Running your own company is immensely gratifying but also terrifying. There is no better feeling than watching your vision take off and become a living, breathing entity that changes your life and those around you. I believe running your own company is like being a professional athlete.
Many of us look up to professional athletes, fantasizing about being in their shoes, in all their moments of glory. However, many don’t often think about is the enormous amount of dedication, willpower and the failures that they had to overcome to achieve success. Strangely enough, this same phenomenon occurs when people look up to entrepreneurs.
Just like athletes, entrepreneurs have a coveted acquired skill (can you build a hugely successful company from scratch). But most importantly, as entrepreneurs have the same grit, drive and determination that we don’t always hear about. This tenacity is what enables us to surpass the competition and create successful companies.
People want the grand end results, but they don’t think about all the gut wrenching steps involved or take into consideration all the unpredictable roadblocks and failures along the way. Everybody wants to be like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson, but not everyone wants to put in the hard work and obsession-like resolve to get there.
Starting and running a business — and all of the stress and mental anxiety — is similar to that feeling you get when you push yourself past your breaking point when you are running the last 6 miles of a marathon. It’s that nauseous, can’t-make-it-any-further-without-dying feeling. (Trust me, I know from first-hand experience.)
When you decide to run your own business, it’s like you’re choosing to become a professional athlete —you will work hard, you will fight with every ounce of your being, and yes, you might just get sick. The good news? It is ALL worth it if you love what you do.
According to the U.S Small Business Administration, two-thirds of companies will survive their first two years in business, half of all businesses will survive their first five years, but only one-third are likely to survive 10 years.
That means that as entrepreneurs you need to be ready for anything that comes their way in order to achieve success. You need to eat, sleep, and breathe your brand. And for your company to be successful, you need to embody the same dedication, passion and sought-after qualities as Hall of Fame athletes.
I created a checklist of qualities I believe you can use as a guide. Whether you’re thinking about starting a business, or elbow deep in your own business endeavors — you need to make sure you embody each of these qualities, otherwise, you’re doomed to fail. Or pass out from exhaustion. Or both.
- You Must Be Decisive
- You Must Know Your Limitations
- You Must Set Big Goals
- You Must Be the Driver, not the Passenger
- You must be Friends with Failure
- You Must Listen More than You Speak
- You Need to be Tenacious (Consistent and Persistent )
- You Must Invest in Your Business
- You Must Respect Yourself and the Customer
It’s up to you to make your business succeed — if you don’t love what you’re doing if it isn’t what you eat, sleep and breath, if it isn’t something you’re constantly working to improve, it will inevitably fail. And no amount of money can help save it.
Running a business isn’t easy. It takes a lot of hard work and effort, time and determination, perseverance – perhaps more than I can adequately describe.
You’re going to be challenged. You’re going to be tested. You are going to have some failures, and you need to be obsessed with every aspect of your business at every step of the way to ensure you’re prepared. Things happen. Responsibilities get dropped. People get sick. Objectives get lost in the confusion of it all. To run a successful business, you need to be ready for the inevitable, the impossible and the unexpected. Click To Tweet
That’s the only way to succeed.
Much like athletes need to practice, obsess and love what they do, entrepreneurs need to push themselves, strain themselves and believe in themselves, because stress will always test your devotion and mental toughness, just like physical stress tests the muscles of athletes.
You wouldn’t become a marathoner if you knew you hated sweating. Similarly, you shouldn’t start your own business if you’re not ready to be pushed to your limits and tested at every stage of the game.
So, get after it, suck it up and lead your company like your life depends on it.
Remember this great quote regarding entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.