As any entrepreneur knows, starting a business is no easy feat. Through the trials, failures and tears, though, starting your own company can be the most rewarding decision of your life.
Many of today’s successful entrepreneurs and tech business owners are all too familiar with the struggle. Read on for five key lessons on success, failure and resiliency from savvy business owners to give you motivation you may need right now.
Accept the Struggle
Among the more important lessons from today’s successful companies is accepting the fact that starting a business is, well, hard. Entrepreneur and executive Sallie Krawcheck, who spent years as at top financial companies before starting a business of her own called Ellevest, said having high-level experience on your resume doesn’t take away any of the hard work. She notes being an entrepreneur is tougher than running Merrill Lynch, which she did.
But, hey, if running a business were easy, everyone would do it. The takeaway? Keep at it. As they say, the moment you’re ready to give up is the moment a breakthrough is coming.
Understand Your Weaknesses
Sometimes the hardest — and most important — thing to do is to admit your own shortcomings. As founder and owner of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso did just that. Though her online fashion company was named one of the fastest growing retailers by Inc. magazine, Amoruso herself realized the need to step down from her CEO role at the company. She notes being realistic about her own skill set and shortcomings was the best — and most humbling — leadership decision she could have made for the company.
As they say, those who never fail have never tried anything new. No one starts out great; being successful means putting in the hard work and learning lessons along the way. Sometimes that means tough lessons — like getting let go from a job. But don’t worry, many of today’s most successful entrepreneurs have experienced the pain of being fired. Bill Watkins, CEO of Imergy Power Systems, is one of them, and says being fired twice allowed him to better understand his strength and convictions.
Lap the Competition
There’s no substitute for staying a step ahead of the competition. Firestone is a company that knows this well, particularly due to its keen sense in understanding technology is fluid. The company has capitalized on this fluidity by leading the way in tire innovation. Firestone’s synthetic tires and high-speed racing tires that can withstand speeds of nearly 200 mph, along with its Super Sport Wide Oval tire, have positioned the company as a leader in the tire industry — and as a legacy in auto racing.
Take it From Steve
Perhaps the most iconic tech entrepreneur of our time, visionary and Apple CEO Steve Jobs, has been called the Thomas Edison of modern times. His legacy lives on, of course, in all things Apple. But he also left behind plenty of inspiration for entrepreneurs and those hoping to start their own businesses.
Among his nuggets of wisdom, Jobs’ career teaches others to follow their hearts. He consistently followed his passion, despite adversity. Furthermore, he let his imagination guide him, never taking the easy way out or watering down his ultimate idea due to fear or failure. Jobs’ story also shares the importance of following your heart and passion over following dollars. His desire to make an impact is what led him to greatness.