Fifteen Ways to Become a More Successful Entrepreneur

By: Velma Trayham

Almost everyone has the dream of owning their own business. They like the idea of being in control of their own destiny and making their financial dreams a reality. However, making your dreams of financial freedom and empowerment come true is not always easy, and often takes more than one attempt to achieve success.

I started my entrepreneurial journey years ago. I started my own company and was rewarded with…the failure of that company. My second and third attempts at starting my own company also failed. Using the lessons I learned along the way, I started ThinkZILLA and, thanks to the amazing clients I have worked with over the years, was able to grow my company to help others build marketing infrastructures and enjoy long-term growth across the United States.

If you have the desire to chart your own destiny, here are fifteen tips to make your journey a little easier.

1) Have perseverance.

Starting your own business is harder than most people expect. You are in charge of everything, including working your schedule around the needs and hours of your clients, handling each step of the project process, and being the final decision maker. It also means you will be the person ultimately responsible for the success or failure of your company. Perseverance means you have the ability to keep going when everyone else tells you that you should give up and try something else.

2) Love what you do.

“Love what you do and do what you love” is often said in the context of the business world. Be passionate about your job, because you will have to put in long hours as an entrepreneur. You have to work according to the schedules of your clients and make some sacrifices along the way. If you love what you do, the long hours, stress, and bumps in the road won’t feel like sacrifices.

3) Take a chance.

Many people are afraid to take chances and avoid risks at all costs. Taking a chance is part of the job description of being a successful entrepreneur. You need to recognize the necessary risks to successfully grow your business and have the courage to take those chances.

4) Believe in your abilities.

If you don’t believe in your ability to be a success, who will believe in you? Trust in your inner voice and intuition that you are making the right decision for your future, as well as the future of your business. Your confidence will be seen by others, and they will trust your wisdom and leadership skills.

5) Visualize your goals.

This tip might seem less concrete than the others, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. Visualizing your goal simply means setting a clear goal. Don’t say, “I want to start a PR firm to help people promote their business.” Visualize a clearer goal, such as, “I want to start a PR firm with ten clients by the end of the first year in the categories of printing companies and professional photographers.” You can also write down or draw your goal to act as a visual reminder of what you are working to achieve.

[Related: The 4 Confidence Commitments To Help You Achieve Your Goals]

6) Don’t delay, act today.

People that are unsure about their goals or abilities delay taking action. Successful entrepreneurs act swiftly. Stop worrying about chances of failure or planning every small detail. Take action and create results.

7) No overnight success stories.

The companies that look like they came out of nowhere to be an overnight success are actually the results of years of hard work and strategy sessions. They put in long days and nights and spent years trying to reach their goals. Take a look at their stories and how they succeeded and failed over the years. You will realize that success doesn’t come easily, and it might help you be easier on yourself if you haven’t reached your goals as quickly as you imagined.

8) Financial planning.

It’s a fact of life that you need money to start your business. Many people use their own savings to start their company, but that can be a very risky move. Plan your finances and determine the source of your funding before you open for business, and then stick to that plan as much as possible. Staying the course with your money can bring you financial success down the road.

9) Know your audience.

In this case, your audience is your customer. It doesn’t make any sense to start a business without having a clear idea who will use your product or service. Before you do anything else, make sure there is an audience that will buy what you are offering to the public.

10) Exceed the expectations of others.

Making promises and not delivering results is a sure way to lose customers. Doing the bare minimum is also a recipe to not retain any customers. Going above and beyond what is expected of you is an easy way to be remembered and recommended by others.

[Related: How To Prepare A Performance Review, Part 3: 10 Questions For Self-Reflection]

11) Don’t be afraid to promote yourself.

It is understandable that you might not want to toot your own horn and come off as being full of yourself. Remember that it is up to you to promote your business to others. Knowing your business sector, as well as the results you create and what others say about your company, can prepare you for meeting others. Have these facts on-hand in “elevator pitch” form so you can promote yourself in fifteen seconds or less and not seem cocky.

12) Network with others.

Don’t miss a chance to meet with other entrepreneurs at after hour events, on a plane, at lunch, or walking in the park. You never know where you next lead will come from, so don’t miss the chance to meet as many people as possible. If you meet enough people on a daily basis, you will meet someone with the connections you need. A short meeting can lead to long-term success.

13) Focus.

As an entrepreneur, you might feel that your life is scattered and that you are simply running from one task to the next one. Focus by working on one task at a time. Give it your total attention and you will complete it in full and achieve the desired results. Trying to handle too many tasks at once can lead to none of your tasks being completed to the satisfaction of your clients.

14) Ask questions.

Nobody knows the answers to every question, and that includes you when it comes to running a business. Ask for help and advice from others that have been down the same path as you. The more information you have, the easier it is to make decisions and gain results.

15) Don’t be afraid to fail.

Believe it or not, failure is an option when it comes to running your own business. As I mentioned before, I failed multiple times before successfully starting ThinkZILLA. By accepting the fact that you will fail at some point, you will be better equipped to handle the failure and start back on the road to success.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart. You will not be an overnight success, but you can succeed by keeping the tips listed above in mind during your journey.

[Related: 4 Ways Burnout Increased My Happiness and Professional Growth]

Velma Trayham has over ten years of experience in marketing consulting and business coaching.

Originally published at

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