Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

5 Pieces of Advice for a Startup Entrepreneur

The path to becoming a successful entrepreneur is full of obstacles. Here are some helpful tips that can help you achieve your goals.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting out as an entrepreneur can be a frightening experience. Even those with the best of ideas are going to be discouraged, and it will seem as though you have to overcome an avalanche of odds to gain success.

Richard Branson is an example of how someone overcame the odds. With great self confidence, Branson became a successful entrepreneur and one of the wealthiest men in the world. Branson has discussed his struggles with dyslexia and how he did not do well in school. On his last day of school, he was told by the headmaster that he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire.

"My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them... From the perspective of wanting to live life to the fullest, I felt that I had to attempt it," Branson wrote in his autobiography, Losing My Virginity.

Branson overcame the odds and so can you. Here are five pieces of advice to help you succeed as a startup entrepreneur.

1. Birds of a feather flock together

Your friends will define you.

But who are your friends? Business philosopher Jim Rohn once said that every individual is an average of at least five people who they spend most time of their life with. You will take after the life pattern of people you associate with — without even knowing that it is happening.

You may abandon your dream to copy theirs. However, surrounding yourself with intelligent people will drive you towards intelligent thinking. If you spent too long among negative people, it won't be long before you join their mindset. Stop killing your brain.

2. Put your brain to work

Training your brain involves activity. When monks sit calm on the floor, all of their attention goes toward working with their minds. A brain that is left on its own becomes dull over time. Do something to excite your brain, do something new — learn and use the brain wisely.

The more the brain is put to work daily, the better it will perform for you. Learning should be a continuous process in life. Learn new ways of getting around tasks you engage in at the workplace or business.

Training our brain to perform better doesn't stop with eating good food or putting it to task. Let your brain get sufficient rest to rejuvenate, and play games to keep the brain happy and active. Training your brain will not come in a snap — it takes active steps and consistency to get there. Focus is key.

3. Take charge and manage your fears

We all experience fear — it's nothing out of the ordinary. Believing and holding onto negativity is the fight you have to engage against while manage your fears. You can be brave while still being afraid.

The great freedom fighter Nelson Mandela recounted this while he was in prison. Being courageous and brave during the apartheid era, Mandela said bravery is not in the absence of fear. Treat anxiety and fear as obstacles to overcome in reaching your goals in life.

4. Build a habit around your passion

Forming a habit around how you see yourself can help your focus level. A daily routine, in this case, is a great way to keep a habit that will drive you along the path of your dream. Keeping focused is a conscious, progressive step you take every day.

Can you make a routine from what you want to do? That skill may have eluded you for so long because you kept thinking about it without actively doing something related to it. It's never too late to start.

5. Remember your goal

Think back to why you chose your career path. What was your rationale? Did you start the business because you wanted to be self employed? Where did things get off track? Along the way, keep your goal in mind.

If your goal is getting cloudy, you might need to clarify it once again. It could be that a more committed lifestyle will help you achieve the goals which you desired for your business in the beginning.

You can't keep your focus on your passion if you don't work on yourself. The thing is, you might be the problem, and you shouldn't shy away from helping yourself get back on the focused path. Be strong and build a mindset that will keep you on the path toward what you dreamed of.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks