Success is something every entrepreneur is chasing day and night. And while it can be amazing to see your goals and dreams manifest themselves into reality, there's a hidden side to the world of success that newbie entrepreneurs and success-seekers should be aware of.
In less than three years I went from being broke and living on my sister's couch to creating a multimillion-dollar business which continues to grow each day. The lessons I've learned along the way have given me an appreciation and love for entrepreneurship, but they have also taught me that success is not easy. If success were easy we'd see more people with multimillion-dollar companies on autopilot.
This is the road less traveled.
Here are three things you'll need to prepare yourself for on the road to leading and growing your company, and to capturing your success:
1. Be prepared to reinvent yourself.
My childhood dream was to become a professional athlete. But after shattering my wrist during my first season in the AFL (Arena Football League), I realized that I was going to need a new dream. That's how I became an entrepreneur.
Whatever your business may be, and no matter how successful you are today, there may come a time when you'll need to let it go and start over. Every successful business and entrepreneur needs to reinvent itself from time to time. The trick is to remember that success is not tied to a single goal, destination or even a title. Your success is what you choose to make of your circumstances, talents and limitations. Anyone can start exactly where they are and exactly with what they have.
2. Sacrifices are required.
Everything has its price, and the price of success will require you to sacrifice your comforts.
It's easy to read about entrepreneurship or watch a TED talk on YouTube and feel inspired. But there's a huge difference between the person who feels inspired and the person who actually gets down to work. As my mentor once told me, "There's no such thing as million-dollar ideas. There are only million-dollar executions."
Stop worrying about someone stealing your great idea, or waiting until you get your logo just right. Get up early, stay up late and kick your vices to the curb. Your only preoccupation is to serve your customers with excellence and value.
3. You're going to attract haters.
It's impossible to achieve any level of success in business, or even your personal life, without attracting haters. For whatever reason, the moment you begin to achieve any level of success and momentum you'll suddenly find that people will want to share their opinion about you and your success. And if you're not careful, just one negative comment or e-mail from these naysayers can easily ruin your day -- if you let it.
The trick is learning how to put these statements in context. Ask yourself, "Is this person a customer or just someone with an opinion?" A lot of times people will watch your business from the sideline and offer their opinion. As a responsible entrepreneur, you get to acknowledge not only where it's coming from, but also the intention.
Or maybe the person is a client of yours and for whatever reason he or she has become disgruntled. Do what you can to make things right, but don't allow one negative review or email to overshadow all of the positive work you've done. Remember, it's impossible to become all things to all people. The moment you try to please everyone, you'll no longer have a business that stands out.