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15 lessons every successful entrepreneur follows

Last updated on: September 26, 2017 14:56 IST

Apoorve Dubey lists out the 15 things that will make you a successful entrepreneur. Read on...

Richard Branson

Marketing cannot create entrepreneurs; it is the market that creates them by accepting the good and rejecting the bad.

While there are huge number of start-ups and companies that take the leap, most of them fall short of achieving the desired success.

According to a recent study done by IBM & Oxford Economics, 90 per cent of Indian start-ups fail within the first five years. Building a sustainable company is harder than most people can imagine.

Entrepreneurship is defying logic, building dreams and achieving the impossible.

The journey is a humbling experience even for the best ones.

Setbacks are inevitable, how entrepreneurs handle them decides their fate.

The successful ones have the passion to do whatever it takes to cross the line.

They put their wholehearted efforts into accomplishing things that move the world forward.

While there is no magic formula to guarantee entrepreneurial success, here we explore the secrets of what makes successful entrepreneurs.

1. Self awareness

Handling a business without understanding yourself can be tricky.

Successful entrepreneurs are good at evaluating themselves, their strengths and weaknesses.

They analyse things objectively and understand what is needed from them.

They stay balanced during success and failures without losing focus on the long term vision.

2. They solve problems and bring value

Not everyone who starts a company is an entrepreneur.

In fact, most companies fail because they are solving nonexistent problems and don't really bring true value.

The successful entrepreneurs understand the impulse of the market.

They have a deep rooted understanding of customer pain points and goals.

They offer a solution to issues that are critical for the customer.

  • 3. Inspired purpose

It is very demanding to be an entrepreneur.

One has to be prepared to sacrifice family life, golden years of career, and put in tremendous amount of work.

And all that without any assurance of success.

The most successful entrepreneurs are always driven by a strong reason and purpose.

They know why they are doing what they are doing. It is this purpose which keeps them going in moments of anguish.

4. Get things done

Ideas without action are hallucination.

Leadership gets things done and creates value every day with effective work.

They understand what brings out the best in their people and constantly push them to great work.

They are obsessed with progress and align their team to deliver excellent work on daily basis.

5. Ability to get along with others

Building and running a business requires group of people who can work in synergy.

The top entrepreneurs build networks, respect individuals with complementary skills and nurture long term relationships.

They understand that it is not individuals but teams that drive and sustain businesses.

  • 6. 80-20 principle

One of the most common reasons for failure of companies is lack of focus.

Focus requires spending time on the most important task.

Successful entrepreneurs eliminate choices to focus on 20 per cent tasks that create 80 per cent impact for their business. 

A successful entrepreneur understands that his time is the most valuable asset. It should be spent on the core issues that matter the most.

7. In-depth understanding of business

They have an in-depth understanding of their business and are always on the lookout for emergent ways to learn more.

They read a lot of books, blogs, attend conferences, take online courses and constantly look at ways to refine their knowledge.

Being constantly on the move, they are able to prepare themselves to pivot with emerging trends, disruptions and evolving technologies.

8. Learning from failures

Building a company requires one to master many different facets of business.

It isn't easy.

More often than not the cost of experience is mistakes and failures.

Failures and mistakes highlight areas that need improvement.

A successful entrepreneur is the one who minimises risk, learns from failures and moves on to bigger things.

The ability to bounce back from failures quickly without losing time is important for entrepreneurial journey.

9. Empower other people

Great leaders push, empower other people with opportunities and guide them to bring out the best in them.

They back people when things go wrong, provide an environment to experiment and eventually help them to build incredible stuff.

They also provide a platform where people can connect, build things and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.

10. The art of reinventing

Great entrepreneurs understand the need for innovation and frequently reinvent themselves to handle business challenges.

They constantly push themselves out of their comfort zone.

They question themselves incessantly and never take things for granted.

Clinging to the past and present without having an eye on the future can be detrimental.

The top entrepreneurs define the future and the road map to get there.

11. Benchmarking against the best

They continue to raise their game by constant learning and benchmarking themselves against the best in the world.

They set very high standards and demand everyone in their team to raise their game.

Great entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do and take immense pride in their craft.

They constantly improve themselves in order to reach the next stage and push the boundaries of excellence.

12. Outcome not just activity

Success is determined by results not efforts.

It is easy to mistake activity for outcomes, but effective entrepreneurs are result oriented.

They take responsibility and lead from the front. 

They work hard, execute things flawlessly and produce the results that make the difference.

They map their actions to the outcomes needed for the success of their business.

13. They tell stories and connect with people

Successful entrepreneurs are fascinating storytellers that connect with people.

They have a message that resonates with the masses and makes them stand out.

Stories are a great way to communicate, build rapport and establish emotional bonding with people.

All great brands are built on stories, powerful messages that set them apart and influence the world.

14. Build trust

We live in an age where marketing has become the buzzword.

Trust is a rare commodity and one that makes a huge difference to the fate of an entrepreneur.

A trustworthy entrepreneur is someone who is able to sell his ideas to the team, partners, investors and customers.

Great entrepreneurs are able to persuade other people, because they are sincere and genuinely interested in their well-being.

15. Create a dent in the universe

Great entrepreneurs build their dreams and create a future of their imagination.

They set themselves audacious goals and do everything in their power to reach them.

They struggle, they are vulnerable and suffer, but they don't give up.

They endure longer because they are inspired to create a future with opportunities for everyone and impact the world in a positive way.

Apoorve Dubey is the founder and CEO of Kreyon Systems Pvt. Ltd. He is the author of the best-selling book, The Flight of Ambition and a co-author of Successful Organisations in Action

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Photograph: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Apoorve Dubey