“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you just like everybody else, means to fight the greatest battle that any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”
~ e.e. cummings
“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love; there’s only a scarcity of resolve to make it happen.”
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
These two quotes highlight what makes a successful entrepreneur: A willingness to be yourself and to do whatever it takes to do what you love.
Entrepreneurs are people with ideas who have a vision. They create and so, in a way, they are inventors. It would therefore be correct to say we are all entrepreneurs, because we are all creating and inventing our lives every day; choice by choice, moment by moment.
So, I will endeavor to give you some direction as to how to invent your life as an entrepreneur. What I share are the same qualities you will require to become a successful entrepreneur of a business.
“When you look in the mirror and you love what you see, the world will open its arms to you and what you need to be happy and successful will present itself to you like the wind beneath the bird.”
~ Stephen Light
Have a vision:
What is the picture you have in your head of who you are becoming? Every entrepreneur knows where they are going and assesses every behavior and every result against their vision. They change quickly if they need to because they know where their lives are heading and they are firm on themselves about what they need to do.
My twin girls have an affirmation that says “I can achieve anything I want if I believe in myself and I put my heart and my mind to it.” This is an empowering belief that allows them to takes risks and to try their hand at anything. They know that believing in themselves is the key to creating what they want.
There are many opportunities out there. What you choose must resonate with you and you must be passionate about it. If it is an idea or a person, you must feel it in your heart. Every day we have choices and opportunities. The ones that serve our passions are the ones that will inspire and motivate us and will lead to happiness. Love what you do and do what you love.
Lead by example:
“Treat others the way you want to be treated.” An entrepreneur knows that life is about relationships. Our journey in life, and the expression of our lives fulfilled, is seen in the way people embrace us. Any relationship and any business will only be truly successful if the people involved give of their best. This means leading by example, doing what is right and treating people with dignity and respect. Entrepreneurs know that it is people that make them successful, not ideas.
If you want greatness you have to step out of mediocrity. We get trapped in what we know, in our comfort zones. We choose to survive, not live. Entrepreneurs take risks, they step out of comfort zones and they challenge mediocrity in their word and action.
See failure as a lesson:
Entrepreneurs do not understand failure. They see only lessons. Every time they take a risk and get a result they did not want, they immediately look for the lesson. They don’t blame and they don’t lie down. They take responsibility and look for the next opportunity. They are solutions oriented and they never give-up. Fail for them means ‘First Attempt In Learning.’ Never give up and do whatever it takes to achieve what you need to achieve. Whatever it takes.
Passion and Energy:
What drives you? What gets you to stand up again and again and move forward in pursuit of the dream? If you do not have passion and energy then you will eventually meet a hurdle too large and you will give up. If you are passionate about what you want, the energy will flow.
Think about how many people in the world have settled, working in jobs they loathe or being in relationships where they feel stuck. They are unhappy and dread each day. Their only respite is weekends or moments alone. They lack passion for what they do and they have little or no energy. If you are not passionate about what you are creating or who you are in a relationship with, change now. Don’t die with your music still inside you.
Surround yourself with supporters, not critics:
There are many critics out there who will tell you that you are wrong and that your dreams are not possible. This is their opinion and they are most entitled to it. Remember it is just their opinion. Would you go to the hairdresser for financial advice? No. Then make sure you surround yourself with supporters, not critics. Make sure the people you share your dreams with have your best interests at heart, and that they are capable of giving you objective and clear advice.
Lastly, what does success mean for you? Everyone has a definition of what success is. You need to discover for yourself what success is. There are many people who have wealth without meaning. There are many people who have meaning without wealth. I tend to believe that if you do what you love and love what you do, you will have exactly what you need. This quote says it all for me:
“When you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and you endeavor to live the life that you have imagined, you will meet with a success that is unexpected in common hours.”
~ Henry David Thoreau
Be courageous and approach the world with love, and you will always find what you seek.
Stephen Light lives in Guildford, Surrey, United Kingdom. He is a coach and leadership facilitator. Stephen works in the space of self-reliance, teaching people to understand who they are and why they behave the way they do. Stephen loves running and has spent many hours on the road either training or running road races. Stephen is a husband and father of twin daughters, Madison and Caitlin. Follow Stephen on Twitter and learn more about him on his website and Facebook.
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Assistant Ed: Ben Neal/Ed: Bryonie Wise