In 2018, the number of new businesses registered dropped for the first time in eighteen years. With disconcerting statistics circulating the web as to the growing number of start-ups that quickly fail, it is easy to understand why fewer people are taking the plunge into entrepreneurship.
For those that do, they quickly learn that business is a hard and challenging game, which demands the majority of your time to get right. However, for every story of business failure, there are multiple examples of success.
That said, what makes one business leader more successful than another? And how can the common pitfalls of entrepreneurship be avoided?
For me, it comes down to one clear thing: Mindset:
1. Turn-up your mindset
When starting out in business, all entrepreneurs have a clear goal in mind – that goal often develops or changes, but in most, there is a vision and an endpoint.
When times get challenging – because they will – it will seem as though this endpoint is so far out of reach, it is practically impossible. It is at this stage that many entrepreneurs throw in the towel and quit, believing that they will never achieve their own version of success.
However, to be successful in business, you need to learn to love the journey – the good and the bad. When you do, you will be able to work through and embrace the hurdles, knowing that they are just bumps in your own business road that will enable you to achieve your goals.
We all hear these stories of born entrepreneurs who created an empire of lemonade stands from the age of 4. However, these stories in themselves can be off-putting for aspiring business leaders, too scared to take the leap, due to believing they don’t have the right experience to build a successful business. But this is where they are going wrong.
2. Set up success as your end goal
To create a successful business, you have to first condition your mindset for success, believing that it is, in fact, possible. Tactics such as visualisation exercises are used by leading athletes and sports stars across the globe, who spend time visualising their wins before achieving them.
This same process can be replicated in business, where it has been proven that those who use tools such as ‘Mind Changers’ to help visualise their success are those far more likely to be successful. The key thing to realise here is that there has been no change in skillset, but rather establishing a firm belief that they will – without a doubt – achieve their goals.
3. Get to grips with failure
There is a great speech by Will Smith, where he outlines that in order to successful, you need to get comfortable with failure. Why? Because failure is perceived as something negative – for many, the point at which you quit. In business and in entrepreneurship you will fail a lot.
You will fail weekly or even daily, and sometimes those failures can be quickly compensated and in others, they will be catastrophic.
4. Learn from your mistakes – and succeed
However, the entrepreneurs who use failure as an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and to develop their business, are those who will continuously innovate, develop and eventually succeed. As Thomas Edison famously said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Ultimately, being successful in business does come down to skill and intelligence. You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you don’t believe you will be successful and shy away from working through tough challenges, then you won’t be.
Having been in business for many years, this, I think, is the main pitfall of entrepreneurship. The good news, however, is that you can work on changing your mindset at any point – it’s yours for the taking.
Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest from Business Advice.