Starting a business is incredibly hard. Regardless of your starting point, building your business into a true success will be an uphill battle. Odds are that you’ll encounter failure more often than you’ll encounter success.
Numbers reflecting the success or failure rates of small businesses vary depending on where you look (and how much the author wants to scare you), but the fact remains, life as an entrepreneur can be a knock-down, drag-out fight.
Unfortunately, there’s no formula for startup success that aspiring entrepreneurs can apply to their businesses. There is, however, one thing that each entrepreneur can change about themselves that will allow them to pursue their goals with the dogged work ethic that is necessary for success.
To position yourself for success in your entrepreneurial ventures, first and foremost make sure that you know your worth. Know that you’re indispensable and that nobody but you can fill your role. Now, this may seem like a cliché answer, and in a sense, it is. The problem, however, is that very few people implement this cliche correctly into their lives.
In order to gain a true sense of your worth, you must first look within. Rabbi Aryeh Weinstein, creator and host of the Beginning Within podcast, said the following about the benefits of seeking self-worth from within: “We become emotionally and spiritually healthy, strong and stable. We become more focused on our purpose. We become centered and the creator of our own destiny.”
Being focused, centered, and stable are certainly qualities that are highly valued by entrepreneurs. But too often, we find ourselves stuck looking to outside sources for validation or answers. This makes us reactive rather than proactive. When we look outward for a sense of worth rather than looking within, we will only respond to what happens to us when we should be actively pursuing our goals.
Rise above your circumstances
In 2013, UFC icon Conor McGregor cashed a welfare check just to put food on the table. Singer Ed Sheeran busked on street corners for years before rising to international stardom. What these two success stories have in common – besides the fact that both men have red hair – is that they were able to draw inspiration from within when everything around them was pushing them to give up.
As entrepreneurs, we need to act in a similar way. That’s not to say that we should pursue mixed martial arts or pick up a guitar, but rather that we should cultivate a mindset in which we focus on our ability and goals before focusing on the success or failure that accompanies our journey.
Unless you’ve reached your ultimate goal, you’re not finished. As you experience success, don’t let outside sources tell you that you’ve done enough. As you experience failure, don’t let those same outside sources tell you that you don’t have what it takes.
Have a stronger sense of responsibility
Entrepreneurs who look within for self-affirmation will rarely be found looking around and asking, “Why me?” Rather, by looking within, they’ll be able to accept responsibility for their contributions, recognize what was out of their control and learn about how to improve in the future. Of course, as responsibility increases, self-worth rises.
There’s a good chance you were driven to be an entrepreneur because you have a desire to be independent, set your own rules and answer to nobody but yourself. If this is the case, then why let anybody else claim responsibility for your success or failure?
This takes practice
The source of our motivation is the catalyst to our overall success. An intrinsic knowledge of self-worth will allow you, as an entrepreneur, to avoid becoming complacent during peaks and to persevere through the valleys. So how can we cultivate an attitude of intrinsic motivation?
Some steps are simple, like getting enough sleep or maintaining a healthy diet. Others take more time. Not everyone is naturally gifted with confidence or bravado. For many, that confidence must be won through countless hours of work. Ultimately, it starts with a single decision to make a change and a constant effort to build upon that each day.
So assess yourself today: From what source do you draw your motivation and sense of self-worth? Does it come from within or externally? If your answers aren’t quite to your liking, start working to change them. It will likely take some time, as we’re constantly bombarded with opinions and judgment from all sides, but it's worth it in the end.