Why do some entrepreneurs fail even though they are better educated, better planned and had enough funds?
Have you ever thought about this?
In the past 10 years, I had the opportunity to witness rise and fall of several startups.
And when I looked back at the causes of their failures, it became obvious to me – that their CEOs lacked the most important and basic qualities of a serious entrepreneur.
Do you know what these essential qualities are?
#1 The Determination to Do Hard Work
I know many “business coaches” would tell you that hard work is secondary these days. They would tell you that “your idea” is the single most important thing for the success of a venture.
But are these coaches telling you truth?
Think about the top entrepreneurs in any field. Do they work hard?
What about Bill Gates? Did he work hard while Microsoft was still a start up? What about Steve Jobs? Did he work hard during the initial days at Apple? What about Barak Obama? Did he work hard to become President of USA?
As you can see, almost all of them had to work hard at some point in their career before they could realize their dreams.
Now, think your own past… ask yourself…how many times you had success without doing hard work? And how many times you tasted success while working hard?
It’s should be clear as black and white. You were more successful when you were working hard. So, the question is, can you expect to become successful without doing any bit of hard work? I’m sure you get the idea.
#2 The Courage to Never Procrastinate
Have you waited for an ideal time to do something? I’m sure you have, because that is human nature.
Did you know this habit is one of the biggest reasons why start-ups fail?
Many times, entrepreneurs believe that their “time is not right” and they wait for some perfect occasion to start working on their business. This ideal day never comes and they won’t progress at anything.
Sometimes, they will put off for silly reasons. For instance, I had a friend, who believed working late at night was the best time to do coding. His mantra was this – at night, your mind works clearer and nobody is there to disturb you. So, you should take rest during day and prepare yourself for the night. So he always slept during the day.
And at night, he felt asleep and postponed the project to next day…and to the next day…and so on…and as you can guess the perfect day never arrived. When I met him several months later, it was the same story – he hasn’t started yet!
As an entrepreneur, you will be learning new things every day. And most of times, it would be essential for you to quickly adapt to the new situations to produce any fruitful results. But, If you delay it, you will lose the momentum you needed to succeed.
For example, let’s say you discovered that your business needs a particular thing and you have the resources to try it. Then, you should go ahead with your new found wisdom and try it. This way, you will quickly learn whether it works or not. So that you can move forward or tweak it for better results.
So, never wait for a perfect day or time to start doing anything. Be it hiring a new employee, applying for a business loan or advertising on Facebook, never wait for a perfect time — it would never come.
So what we’ve learned here? Serious entrepreneurs take a leap of faith and never wait for a perfect time to start working on their business. They adapt themselves to new conditions and succeed from there. And that is what you should do too!
#3 The Drive to Never Make Excuses
I know what you are thinking. “Isn’t excuses a type of procrastination?” Yes, you are correct. But, that is not what I’m going to tell here. Here, I would talk about the common excuses people make when they are starting a business.
Recently, I met a guy who was working in an MNC and was thinking about starting a business. But, he was so afraid of the prospects of losing a secure job. His excuse is this: ‘how would I pay the bills if I don’t have a monthly pay check?’
Of course, it’s very difficult if you don’t have a regular pay check. No body else is going to help you. But, if you’re creative, there are many ways to handle this.
You could create a cushion of savings before quitting your secure job. You could work part-time as a consultant and simultaneously work on your business. You could even hire couple of fresh graduates to work on your business while you keep your full time secure job. And so on..
See, if you think creatively, you will see many solutions.
Another frequent excuse I hear is this: ‘I’m not educated to run a business’. Do you think this is true?
If that were true, there would be no big businesses such as Microsoft or Facebook, because their founders never completed their formal education.
It’s true, you need skills, but that doesn’t mean, you need to be highly educated. You could always learn the required skills while you are on the business. In fact, many of the business you see today are examples of this. If you go back and check their history, you will see that none of them are doing the same things that they were doing when they started. They adapted themselves by learning new skills. So, does this excuse have any base?
Another excuse I commonly hear is this: ‘I don’t have enough funds to build a business’. Do you think funds are the important thing that makes a business succeed? That’s not true at all.
Many successful businesses started with zero-capital. What they did was this — they proved profitability of their idea and attracted investors. And when they executed the business as promised, investors were happy. When investors were happy they poured more money to start-up – then money was not an issue any more.
That’s, you don’t need too much funds to start a business. You only need an innovative idea. So, there goes your lack of funds excuse.
So, what we have learned here? Excuses are the false curtains of your mind. All of them are there to skew your perception. When you look past these false curtains, you will see many solutions.
This is especially true when you build your startup. There you will hear lot more excuses and complaints from your employees, investors and other people. Some of them would be genuine and some of them won’t be. Just look past through their false curtains and suggest actionable solutions. That’s the only way you could guarantee that your business succeeds.
As we saw, if you really want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must possess these qualities. You must be ready to do hard work, you must not procrastinate and you must be immune to excuses.
Now it’s Your Turn
What other qualities do you see in other successful entrepreneurs? Which quality do you think is the most important quality of a serious businessperson? Share you views with us…