This posting is excerpted from a speech EO speaker Jim Randel recently gave to EO New York.
Being an entrepreneur is tough … very tough. There are a myriad of reasons why some entrepreneurs make it big and others do not. In my speech, I spoke about the organic reasons why some business owners fall short of their goals. This message is not about capital or the economic climate; rather, it’s about those individual characteristics that keep some entrepreneurs performing below their potential.
Here are 10 reasons why some entrepreneurs underperform, along with the advice I gave to EO members during my presentation:
- Passion: If you don’t have it for what you are doing, find something else to do. Being an entrepreneur is just too hard if you do not feel very strongly about what you are doing.
- Physical and mental strength: If you think working hard is a 50-hour work week, please stay safe and sound under the covers of “a real job.”
- Self-doubt: If you do not think you are entitled to big success, and if you do not think that you have what it takes, do not become an entrepreneur. At times, you will be the only one who believes in you.
- Belief: Speaking of belief, if you do not believe your endeavor has a 1,000 percent chance of taking you to the moon, stay back on earth. Those who are tentative have no shot at reaching the moon.
- Foresight: Can you see around corners? Look for opportunities at the edges. Pick up a good business book, like “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, which argues for staying out of the red water—that place where everyone competes and mauls themselves—and diving into open, blue (uncharted) water.
- Guts: Do you have the stomach to persevere when you feel like a punching bag? Oftentimes, the difference between the successful person and the also-ran is that the success story got up off the ground one more time than the other.
- Failure: Are you prepared to fail? A big public, gut-wrenching failure? If not, you may be playing it too safe. Failure is almost a rite of passage to success. You need to see the difference between an event of failure and a conclusion to the story.
- Self-discipline: Do you have the willpower to make decisions for the right reasons? There are no guarantees of success, but one sure-fire way not to succeed is by making choices out of fatigue or frustration. You must be strong.
- Fairness: Are you hung up on the belief that life is fair? If so, forget about being an entrepreneur. The strong survive. That’s it. If you are expecting anything else, stick to something safer.
- Integrity: Yes, some jerks are big successes; however, in general, those who keep their commitments regardless of the people around them are more likely to succeed.
Jim Randel is the founder of “The Skinny On” book series— concise, illustrated books that cover important topics in an entertaining fashion. For more information, visit www.theskinnyon.com.