Believing You Can is the First Step Toward Business Success

I recently had an opportunity to overhear part of a phone conversation a young man in his early 20s was having with a friend while walking down a street in NYC. He was describing the new business he had just started and was excitedly sharing some of the strategies he had for growing it. I remember thinking, “Good for you. You no doubt have a lot of lessons in front of you, but good for you”.

Over the years I have discussed business plans, models and strategies with dozens of my former students. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that just because I didn’t have the entrepreneurial wherewithal when I was 19 or 20 doesn’t mean that young people today don’t have much greater insights into the process of starting and running businesses.

It also occurred to me that one advantage that young entrepreneurs have is that they haven’t yet let self-doubt or over analyzing their plans get in the way of getting started. In this case, not knowing what kinds of challenges and difficulties may lie ahead can make it a lot easier to avoid worrying about setbacks before they happen and instead just focus on getting things in motion.

As any business owner can tell you, achieving your business goals is never a straight line to the horizon. Instead, it feels more like you are on a convoluted and twisty- turny road that too often seems to double back on itself. The journey seems to take forever sometimes and along the way there obstacles that you need to avoid and challenges that you need to overcome. A lot of the time it isn’t easy. Sometimes it really isn’t much fun.

But at the core of the challenge is success. In my experience success rarely pops up all at once but instead gradually shows up like a photograph being developed. What success looks like starts off in the mind of the entrepreneur and, if everything goes according to plan (and it rarely does!) then that success emerges over time and sometimes only with plenty of tweaks and alterations.

Regardless of the vision of the entrepreneur, there are three things required for success in any endeavor:

  1. A clear vision of what success looks like (at least today)
  2. A deep and unshakable belief in what you are doing
  3. Persistence

Of the three, persistence is likely is the most important key to success. The bottom line is that if you give up anywhere along the path then you are done. This means that no matter how hard things get your success depends on figuring out a way past the hardship. In business, and in life, the people who make it are the people who keep remembering to keep putting one foot in front of the other, especially when it is painfully hard.

But knowing what you want and having an unshakable faith and confidence in your mission is equally important. Sometimes what we envision for the future is very personal to us. While we may be able to share the general concept of our visions with others, it is often very difficult to share the passion and deeply held beliefs we have surrounding those visions. That’s okay. Not everybody is going to get what you are doing. But it’s important to remember that nobody other than you needs to. There will be times when you will share your dreams with others and they will often unintentionally try to sabotage them by pointing out what can’t be done. Just keep in mind that history is filled with people who set off to do things that couldn’t be done and succeeded.

The persistence of vision that you retain, especially during hard times, is the key that opens the door to future success. Believe in yourself. Believe in your mission and believe that you can succeed. Reality will often intervene and try to knock you off the path. But by digging your heels in, wiping the sweat from your eyes and continuing to press forward you could accomplish almost anything you set your mind to.

Know what you want to accomplish. Be willing to believe fully in the righteousness of your vision. Never, never, never, never give up.

For more insights into the entrepreneurial mind and business development process I invite you to join our growing community at Learn, share and get inspired by people just like you who are doing what they can to make their dreams come true. One step at a time.