Do you have what it takes to build your own thriving business? Google the question and you’ll come across numerous blogs, articles, personality tests, videos, and other resources to help you figure out whether you’ll fit into the world of entrepreneurs. All information from online resources, mentors, family and friends are guidelines to start your quest, and not standards to restrict you of what you can and can’t do. There are indeed many factors to consider before you quit your 9-5 job or dive straight to registering a company. This short article will not cover them all, but it summarizes key ingredients for entrepreneurial success that thriving business owners today have tried and proven to be true.

1. Let your passion drive and your intellect guide

What makes you tick? What motivates you to get up in the morning and face the day with enthusiasm and hope? What activities do you enjoy the most? What thoughts or issues are you most concerned about? Your answers to these questions shape your passion(s). Figure out what brings out the best in you, and develop a business idea around that passion of yours. Inevitably, majority of people, including your loved ones, will tell you that starting up your own business is a risky move, an unstable career path, a stupid decision, or simply a waste of time. They could be right, but using your intellect as you prepare yourself and your sound business plan could also prove them wrong. Besides, what else could be more fulfilling than living a purpose-driven life by making things happen with the aid of your passions, skills, knowledge, expertise and experiences, right?

2. Find a need, fill a need

Almost all success stories of entrepreneurs or business owners begun with the founder’s urge to identify any needs and find solutions to fill that need, no matter what it takes. For social businesses alone, there’s a significant need for proper waste disposal, more livelihood projects, access to quality education, clean environment, and many more! Though there’s not that much kind of need in developed countries like here in Western Europe, you can always find a problem to solve. Simply look around you, watch people, and listen to them. What unmet needs can you find that you can possibly help with? As soon as you start generating business ideas from these problems, have a clear long-term vision and go for it! Knowing exactly what you want to achieve makes it easier for you to decide what goals to prioritize, opportunities to seize, and activities to focus onto for business growth and community development.

3. Fear not, failure is an ally

Having a sound business plan does not guarantee success. Trial and error is fundamental when it comes to solving problems. Needless to say, every successful business venture ends up failing more than once. And when failure comes, think of it as an ally and never give up too early! Persistence is a key to success. If you face rejections from clients, don’t feel angry or sorry for yourself; understand the causes and come up with new product features or better solutions to fill your customer needs. Have a more positive outlook for the various challenges, risks, and failures before you. Failures exist to redirect you to the right business strategy, the right product/ service specifications, the right market, and even the right goals.

4. Be innovative, keep learning

There’s constant transformation of people, technology, and values in modern society, and this is a legitimate reason to stay abreast of current events, customer preferences, and emerging trends relevant to your business. To keep innovation at work, it is important to conduct regular checks on the needs and preferences of your target consumers. Let learning be an everyday goal for you and the people you work with. As your business grows, delegation of tasks is necessary; passing responsibilities to like-minded people who are equipped with the right training and knowledge that you need is apparently substantial. In short, embracing change and constantly reinventing yourself pave the way to a higher level of personal and business growth and development.

5. Invest right when the time is ripe

It usually takes 3-5 years or even more for a startup company to be profitable and visible in the market. When that happens, remember to invest right. Do not fall into the trap of spending your profits to suffice your own desire of having a new car, a new house, luxurious vacations and the like. Instead, hire the right people for your company and empower them with new sets of skills that can help you and your business move forward. You can invest in improving your products/services, in expanding your business to where there are still unmet needs, and in creating added value to your offerings. The bottom line? There’s always a need that needs to be filled. Finding solutions to new problems is always an excellent choice when looking for the right option for investment.