I think Robert Kennedy best summed up what it means to be an entrepreneur when he said, “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
I have been an entrepreneur for almost 25 years. Maybe more if I count my car wash business when I was 15. I have enjoyed incredible successes and catastrophic failures. I have won awards, been admired by my colleagues, and also experienced the loneliness of failure. This is when you truly find out who your friends are. Such is the true plight of an entrepreneur. You will likely find that not everyone wants you to succeed and unfortunately some even love to see you fail. As I said, this isnot for the faint of heart or thin skinned. Yes, even family and friends will disappoint you and may not believe in you or your ideas. As long as you know that going in, try not to take it personally. Believe in yourself and you will make your dreams a reality. Remind yourself of all those great entrepreneurs who failed before they succeeded and stay focused on your passion and beliefs. Design a great plan and be willing to change it as you figure out the nuances. Most importantly, never forget that only those who believe they can change the world or make it better are the ones who do.
After many ups and downs, I believe it iscritical to accept from the beginning that success requires failure. In fact, the failures, as long as they are not fatal, often unlock the keyto that critical tweak that ultimately drives the project to success.
Being an entrepreneur can often be a lonely business, so do it for you and do it for yourindustry, but don’t do it to make friends. If you do make friends along the way, that isa bonus. Your ability to see a need and actually fill it is rare. Most people don’t see the world that way; they are self-proclaimed experts on the “why not”.
Keep your thick skin and be grateful for each mistake, misstep and failure. In those hardships lie the answers to your future success and becoming a truly successful entrepreneur.
Here’s to those with the courage to change the world and make it a better place.