Most entrepreneurs do not start out with millions in venture capital funding or advice from Mark Cuban sitting in their inbox. Entrepreneurial success is achieved after years of problem solving and hard work. Here’s what you can do to create your own opportunities instead of waiting for them:
1. Just get started
Everyone has a starting point. Figure out what you enjoy doing and where you can solve a problem. Do you have the technical and soft skills necessary to gain momentum in your field? Have you researched the competition in your industry? Whether you have the experience or not, take the first step toward your goal. You will never know if you don’t try.
2. Embrace failure
Failure is never the end. Learn to embrace your failures by analyzing what you can do better next time. Feedback from others can make you stronger if you let it. It takes a mindset shift to understand how mistakes can actually help you become a better entrepreneur and leader. Take your emotions out of the equation and stay focused on the end goal.
3. Problem solve every day
The key to problem solving is taking initiative and following through until you solve the issue. Just because you don’t know the answer or don’t have the experience now doesn’t mean you can’t figure out a solution. Success is a process of solving different kinds of problems. Develop a dedication to problem solving.
4. Work, don’t just dream
Mark Zuckerberg does not spend his 60 hour work week in a golden cloud eating grapes and watching Netflix. He works hard like you and I. Work ethic is a requirement for success.
5. Start where you are
Is your dream career in a completely different industry than your current job? Create your own internship by volunteering to work for companies and startups that you admire. I have a friend that worked as a trader by day, but volunteered his marketing skills for startups at night. That friend was hired at a startup because of his dedication and passion for the work. Skills gained in any industry are transferrable and valuable. You just have to be able to communicate the value of your skills to the decision makers in your desired industry.
6. Don’t let money be an obstacle
Create your own funding if you don’t have any. Get an extra job if necessary and save money for your entrepreneurial venture. Develop a product that will generate a passive income for you.
7. Build a team of mentors and creative collaborators
Teamwork is key and your relationships matter. Successful startups are made of groups of people with differing strengths and skills. Build a network of mentors and nourish those relationships. Be willing to give your time and unique skills to contribute to others’ success.
Success is more an attitude than it is an end result. Cultivate a mindset of positivity and a dedication to problem solving to catapult your career and startup venture to the next level.
Rob Nelson is the founder and CEO at Grow, a cloud-based software service that gives entrepreneurs beautiful business dashboards that track their key metrics, inspire their teams, and make better decisions.