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The Ten Principles of Successful Entrepreneurship


Ask half-a-dozen successful businesspeople, and they’ll each give you a different set of principles for success. These are our ten; feel free to create your own list—it can be an enlightening and rewarding exercise.

  1. It’s all about selling. It’s hard to argue with this one—no sales, no money, no money, no business. Duh!

  2. It’s never about luck; it’s about hard work, planning, and perseverance. Sure, you may face unexpected competition, the economy might take a nosedive, and your primary supplier may go bankrupt. Still, those things happen to all entrepreneurs at one time or another, some survive, and others fold. The decisive factor is you.

  3. No vision, no future. If you have little idea of what you want to achieve, you’ll never know whether you’ve reached your goals or fallen short. Ignorance is not bliss. Wave that magic wand and imagine the future you want for your company. When you open your eyes to what could be, new opportunities, previously hidden from view, suddenly become road markers on the journey to success.

  4. Optimism is a powerful force. Indefatigable optimism, tinged with a sense of reality, will help you get up one more time than you got knocked down. Stick-to-it-ness is an often overlooked key to success.

  5. Don’t try to do it alone. Lead from behind. Hire good people who share your vision, and fill in the blanks in your resume. Then manage them with a light touch.

  6. Give customers what they want and need, not what you want them to want and need. Solve their problems, and they will help you reach your sales targets.

  7. Change is inevitable, and it will often be difficult. Plan for it, expect it and embrace it.

  8. Profit is mandatory. Plan to make money and never apologize for the price you need to charge, as long as it is fair. Remember, it is your responsibility to make money for your company.

  9. Make technology your friend. We are in the middle of the fourth industrial revolution, and change is constant, especially regarding new ways of doing business and interacting with customers. Don’t be a Luddite.

  10. Treat customers as your most valuable asset. Number one on this list was It’s all about selling, and we commented that no sales equal no money; let’s take it a step further—if there are no customers, you have no sales. Treat customers like valuable treasures; remember, they always have options.

It would be easy to add another twenty principles to this list, and we recommend you do just that. The more compass points you add to your entrepreneurship journey, the more likely you will reach your destination unscathed and wealthier.


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