The single most important quality every entrepreneur needs
I'm often asked for my top business tips, and after five years of growing a successful business there are many I could share. But I always find myself coming back to the same one: the single most important quality every entrepreneur needs.
Over the past five years of running my own business, I've seen entrepreneurs come and go. I've seen average ideas grown into financially successful enterprises. And I've seen brilliant startups quietly disappear.
And it's made me realise that the most important thing in growing a financially profitable business (AND one you enjoy running) isn't a brilliant, ground-breaking concept. It's not starting with a big budget. And it's not having endless hours in the day and other opportunities handed to you on the plate.
Because it doesn't matter how hard you work, or what advantages you start out with, there will come a time (many in fact) when you'll face the abyss.
I've not met an entrepreneur yet who hasn't launched a failed product or service. Who hasn't been dealt a devastating blow. Who hasn't faced weeks of disappointing results. Who hasn't felt disheartened, rejected, hopeless and completely alone at some point.
Trust me, I've had a few of these moments myself over the past five years. And I'm sure I have many to come. They're part and parcel of running your own business.
But what separates the 'successes' from the 'failures' is your ability to take disappointment and failure on the chin and bounce back. Of course you'll have your moments of self-pity. Or wallowing in doubt and fear you'll ever make it work. But once that moment has passed you pick yourself up and carry on. It's the only way.
For me, in moments like that I focus on simple, positive steps that move my business forward, even if it's in a tiny way. And I look for things I need to change or improve. One thing that has ALWAYS worked for me is investing in coaching; nothing has made a bigger difference to my business.
I'm also (as my family would happily tell you!) doggedly stubborn. And that drive and determination has served me well in beating the odds in growing a successful business (according to Fortune, 9 out of 10 startups will fail).
So if you're in the early stages of running your business, or even still contemplating launching one, don't worry if you have bad days, weeks or even months. And try not to be distracted by the seeming success of your competitors.
In the long run (and growing a successful business is a marathon, not a sprint) none of that will really count. All that really matters is you, and your ability to recover from difficulties and adapt.
It's your resilience that really matters, and that will probably decide your fate as an entrepreneur. And the best thing about that? It doesn't require a large budget to buy, nor years of study to understand. You just need to dig deep and find it. It's waiting inside of you, right now.