

  19. TsarShu says:

    If you believe in what you are doing, if you get pleasure from what you are doing and …you are a successful entrepreneur – because with your faith you’ll work hard, you’ll improve and develop your knowledge and skills but if you feel bored or do it because it is ‘a must’ – poor you ….

  20. Jon says:

    Number 6. Live by the Records. So true. If we’re being honest with ourselves, our needs are few but our wants are many. The issue most people have is the more they earn, the loftier their standard of living becomes and the harder is to sustain it long-term.

    Live simply. Monitor your expenditures. Who cares what your neighbor owns? When the going gets tough you only need food, water, and shelter (and a few changes of underpants).

  21. Aloys Jacobs says:

    All the points are necessary. I guess it can be summarized like this: it’s a mix of inner motivation and desire with skill and knowledge. It takes perfecting skills that other people don’t think they need, and gaining the knowledge of how things work in the marketplace, as well as in people’s minds and hearts. And well, if you don’t have all the skills and knowledge it takes, it’s important you’ve realized you needed them. Then partner up with people who have them. Where’s a will, there’s a way.

  22. silpada says:

    Risk and decision powers are the main tools to be a successful entrepreneur.You are taught the lesson of success that is great for me.

  23. Howie says:

    Excellent post, as always, Onibalusi!

    With challenges being an everpresent reality for 99.9% of entrepreneurs, I believe that resiliency and passion are necessary traits to being a successful entrepreneur.

    P.s. I saw you had a post on Problogger.net recently. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you get in contact with Darren? Did you cut and paste your guest post to his website contact form? Did you have an email address? Thanks!

    • Onibalusi says:

      Hi Howie,

      Sorry for getting to this comment lately…I don’t know how I missed it 😉

      I got in touch with Problogger editor Georgina Laidlaw and that made everything easy. You can get in touch with her on twitter via http://twitter.com/georginalaidlaw

      Thanks so much and have a great day!

  24. Leadership isn’t given but grabbed. Which means, you want the world then you’re going to need to serve, lead, know how to influence people to do things that you want them to do, which is people skills. Thanks…

  25. Tinh says:

    It is such a long article but very detailed and informative. You keep me going from the top to bottom now @Oni. Great post, thanks

    • Onibalusi says:

      Aha Tinh,

      I’m glad you loved it 🙂 Keep on rocking!

  26. Really loved it and I think I will also contribute your blog with these kind of posts…

  27. semmy @ Make Money Online says:

    Hi Onibalusi, I don’t know where you get this article. You’re the best man!! thanks for this great article!!

  28. Cadouri says:

    It is such a long article but very detailed and informative. Keep blogging you are good at this!

  29. Chelsea Thomas says:

    Great post! Very descriptive tips. I can’t wait to put these into action in my own entrepreneural experiences.

  30. moist banana bread recipe says:

    Thanks great 10 points…… Surely those 10 skill are needed to be successful

  31. You did a great job here with your blog and this post! I do agree with all 10 of your points. Taking action has to be the #1 though. I do know why there is such a failure rate in this business and that is because there is a lot of information overload online these days and it is a lot of work! People become overwhelmed and then quit before they reach their goals. More people need to see this post, I am going to share for you. Thanks for sharing Onibalusi
    Chery 🙂

    • You’re welcome, Chery! Thanks a lot for sharing and commenting 🙂

Onibalusi

Welcome! I'm Bamidele Onibalusi, a young writer and blogger. I believe writers are unique and highly talented individuals that should be given the respect they deserve. This blog offers practical advice to help you become truly in charge of your writing career.

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