The Only 3 Ingredients You Need for Entrepreneurial Success

Learn the 3 ingredients that really matter. (source)

There’s only one formula you need for startup success. It’s one part hard cash, two parts personal skills. You might have a great idea, but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. Here are the ingredients you need to give your business staying power, and how to avoid the common pitfalls.

Part One: The 3 Ingredients

1. Capital

Does this need explaining? I hope not. Just be sure when you’re taking money from investors that you’re not left with crumbs.

2. Persuasion

Ok, so you have some money, but you couldn’t sell water to a man dying of thirst. You’re not going anywhere, bub. Someone on your team has to be good at selling. There is no short cutting this one. You have to be able to sell your idea to customers, partners, employees, and investors. Charisma sells, folks.

3. Technical skills to build things

I get into this debate a lot with entrepreneurs; many of them want to skip this. If all you have is an idea, but no capital and no technical skills, do you really have much of a claim on generating that future?

Part Two: Staying Power

Get out there and learn!

You don’t have technical skills? You have two options: One, you could work on becoming more persuasive. You have to persuade someone to fund you, or better yet, persuade someone technical to help you. Or, option two, you could take the time to learn the technical skills you need to build a prototype. If you don’t want to learn to code, how much time did you spend learning to be more persuasive this week? Either path is fine, but if you aren’t making progress, ask yourself, “What can I do to improve so that I’m more successful next week?”

Stop bitchin’

I’ll hear a lot of people say, “Learn how to [code / program / etc. ] myself? Well, that just seems inefficient.” My response is: compared to what? Compared to having no money and no skills? That seems pretty inefficient to me. Don’t believe the sensational success stories on TechCrunch, Mashable, or Business Insider. Lots of new entrepreneurs read these articles about people raising tons of money without understanding the context: those successful people probably have a helluvah team behind them.

Know you can’t do everything

For tech-driven startups, you may have a great degree…but without capital or technical skills you’re kind of a useless person. It’s hard to be good at everything. No one is. Know your strengths and build a team around you that have expertise in the areas you lack.

What am I missing? Tell me your ingredients to success and we’ll compile a comprehensive list.

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