No entrepreneur will tell you that their journey to success was easy. They likely endured many failures before ever tasting even a little bit of success.
But most, if not all, entrepreneurs will tell you that the journey was worth it. To build something from the ground up, something that provides real value to its customers, and something that provides jobs to your local community, is a journey worth taking.
On top of that, entrepreneurial success is one of the best ways to build long-term wealth. It’s very hard to save your way to financial freedom working a standard job.
But when you build an asset, you build something you can sell. Whether or not you ever do, you can enjoy true wealth for many decades, while you still have time to enjoy it.
Does that sound like the path you want to take? Then read on below to learn what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
You don’t need a college degree in order to become an entrepreneur. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time are college dropouts or never attended in the first place.
However, education is still crucial to your success. And unless you already have a solid business idea, there’s no reason not to attend college, learn basic business, entrepreneurial, and financial skills that will set you up for success.
As a young, aspiring entrepreneur, prioritizing your education is one of the most important things you can do. Get a degree in whatever field you aspire to work in.
And if you aren’t sure what industry you plan to start a company in, then lean towards business management or computer science, as most of the great new companies of our day are technology companies.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs end up developing business ideas while in school and even find other students to work alongside.
Entrepreneurial Success Starts With Self-Education
If your goal is to become a small business owner, or the owner of a massive startup, you need to commit to learning, even when you aren’t at school.
Luckily, this is easy to do, thanks to podcasts, books, audiobooks, and other forms of free and cheap content. As opposed to learning about business in school, from teachers who probably never started a business, you need to spend time learning from the people who have been there and done that.
You should be spending a few hours each day as you drive, workout, walk and sit at home consuming entrepreneurial content to flood your mind with ideas, tactics, and understanding.
Develop Management and Leadership and Skills
You can’t go straight from the classroom to a startup. You need time and space to practice what you have been learning.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a job and find ways to improve the company you are working for. It doesn’t matter what type of job it is. But it helps if the owner or manager is open to you taking on additional responsibilities, and offering suggestions for improving the company.
This could be by implementing new systems to improve workflow or to find ways to limit waste and save the company money. The mind of an entrepreneur is one that solves problems. Every company faces problems, so you should have no problem exercising your entrepreneurial spirit as you work for someone else.
Learn on the Job
After you’ve spent time practicing in a safe environment as an employee, it’s time to branch out on your own to put your skills to the test. But you aren’t yet starting your own company. Rather, you are testing how well you function as a self-employed individual.
One way you can do this is by freelancing. As a freelancer, you learn what it takes to sell yourself and to land new clients. You also have to learn money management skills, and figure out how to earn enough income each month to cover your expenses.
But freelancing isn’t the only option. You can exercise any of these skills while working in the gig economy. Whether you are driving for Uber, renting a room on Airbnb, or delivering groceries or takeout orders, becoming self-employed is a big step.
As an entrepreneur, you will have no one telling you what to do. Rather, you need to be a self-starter. You need to build leadership habits that push you towards success. And you need to learn how to first lead yourself.
Self-employment, even within an existing structure like Uber, will let you know if you have what it takes to work for yourself, or if you prefer the safe, cozy environment offered by a traditional employer.
Surround Yourself With Entrepreneurial People
As you begin to work for yourself, and as you mull over ideas of businesses that you’d like to start, you need to have someone to talk to. You need other like-minded people in your life that you can bounce ideas off of.
It’s important to find other entrepreneurial people that you can spend lots of time with. Don’t know where to start? Head to some coffee shops in your city. There’s a good chance that some of the people on their computers are running their own business.
Likewise, you can head to coworking spaces, where plenty of self-employed people work. Start conversations, build friendships, and maybe you’ll even end up with a business partner or two.
As you read about many of the great success stories of the modern age, you’ll notice that a lot of the companies we hold in reverence were founded by two or more people.
And even if one person gets all the credit, they likely had others helping them from day one. As an entrepreneur, one of your first lessons is learning that you can’t make it on your own. A true entrepreneur builds a team.
Hopefully, in the near future, you’ll be running your own company. But hopefully, you don’t wait years and years to get started.
Your future entrepreneurial success depends on what you are doing today and tomorrow. It’s how you spend your time, your energy, and your resources today that will either lead you into success or failure in the future.
Need a bit more inspiration to keep you going? Browse other articles on our blog now.