In August of 2012 an article by Naveen Jain appeared online that enumerated the 10 Secrets of Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur. That article can be found here: http://www.inc.com/naveen-jain/10-secrets-of-becoming-a-successful-entrepreneur.html?nav=pop. Although the title is filled with hype to catch the reader’s attention to read the article, there are certain traits that are universal. Being successful at anything is not easy; 10 guide points won’t give you the secret formula. However a few of the points are worth noting, as they are truisms repeated many times by business coaches, self help authors and mentors.
The most important item is honesty and integrity. This item ranked second in the article. This writer believes it is first; without those two factors, nothing else matters as stated in the IBD ten Secrets to Success (see http://news.investors.com/management-leaders-in-success/041904-397347-learn-to-analyze-details-origin-of-the-10-secrets.htm). The entrepreneur’s honesty and integrity set the tone for the business and guide the employees, vendors and customers in how business is conducted. In the longterm, crooks and cheats really do not win.
The second most important “secret” is giving back, ranking number one in the article. Giving back means “just giving.” The universe is a giving place and is very generous to those who think of only giving. This writer has discovered that giving without the expectation of a payback results in opportunities and returns far in excess of the value given.
The third “secret” in my book and ranked number 3 by the author, is Execution. The simple phrase that Nike trademarked so well, Just Do It! Here is how Mr. Jain made the point:
“Success doesn’t necessarily come from breakthrough innovation but from flawless execution. A great strategy alone won’t win a game or a battle; the win comes from basic blocking and tackling. All of us have seen entrepreneurs who waste too much time writing business plans and preparing PowerPoints. I believe that a business plan is too long if it’s more than one page. Besides, things never turn out exactly the way you envisioned them. No matter how much time you spend perfecting the plan, you still have to adapt according to the ground realities. You’re going to learn a lot more useful information from taking action rather than hypothesizing.”
Next, the secret is your TEAM! Success is always a team effort; entrepreneurs have certain competencies just like all humans. Use each person’s strengths and recognize your own strengths to build a winning organization. I can’t get over the number of times the owner thinks they can do it all, then they fail or have a nervous breakdown.
Finally, I will group the balance of the formula as one item even though Mr. Jain listed these as two separate items. Passion and hard work go hand in hand. You have to work hard to be successful but that only occurs when you are passionate about what you do. If you do not have the fire in the belly to do what you do, the motivation, drive and perseverance will never surface.
These aren’t “secrets” at all, just common sense points that every successful entrepreneur can identify with. Measure them against what drives you and you can measure your success.