Most people think that you need to be well-educated, well-funded, and have a one-of-a-kind idea to start a successful business. But, that’s not true. You can be a successful entrepreneur without any of those things.
So, if you don’t need a college degree, lots of capital, or a unique idea to become a successful entrepreneur, then what do you need?
1. You Need a Dream
Don’t roll your eyes.
When I say you need a dream to become a successful entrepreneur, I’m not talking about some romantic notion--I’m talking about a deeply rooted desire that motivates you to take action.
And that can be as simple as wanting to take your schedule and your finances out of other people’s hands and into your own.
That’s what motivated Angelia Brubacher, to create Lyfe Tea.
Before she founded her teatox company, she had worked as a ballroom dance instructor for 10 years. And although she was passionate about dance, she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of spending her evenings away from her two small sons. So, she left that job to focus on motherhood. But when her marriage got rocky, her finances started to suffer, and she knew she couldn’t just sit around and hope for the best.
So, she started learning about ecommerce.
“I was researching online businesses because I still wanted to be a mom and be present for my kids,” she says. “I wanted to find a way to financially take care of my family. I didn’t want to be dependent on anybody else.”
And, now she doesn’t have to be.
She launched Lyfe Tea in October of 2013, and within 14 months the company had already brought in over $1.2 Million. And sales continued to climb. Now, not only is she able to financially support herself and her sons, but since she makes her own schedule, she’s also able to enjoy being a soccer mom.
Achieving those goals is what keeps her going.
So, find a dream that pushes you forward. Because if you don’t know what your motivating goal is, (some gurus call this “knowing your why”), then you’ll likely cash out of your business before it’s time to cash in.
2. You Need Validation
And no, I don’t mean you need approval from family members and peers. (If you need that kind of validation, you’re reading the wrong article.)
You need validation that your product or service will sell.
For Chris Coyle of New Smyrna Beach Brewing Co., that validation came before he’d even thought about starting his own business. It came when he and his wife served their home-brewed ale at a friend’s wedding.
“We were serving beer to their guests and we got a lot of positive feedback,” Coyle says in an interview on the Main Street Hustle podcast. “People were asking us, ‘What brewery is this from?’ And we said, ‘Oh—no. This is a gift we brewed in our garage for the bride and groom.’”
Since some of the guests were complete strangers, Coyle knew that they weren’t raving about his beer just to make him feel good. He realized that this was a legitimate market test. And that his home-brew was acing it.
So, he left his sales job, withdrew his life savings, and started a brewery.
In other words, he bet his entire life on the success of his business. And if you want to get a new business off the ground, you might have to do the same. So, be sure to hedge your bets, and validate your product ideas before you go all in.
3. You Need a “Make It Work” Mindset
You can’t have a successful business without a “make it work” mindset. Because reading about starting a business is much easier than actually doing it—especially when times get tough. And times WILL get tough.
Just ask Angelia Brubacher.
In the five years since she started Lyfe Tea, these are just a few of the obstacles she’s faced:
But she didn’t use any of those difficulties as an excuse to quit. Instead she used her “make it work” mindset to overcome them.
Instead of being jaded because she’d been sold a bad product, she educated herself on how to better source equipment. Instead of giving up on Instagram, she learned how to better protect her digital media accounts and started rebuilding her following. And when the docks shut down, she found suppliers in Canada.
“People don’t see the struggles,” Brubacher says. “It’s not for the faint of heart.”
So, before you start a venture, take a deep breath, steel yourself, and get ready to do what you have to do to make it work.
Are you a successful Entrepreneur who has had to just “make it work?” We’d like to hear your stories about overcoming obstacles in order to achieve your dream.
Holly Hughes-Barnes is a business blogger and brand journalist. She writes blog posts, case studies, and ebooks that build trust, bring in leads, and make more sales for B2B companies. She lives in TN with her husband, son, nearly-blind dog, and totally naked cat. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.