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The Most Successful Entrepreneurs are Middle-Aged

The Most Successful Entrepreneurs are Middle-Aged

Here’s refreshing news for Boomers and Gen Xers, especially women considering starting businesses after 50 (who I’ve been writing about this year): When it comes to launching a successful business, youth is not the magic elixir.

“Successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young,” according to Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship, a paper by Pierre Azoulay and J. Daniel Kim of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, Benjamin Jones of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and Javier Miranda of the Census Bureau’s Center for Administrative Records Research.

Most Successful Entrepreneurs: Middle Age and Beyond

“We find that age indeed predicts success, and sharply, but in the opposite way that many observers and investors propose, they wrote. “The highest success rates in entrepreneurship come from founders in middle age and beyond.”

The provocative paper published earlier this year may stun some people, but not me. It confirms what I’ve found studying and interviewing midlife entrepreneurs for more than a decade; I profiled successful launchers in my book What’s Next?

Refuting the Conventional Wisdom

The paper’s authors said: “Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade and find no evidence to suggest that founders in their 20s are especially likely to succeed. Rather, all evidence points to founders being especially successful when starting businesses in middle age or beyond, while young founders appear disadvantaged.”

While the authors parsed their research by age, geography and industry, I was disappointed they didn’t tease out data on gender; more on that shortly.

The study’s researchers calculated a mean age of 45 among the 1,700 founders of the fastest-growing new ventures. And they found the “batting average” for creating successful firms rises dramatically with age. “A 50-year-old founder is 1.8 times more likely to achieve upper-tail growth than a 30-year-old founder,” they wrote.

Older Entrepreneurs Vs. Younger Ones

As my colleague Richard Eisenberg noted in his Next Avenue column, research from The Kauffman Foundation, a nonpartisan group supporting entrepreneurship, backs the researchers analysis. In its 2018 State of Entrepreneurship survey of 2,165 business, older entrepreneurs reported having less difficulty starting their businesses than younger ones, in a variety of ways.

For example, while 32% of startup owners under 45 said obtaining the necessary licenses to operate their business was difficult, only 23% of older ones did. And 21% of those under 45 said applying for loans was difficult, but a mere 14% of those 45+ did.

The authors of Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship theorize that there are few reasons an older entrepreneur may reap the benefits of start-up success over a younger one. These include: greater management, marketing and finance experience as well as a richer, deeper knowledge of an industry. Also — and this is important — they may have larger financial resources to tap and more social networks to mine for support in leveraging their idea.

The Importance of Work Experience for Successful Ventures

That said, they explained in a Harvard Business Review post about the study, “we found that work experience plays a critical role. Relative to founders with no relevant experience, those with at least three years of prior work experience in the same narrow industry as their startup were 85% more likely to launch a highly successful startup.”

Since I’m particularly interested in women entrepreneurs over 50, I contacted MIT professor Azoulay and asked if he could speculate on whether the results would be as true, or truer, for women midlife founders than for men. “We do not have any evidence on gender, so we cannot enlighten you, very sorry,” he replied.

What About Women Entrepreneurs?

Frankly, I’m surprised the gender discussion was left on the table. I regularly receive emails and calls from women interested in starting businesses and looking for guidance. Generally, they’re over 50. The number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has more than doubled in 20 years, and women are starting an average of 849 new businesses per day. There are now 11.6 million women-owned businesses, employing nearly 9 million and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue.

So I’ll take a stab at the question myself. My unscientific prediction is that if gender had been part of the research findings, middle-age and older female entrepreneurs would have risen to the top of the charts in performance over time.

Here’s why: As I wrote in this recent post, after 50 can be a great time in life for women to launch companies. “Research shows that women’s confidence at work increases with age while at the same time, their family responsibilities — especially related to child bearing and rearing — decrease,” Kimberly A. Eddleston, a professor of entrepreneurship and innovation at Northeastern University and a senior editor on the EIX Editorial Board of the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, told me. “This makes entrepreneurship over 50 a great idea and a possibility.”

Midlife Women and Entrepreneurial Mojo

Another compelling reason midlife women have entrepreneurial mojo: “With their greater work experience and confidence, such women are more likely to see opportunities for a new business — customers whose needs are not being filled and gaps in product categories,” Eddleston said. “In turn, their work experience often gives them the networks to successfully launch a business at this career stage. They also often have the financial resources to support a new business.”

Sanyin Siang, author of The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career, told me that women have a few advantages over men as entrepreneurs. For one thing, they’re connectors. “We tend to have a diverse network,” she said. “That’s a diversity in terms of people with different backgrounds.”

Another advantage, according to Siang: Women tend to be open to “collaborative entrepreneurship.” That’s a terrific asset, but one that many would-be business owners dismiss.

“There is this idea that when we are starting something, we have to do it alone, to be the front and center person for it,” said Siang.  In reality, she noted, “to succeed, you need to expand your thinking about what your gifts and talents are. It might not be you running that company. You might come up with the idea and partner up with someone who is much better than you at execution and implementation. That’s collaboration, and something that comes naturally for many women.”

David Deeds, the Schulze Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, concurred.  “Entrepreneurship is a team sport, and women are good at working with others. That gives them a little advantage.”

Serious Concerns for Women Entrepreneurs

We hear a lot about sexism against businesswomen and a lack of capital for women-owned enterprises. And both of these are serious concerns. Nevertheless, experts I’ve interviewed have consistently told me that decades of workplace experience can make a big difference in whether womens’ businesses thrive. “The added work experience and the associated boost to their self-confidence significantly assists in the development of their businesses,” says Eddleston.

And women in mid- to late-career generally have more capital of their own to invest in their businesses than younger ones. “The ability to invest more capital provides a substantial advantage to these businesses,” Eddleston says.

Struggles in Year One

That doesn’t mean it’s easy for women owners. In the first year of owning a business, female entrepreneurs appear to struggle more than men, according to The Kauffman Foundation. Only 52% of women with first-year startups said their ventures performed well last year, while 67% of men said theirs did. The difference, however, fades over time. Among businesses that are five years old or older, 77% of women and 77% of men said their company performed well last year.

So my advice to mid-life female entrepreneurs or wannabes: Stay the course.

As Maya Angelou said: “All great achievements require time”

 

Originally posted on Forbes by Kerry Hannon

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

5 Tips for Starting a Successful Business

When you start your own business, you’re certain to hear a lot of different advice. Most of it will come from people who don’t know the first thing about running a successful company. Turn to the internet, and you’ll be overwhelmed by a multitude of articles and lengthy lists on the subject. Don’t make the mistake of overthinking and overanalyzing it all. A few simple steps now can start your business down the path toward success. Here, we outline the five basic tips we’ve followed to help us run our company.

1. Begin with a detailed plan.

This one is a must: Develop an in-depth plan that fully details how you’ll attack the challenge ahead. Your plan should define any opportunities you’ve identified, clearly state your mission, describe your target, establish measurable goals, and set deadlines for each milestone along the way. Remember that while it’s important to have a plan, it’s equally vital to be flexible enough to pivot when needed.

2. Get out there and network.

Our business would not be where it is today without all the professional networking we did when we first started. We continue to emphasize networking today. Until you’ve established your business, you’ll need to create your own word-of-mouth. Be your own brand ambassador, touting the benefits of working with your business and showing why people should give you a chance.

Start your own momentum. A wealth of events, trade shows, and networking groups exist to connect you with other professionals. These initial connections can lead to future business prospects, mentors, and strategic partners with the capacity to help grow your business.

3. Surround yourself with the right people.

The right mentors and strategic partners aren’t the only people with whom you’ll need to align. Surrounding yourself with a great team is equally important. Build your staff with smart, talented, and driven employees who share your vision. They can not only transform your business but also accelerate its growth. Hiring positive, can-do employees helps create a culture that encourages teamwork. Foster an environment in which everyone participates, so you can collectively celebrate your company’s successes.

4. Stay ahead of the curve.

You can’t afford to be rooted in the present and solely focused on the day-to-day. It’s crucial to keep one eye focused on the future, including upcoming movement in your industry. If you aren’t anticipating the next big thing, you’re destined to fall behind. Successful business owners study trends and anticipate what’s coming around the bend. This allows them to nimbly adapt and evolve.

Stay current on emerging issues in your field by faithfully reading trade magazines and websites. Keeping pace as your industry changes assures you’ll have your finger on the pulse to predict what customers will want — and which direction your competition might move.

5. Find a healthy work-life balance.

Running a successful business requires an inordinate amount of time and energy. It’s paramount to find a healthy work-life balance, even though it can be a challenge to do so. It’s easy to let work dominate your life. Don’t. It could result in your losing touch with those whom you consider most important. It’s also crucial to take care of your own health and well-being. Your business can’t run without you. You might believe you need that perpetual hustle to stay sharp and succeed. But that pace can and will burn you out, ultimately limiting how much you can achieve if you don’t take time for yourself.

Find ways to maintain perspective and preserve healthy relationships outside of work. Set aside time to get your body active in ways that energize and invigorate you, and schedule catch-up time with friends and family. They’ll help recharge your batteries and inspire you to persevere as you dream even bigger.

 

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Stephanie Abrams Cartin

11 Things Ultra-Productive People Do Differently

11 Things Ultra-Productive People Do Differently

When it comes to productivity, we all face the same challenge—there are only 24 hours in a day.

Yet some people seem to have twice the time; they have an uncanny ability to get things done. Even when juggling multiple projects, they reach their goals without fail.

“Time is really the only capital that any human being has, and the only thing he can’t afford to lose. –Thomas Edison”

We all want to get more out of life. There’s arguably no better way to accomplish this than by finding ways to do more with the precious time you’ve been given.

It feels incredible when you leave the office after an ultra-productive day. It’s a workplace high that’s hard to beat.

With the right approach, you can make this happen every day.

You don’t need to work longer or push yourself harder—you just need to work smarter.

Ultra-productive people know this. As they move through their days they rely on productivity hacks that make them far more efficient. They squeeze every drop out of every hour without expending any extra effort.

The best thing about these hacks is they’re easy to implement. So easy that you can begin using them today.

Give them a read, give them a whirl, and watch your productivity soar.

1. They Never Touch Things Twice

Productive people never put anything in a holding pattern, because touching things twice is a huge time-waster. Don’t save an email or a phone call to deal with later. As soon as something gets your attention you should act on it, delegate it or delete it.

2. They Get Ready for Tomorrow Before They Leave the Office

Productive people end each day by preparing for the next. This practice accomplishes two things: it helps you solidify what you’ve accomplished today, and it ensures you’ll have a productive tomorrow. It only takes a few minutes and it’s a great way to end your workday.

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned. –Benjamin Franklin”

3. They Eat Frogs

“Eating a frog” is the best antidote for procrastination, and ultra-productive people start each morning with this tasty treat. In other words, they do the least appetizing, most dreaded item on their to-do list before they do anything else. After that, they’re freed up to tackle the stuff that excites and inspires them.

4. They Fight The Tyranny Of The Urgent

The tyranny of the urgent refers to the tendency of little things that have to be done right now to get in the way of what really matters. This creates a huge problem as urgent actions often have little impact.

If you succumb to the tyranny of the urgent, you can find yourself going days, or even weeks, without touching the important stuff. Productive people are good at spotting when putting out fires is getting in the way of their performance, and they’re willing to ignore or delegate the things that get in the way of real forward momentum.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst. –William Penn”

5. They Stick to the Schedule During Meetings

Meetings are the biggest time waster there is. Ultra-productive people know that a meeting will drag on forever if they let it, so they inform everyone at the onset that they’ll stick to the intended schedule. This sets a limit that motivates everyone to be more focused and efficient.

“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. –Michael Altshuler”

6. They Say No

No is a powerful word that ultra-productive people are not afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, they avoid phrases such as I don’t think I can or I’m not certain. Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Learn to use no, and it will lift your mood, as well as your productivity.

7. They Only Check E-mail At Designated Times

Ultra-productive people don’t allow e-mail to be a constant interruption. In addition to checking e-mail on a schedule, they take advantage of features that prioritize messages by sender. They set alerts for their most important vendors and their best customers, and they save the rest until they reach a stopping point. Some people even set up an autoresponder that lets senders know when they’ll be checking their e-mail again.

8. They Don’t Multitask

Ultra-productive people know that multitasking is a real productivity killer. Research conducted at Stanford University confirms that multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. The researchers found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information cannot pay attention, recall information or switch from one job to another as well as those who complete one task at a time.

But what if some people have a special gift for multitasking? The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers—those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance—were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch.

Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully.

9. They Go off The Grid

Don’t be afraid to go off grid when you need to. Give one trusted person a number to call in case of emergency, and let that person be your filter. Everything has to go through them, and anything they don’t clear has to wait. This strategy is a bulletproof way to complete high-priority projects.

“One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week. –Charles Richards”

10. They Delegate

Ultra-productive people accept the fact that they’re not the only smart, talented person in their organization. They trust people to do their jobs so that they can focus on their own.

11. They Put Technology to Work for Them

Technology catches a lot of flak for being a distraction, but it can also help you focus. Ultra-productive people put technology to work for them. Beyond setting up filters in their e-mail accounts so that messages are sorted and prioritized as they come in, they use apps like IFTTT, which sets up contingencies on your smart phone and alerts you when something important happens. This way, when your stock hits a certain price or you have an email from your best customer, you’ll know it. There’s no need to be constantly checking your phone for status updates.

Bringing It All Together

We’re all searching for ways to be more efficient and productive. I hope these strategies help you to find that extra edge.

 

 

Originally posted on TalentSmart.com by Travis Bradberry, PhD

8 Traits of Exceptional Character That Lead to Happiness and Success

8 Traits of Exceptional Character That Lead to Happiness and Success

There is nothing more valuable to any team or company than people of good character. These types of people hold traits within themselves that separate them from others. When hiring, the one thing we want to look for is an idea of their character.

If we hire a person with substandard character but who can produce, we may benefit financially but will deal with a host of problems caused by their poor character that become more of a headache than it’s worth. We want to hire and work alongside people who can produce but who also demonstrate exceptional character. In my new book Success Equations: A Path to Living an Emotionally Wealthy Life, I discuss the importance of exceptional character. Here are some of the traits I define.

1. Honest

At the core of any person with good character is honesty. They do their work clean, according to what is right, and never cheat or lie to get ahead of the curve. People with good character are who they say they are and deliver what has been promised by them and expected of them. Honesty is what separates the activator from the procrastinator, the dreamer from the doer, and the successful from the non-successful. When it comes to character, we are not what we think, we are not what we say, we are what we do.

2. Survivor

Character is largely developed from suffering the trials and errors of life. Survivors stick, they don’t quit. People of exceptional character do not quit when times get tough, nor do they treat others terribly when things don’t go their way. People who possess exceptional character have the faith and tough-mindedness to stay in the grind and get things accomplished regardless of the odds. There is a lot to be said about staying power. The more others quit under the same stressors, the more opportunity and grit the person of good character has to make sure to secure what they set out to achieve.

3. Lover

People of good character are loving people. They take the time to care. They understand that when people feel cared for they will do almost anything for them. In reality, there is no way to fake genuine caring. It has a completely different vibe than “selling” or “convincing.” People of good character impact others as deeply as they do and people want to work along side them because of their loving and genuine nature. When we work around, for or with people who are caring there is less absenteeism, fewer missed or canceled meetings and higher rates of productivity because people enjoy working around those who raise their morale.

4. Leader

When people possess good character, leadership is the natural side effect. People want to follow those who have suffered, those who possess self-awareness, patience and the ability to rise above. No matter their title in the business world, people of exceptional character draw a following with word of mouth supporting and promoting their reputation as someone others should invest in learning from and working with. When a person’s character is authentic, they live with a quiet resolve about them that others feel compelled to trust, emulate and follow.

5. Elegant

Self-control is one the most powerful traits of people who possess exceptional character. They have a calm demeaner as demonstrated in their ability to be patient and listen to others. It takes a certain amount of self-control to listen rather than talk. It is this elegant nature of those with good character that not only makes them a bit mysterious but also so interesting to others. People of good character recognize that gentleness is their greatest strength. They are above the pettiness of right and wrong when in conflict or facing challenge. They are more interested in finding the path to the solution that involves inclusion and innovation; ideas given by everyone.

6. Hard worker

Good character and hard work go hand in hand. None of us are born with good character. Good character is developed over time and through the virtues of hard work and commitment. We cannot develop our character without having to work hard and to suffer through times of conflict and challenge. The reason hard work develops character is because it is the only thing that can outdo and outlast both genius and talent.

7. Helper

More than anything, people of good character are deeply driven to help others. They do not view success and selfishness as being at all compatible. Once person’s success is also another’s. The greatest thing people of good character believe in and do is help others succeed. These types of people will jump in and help in any way they can, especially when it is good for the team. Success is never viewed as a one-man position. Success is always a team effort.

8. Inspire

Perhaps the greatest standout quality of people with exceptional character is how they inspire others nearly effortlessly. They don’t often need to be center stage or the person who’s getting all the attention; rather, they are the calm force who people listen to when they talk. Everything about these types of people make them stand out from the rest. Their most notable traits being great composure and smart decision-making.

Possessing exceptional character is more than being praised for our talent or intellect. Those are things common to all. We each have our intellectual gifts and unique talents. Those who possess good character stand out from the rest in the honing of their skills and intellect, making sure to use it for good rather than self-promotion. Good character is not given to us, like talents and IQ. It is something people have to cultivate though thought, choice, courage, commitment and dogged determination.

 

 

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Sherrie Campbell

11 Quotes on Life and Love From Barbara Bush

11 Quotes on Life and Love From Barbara Bush

When former First Lady Barbara Bush penned her autobiography, her editor placed limits on the frequency with which she could use the words “close friend,” “wonderful” (once per page) and “precious” (once per chapter). She was widely known for her loving nature, her positive outlook on life and her sharp wit. “Not bad to have had a life that was filled with wonderful people and happenings, precious family, and many close friends,” she pointedly wrote on the first page of her memoir.

In honor of Bush’s passing on Tuesday at age 92, here are some of her most enduring pieces of wisdom — and a few trademark zingers — about literacy, love and life.

On life:

“Love brings a tear. Friends bring a tear. A smile, sweetness, even a kind word brings a tear. In a life of privilege there are lots of tears.” (From her autobiography, 1994)

“Whether you are talking about education, career or service, you are talking about life … and life really must have joy. It’s supposed to be fun!” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)

“You have two choices in life: You can like what you do, or you can dislike it. I have chosen to like it.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)

On potential:

“If human beings are perceived as potentials rather than problems, as possessing strengths instead of weaknesses, as unlimited rather that dull and unresponsive, then they thrive and grow to their capabilities.” (From the George H.W. Bush Library Center)

On literacy:

“Believe in something larger than yourself… Get involved in some of the big ideas of our time. I chose literacy because I honestly believe that if more people could read, write and comprehend, we would be that much closer to solving so many of the problems that plague our nation and our society.” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)

“The home is the child’s first school, the parent is the child’s first teacher, and reading is the child’s first subject.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)

On travel:

“One of the many things we have learned in all our travels is that it’s the people who count… Most people everywhere are interesting, and if you can’t find a friend, then maybe there is something wrong with you.” (From her autobiography, 1994)

On George H.W. Bush:

“I married the first man I ever kissed. When I tell this to my children, they just about throw up.” (From the Barbara Pierce Bush online memorial)

“One of the reasons I made the most important decision of my life … to marry George Bush … is because he made me laugh. It’s true, sometimes we’ve laughed through our tears … but that shared laughter has been one of our strongest bonds.” (From her Wellesley College commencement address, 1990)

“Once, when George and I were visiting after we were married, Mother asked him not to go to the bathroom at night because he woke her up when he flushed the toilet. George, already inventive at 21 years of age, went out the window!” (From her autobiography, 1994)

“He is my hero.” (From her autobiography, 1994)

 

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Hayden Field

4 Ways to Reinvent Yourself After Hitting Rock Bottom

4 Ways to Reinvent Yourself After Hitting Rock Bottom

I sat down with entrepreneur David Schloss to learn just that. David Schloss’ expertise is Facebook advertising. But in 2014, at age 25, he nearly became completely irrelevant. It had been a tough year. Things weren’t clicking. On Halloween that year, David had zero dollars in his bank account. He was only 72 hours away from either coming up with his rent payment or getting kicked out. His car was two weeks away from getting impounded. It felt like walls were closing in. His business was crumbling. In this period of confusion, anxiety, self-doubt, and worry, David was a single decision away from committing “career suicide,” and going back to a 9-to-5 day job.

Thankfully, for David, he turned things around. He didn’t go back to being an employee. Instead, he navigated through the tough time and today is the proud owner of a successful and thriving company. What changed? How did this one entrepreneur break through? How did he get up from his rock bottom? Here are four keys entrepreneurs can use to make it through the tough time, get on track, and rise up in business and life.

1. Let yourself be vulnerable.

Sometimes we hit walls. We struggle. Sometimes we lose. Too often as entrepreneurs, we hide those struggles. The problem is, if you don’t let yourself be real and vulnerable when you’re struggling, you will actually hold yourself back from progressing through the tough time.

In David’s period of uncertainty, being vulnerable proved to be a powerful key in his turnaround. David had hundreds of business friends on Facebook. Realizing he needed help, David reached out to every last one of them for advice and guidance. Two things happened. First, he discovered that he wasn’t alone — many other entrepreneurs had gone through similar things. That helped him develop confidence that he could get through it too. Second, they gave him actionable advice to get on the right track.

Had David stayed “closed up,” he wouldn’t have had the support he needed from others to help him move forward. When you’re in a tough spot, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Sharing the struggle is the bravest thing you can do. Being vulnerable isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of strength.

2. Develop a vision.

Ask yourself, “What do I want to create?”

It’s difficult to know if you’re progressing when you don’t know where you’re going. Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, writes about beginning with the end in mind. Know where you want to end up at the beginning of the trip. Reverse engineer what you want to do and where you want to go. That will become your North Star guiding your direction.

David developed a vision for the future he wanted to create. He used the advice from his colleagues to help him get super clear on his vision and direction. It’s that vision got him get out of bed in the morning and motivated his work.

Vision is critical. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

3. Create an action plan.

Vision is where you’re going, action is what gets you there. You’ve heard “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” While that’s true, there’s an important distinction to be made — your plan must be based on “action” instead of based on “results.”

In my first book, Fish Out of Water, I explain how successful “sharks” focus on what’s inside their control, vs. outside their control. While the result is not always directly within your control, action is.

David got clear on where he wanted to go, then made a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly plan of action of how he was going to get there. To him, success wasn’t based on the amount of money he made; it was based on the actions he took to make that money. He believed that if he took the right actions, results would come as a byproduct of those actions — and they did.

Decide what you want, then focus on the thing you can control to get there. Focus on action.

4. Persist.

It’s no surprise that things don’t always go the way we planned. Persistence is a decision to keep moving towards the vision no matter the hiccups along the way. It’s not just doing “what it takes.” It’s doing “whatever it takes.” It’s falling down, and getting up again anyway. Life is like a chess game. You create a plan and a strategy, but how you win will not be the exact way you planned. Why? There are many unknown variables. It’s continuing to take the action, and not turning back.

Things didn’t abruptly become sunshine and roses while David was in the day-to-day grind, but he persisted no matter what. That’s why he is where he is today. Planning is what gets you moving, persistence is what keeps you going.

Entrepreneurship is an exciting adventure and a fulfilling journey, not just a satisfying destination. It’s not just about where we are going, but who we become throughout the process. David began to realize he wasn’t even the same person anymore. He was changing. It was like he was a butterfly now and, while he didn’t know it at the time, the low point was his metamorphosis.

As I talked about in a recent podcast interview, often times it’s the struggle that turns us into a great entrepreneur. So just remember, when you’re in a tough spot as an entrepreneur, it only means you’re being reborn into the new you. The exciting question is, what will your metamorphosis look like?

 

Originally posted on Entrepreneur.com by Calvin Wayman

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