How to be a successful entrepreneur?

How to be a successful entrepreneur?

There are many views on what an entrepreneur is. Listening to market experts and reading lots about entrepreneurship they are often described as following:

  • Risk-taker
  • Dreamer
  • Leader
  • Visionary
  • Rebel
  • Artist
  • Impacter

These are just the main ones I found, but there are many more, but Risk-taker is probably the most mentioned description. It has some nuance of adventure and sounds cool.
I guess, depending what speaks to you most you will feel more inclined to agree with one or the other.

Taking a risk is a question of perspective. A lot of factors play a role.
If you ask someone to cut your hair who has never cut hair before, you would probably see this as taking a high risk as there is a high chance that it goes wrong. If you go to an experienced hairdresser, the risk is probably quite low. That means that cutting hair in itself is not risky and not the problem.
It’s the same for entrepreneurs. If you know what you are doing and you have experience in doing it, the risk will be very low.
This goes for almost everything in life. In relationships, work, hobby and life in general. If you keep on it you will get better.
That is also why it takes time to build a proper business when you are starting.

For me, a risk taker is a gambler, who jumps into something hoping for the best. It doesn’t matter how much you have played before. The dice don’t care.
You might get better in controlling yourself, but you won’t get better in controlling the game.
However, many start-ups jump into a business like a gambler, hoping for the best, not willing to take the time and learn the skills. Again, for me, they are gamblers, not entrepreneurs. (Like playing the lottery and hoping for the million to appear)

All the attributes mentioned above are more personal traits than traits I would directly relate to an entrepreneur. You might be a rebel and run your own business. But you might as well be a rebel and employed or in jail or whatever.

Entrepreneurship is a skill. It is something you can learn and become good at. It isn’t a game.
It does help to have a certain mindset, but the same goes for a student studying for a degree. If you are not willing to learn, put the time in and if you have no vision how all of this might give you a positive impact in your future career, you most likely won’t make it. In a way that is life.

There are only a few lucky ones who have been at the right time at the right place, and the dice fell precisely in the right way, and they made it without any effort at all. That is like the lottery winner. They have never been entrepreneurs and the chance that they will make this again is very low. Let’s hope for them that the winnings are high enough that they never have to try again.

To become a successful entrepreneur, you need to learn the skills required for your business and give yourself the time to study and practise. As more you do as better you will become and as less of a risk your business will be. It isn’t that hard. If you’re out there for the money alone, go and play the lottery or step into a casino and play the games. Maybe you’re lucky.

I love to be an entrepreneur, and I love the feeling when the skills I learned and practised over and over again give me the success I dreamed about.

What about you? Are you a successful entrepreneur?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium, this site is run by John di Stefano, teaching and supporting entrepreneurs to learn the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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