Success in entrepreneurship is the result of a great many factors, but these dirty secrets are seldom talked about.
Success is the goal of entrepreneurs around the world. Though it has many definitions to many people, most business owners see it as long-term profitability and admiration in the industry. Some entrepreneurs have great ideas, but never see that kind of success, while others seem to rise to near-famous status out of nowhere.
So what is it that differentiates the successful from the non-successful?
There are dozens of factors that receive a lot of attention in the mainstream: never giving up, working with a great team, and so on. But there are a handful of dirty secrets you don't see talked about, and for good reason:
1. Dark nights are coming. You have to be prepared to overcome the darkness that will come. There will be times you lose faith, times you stop believing in your efforts and times you wish you had never started. But you have to power through those moments.
2. Nothing goes as quickly as you expect. As a general rule of thumb, double the length of time you think it will take to accomplish something. Getting a site up in two months? Better make it four. Getting ready for customer orders in three weeks? Better make it six. Nothing goes as fast as you think it will.
3. You will experience disaster. Just when everything seems like it's in alignment, chaos will strike. It won't be pretty. It can't be avoided. All you can do is recover the best you can and take measures to prevent it from happening again.
4. Your personality matters. If you have the best idea in the world, it will mean nothing if you're a jerk who can't identify with people. Investors want to see charisma. Partners want to see friendliness. Employees want to see relateability. You have to have a strong personality if you want to achieve success.
5. It's not what you know, it's who you know. It's a well-known idiom in the job market, but it also applies to entrepreneurship. If you don't have strong relationships with private investors, you won't get the money you need. If you aren't connected to a handful of strong clients, you could stymie your growth.
These hidden factors for entrepreneurial success aren't the prettiest or the most inspiring, but they are significant to business ownership.
Jose Vasquez is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast dedicated to helping startup technology companies get the direction and momentum they need to succeed. As the founder of Build. Brand. Blast., Jose has established a collective resource for tech entrepreneurs to consult when brainstorming, creating, launching, or expanding a new business. Jose is also the founder and CEO of Quez Media Marketing, a marketing firm that combines technology and creativity to help new and growing companies get the results they need.
Jose graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.