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To become a successful entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work, grit, and persistence. There are hundreds of books and articles highlighting the secret to success in business, and what I found was that it always comes back to passion, perseverance and a positive attitude.

These attributes tend to set successful entrepreneurs apart, but they take practice and preparation and smart strategy, so I put together a list of 10 ways to ensure success for you, the entrepreneur:

You must love what you do.

Building a startup becomes a big part of your life, and if you don’t love what you do, that half-heartedness will chip away at your drive to succeed. You need passion and perseverance to keep pushing you forward as that guarantees the movement of anything, whether it’s a person, a job, or an entire company. 

Have a plan in place.

Study and read about successful businesses. Take in the knowledge that has been provided to you by other successful entrepreneurs. You don’t need a 20-page business plan; you can make a 10-page business plan that showcases that you put thought into this idea and have found ways that you believe will build it to becoming a successful business. But also realize you will need to learn to adapt because the business plan you started with, will not be the business strategy you end up with, however, this allows you have something to look back on when you run into an issue.

You will need to build an “A team”.

Whether you are a solo-founder or a team of co-founders, you want to surround yourself with people who have the skill sets and attitudes that can enhance the brand and mission. You want to create an environment with those who can foster innovation and improve the business, even in the day to day tasks.  

Pay attention to your attitude. 

The founder sets the tone of business, so be mindful of the way you handle things. Entitlement, laziness, and negativity waste time and money while also tarnishing your reputation. Success relies on making mistakes and accepting the blame in stride. Own up and face challenges head-on. That is what makes a business owner a leader. 

Find a mentor and learn from others.

First and foremost, get yourself a mentor, someone who believes in you and your idea, but has no ties to your actual business.  As an entrepreneur you should always be continuing your education; find a book club focusing on entrepreneurship, sign up for mastermind events,  go to seminars or even online programs.  Surrounding yourself with individuals who have already launched a few businesses themselves, even those who have failed in business as their advice could provide even more insight of what not to do is beneficial as well. 

Be ready to self-promote.

Having confidence and a good elevator pitch can take any conversation to the next step.  Practice the way you present your company, you want to make sure it doesn’t come across to “salesy, ” but you also don’t want it to sound like a script. Remember, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale, but remember: the client is always the focus.  

Trust in yourself and take action.

You can’t afford to procrastinate or analyze every detail or else they would never go anywhere. Launching a startup is a 24/7, no vacation or sick days kind of job that demands constant forward momentum.  Take a moment to assess every step and then take action and move on it. You must trust your instincts. 

Build a reputation.

Make your voice by contributing to a blog on a well-hosted website, volunteer your time and skills, reach out to conferences and apply to speak. By doing this, it shows it not only helps your reputation but also builds expertise and trust. 

Figure out your financials. 

Many businesses build out optimistic assumptions before starting their business. When you should be thinking of every scenario that could happen.  For many entrepreneurs, they find that it always takes more money and more time than they thought, especially if they are building an actual product or new technology.  

Do some soul-searching and figure out your mission statement.

Before launching your startup, you need to sit down and come up with your mission statement. Your mission statement is something you can fall back on for almost every decision, campaign and partnership you make for your company. By having a clear understanding of the values, passion and intentions of your new venture will allow for you to have a clear vision of what your ideal company would look like. 

You also need to know exactly where you will need help. Instead of focusing on your strengths, you need to take a moment and honestly look at your weaknesses and find your blind spots. 

Don’t forget to the future. 

When launching a startup, you can quickly lose sight of the long term vision. Find time out of each day, and reflect on the progress the company is making and how each day you are moving towards the future. I like to do this at the end of each day by writing in a journal on challenges we are facing, goals we have reached, how we are dealing with the current movements of the company and how we can continue to move towards the future and bigger vision. 

The Bottom Line

Starting a business will change an entrepreneur’s personal life and can honestly seem like an endless roller coaster ride. While all these tips are necessary for success, it is just as important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. You need to make sure to exercise, sleep and be mindful of your diet, as the way you take care of yourself can affect your attitude, motivation, decision making, and relationships.

To ensure success as an entrepreneur, remember you need to learn as much as you can from others, always test your product or idea before launching, find a mentor and never give up. Passion, perseverance and a positive attitude will be the drive to a successful business.  

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