What makes an entrepreneur successful? Here are seven key success indicators to determine if you’ve succeeded as an entrepreneur.
Ah, the entrepreneurial spirit. It drives people to do amazing things, create amazing products, solve huge problems, and change the world. But what makes an entrepreneur successful? This is where a lot of people disagree.
Success is different, depending on the person. Your reason for starting a business may be different from someone else’s. So when you define success, it boils down to asking the question, “What motivated me when I decided to jump in with both feet?” Once you have the answer, use it as a guide.
If you feel like you’ve strayed from the path you started on, it’s time to engage in self-reflection and define what success means to you. This guide will help you do that. Here are seven common success indicators for entrepreneurs and how to tell if they apply to you.
When you hear the most successful entrepreneurs talk about what they value the most, you will almost never hear them say money. They probably find it awkward to even suggest that it might be a motivating factor.
But, chances are they actually went into it for the money – at least in the beginning. Once you have it and don’t have to worry about it anymore, your goals can become more ambitious. But until you have the money, you don’t have the freedom to enjoy all the other things the entrepreneurial lifestyle has to offer.
Money creates time, frees your mind, and lets you go anywhere and do whatever you want. This is the key to the other benefits of entrepreneurship, and until you reach a certain threshold, it will consume your focus.
Signs that money is of paramount importance to you:
- You think about traveling and enjoying certain luxuries.
- You constantly make long-term income projections.
- For you, the more lucrative a product offering is, the better, and its impact on society is less important.
Recognition and influence
Some people want to be the next Steve Jobs or Elon Musk – people who not only influence business but also culture. If you’ve always dreamed of standing out, entrepreneurship is a good way to achieve it, provided you hit hard.
Once you do, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to make a name for yourself. People will want to interview you, you can write advice books, or you can create your own media platform.
Signs that recognition and influence are of paramount importance to you:
- You constantly wonder what other people think of your business and your ideas.
- You seek advice and mentorship from other successful entrepreneurs.
- You dream of presenting TED Talks on your story or being interviewed in the major media.
Make the world better
Most entrepreneurs dream of improving the world. In fact, if you want to think like an entrepreneur, this is where your head should be – it will guide you to that winning solution.
They may want to become philanthropists or create a product or service that solves a major problem, or maybe they just want to become a voice for change through their business. Entrepreneurship is one way you can spot something wrong with the world and find a solution to it.
Signs that show that making the world a better place is of paramount importance to you:
- You prioritize products that have a positive impact on the world over those that are more likely to generate greater profits.
- You dream of a tangible improvement in people’s quality of life through something you have created.
- You are obsessed with important problems in the world and ruminate on solutions.
One of the most underrated benefits of entrepreneurship is time. Of course, that’s not true at first. When you start out as an entrepreneur, time is what you have the least.
But when you reach a certain financial threshold and can begin to withdraw from your business to allow others to manage it, your time is freed up for the things you find enjoyable or important. You can choose how to spend this time rather than letting other people and circumstances choose for you.
Signs that time is of the essence to you:
- You dream of relaxing in an armchair with a glass of lemonade and not a care in the world on a weekday.
- You long for a future where you can ignore your email for weeks without worrying about it.
- You mostly think about how you can devote more time to activities with your family.
Entrepreneurship that leads to success leads to money, and money leads to freedom. When you have infinite resources at your disposal, it’s like a skeleton key that unlocks the world. There’s nowhere you can’t go, nothing you can’t do, and no one you can’t meet.
Want to take the next plane to Iceland and spend a month there? You can do it. Want to meet the Rolling Stones? You can probably use your vast resources to get backstage passes to a concert quite easily. Fancy a mansion in a Caribbean paradise? Just call a real estate agent and pay cash.
Signs that freedom is important to you:
- You dream of traveling to the end of the world whenever you want.
- You always look forward to going on vacation when no one is watching you.
- You have so many other things you want to do outside of work that you feel are holding you back from living life to the fullest.
Self-esteem is another big motivator for those who want to become entrepreneurs. Becoming a successful businessman makes them feel good about themselves. They did something that very few people could do. They have proven their worth. They have demonstrated that they can overcome any obstacle. For some, it’s a better feeling than money, time or freedom.
Signs that self-esteem is of paramount importance to you:
- Wondering if you’re really good at what you’re doing – for example, impostor syndrome.
- You constantly have what you feel at the time are good product ideas, but the enthusiasm eventually turns to doubt.
- You wonder if you are naïve in thinking that you can succeed as an entrepreneur.
love your job
If you’ve been stuck in a dead-end job doing something you hate your entire career, entrepreneurship sounds appealing. Finally, you can do something you think is important and get paid to do it. That’s why many people who go into entrepreneurship don’t give up even after they get rich – they love what they do too much and want to spend the rest of their lives doing it.
Signs that the love of your work is important to you:
- You dream of a day when you wake up on a Monday eager to get to work.
- You hate boredom more than anything else.
- You constantly procrastinate.
What motivates you? Understanding this is essential
Does it really matter what motivates you to be an entrepreneur? In fact, it is. Entrepreneurship is drudgery, so anything you can hold onto to motivate yourself is key to getting through the tough times.
If time is what you value, think about the extra hours you could spend each day with your family doing meaningful activities if you are able to succeed as an entrepreneur. If making the world a better place is of paramount importance to you, think of all the people you’ll help if you succeed. If you just want to love what you do, consider enjoying your work day for once as motivation to keep going.
In the meantime, check out some tips for entrepreneurs, and remember that your journey won’t happen overnight. Keep your eyes on the prize and remember why you chose this path to begin with. Persistence will eventually pay off, as long as you remember what you are fighting for.