Running your own business is no joke. Whether you’re based online or in a fancy Palo Alto office, chances are, you’re putting in more work and more hours than anyone else you know.
But are all these hours you put into your business the thing that drives it? What about luck, or fortune? Do these things have roles in how successful a business is?
I read this quote on Twitter about a year ago (wish I had saved it so I could credit who said it), and it went something like:
Entrepreneurs work 12 hours a day so they don’t have to work 8 for somebody else.
That quote has stayed with me ever since, and I share these words with many people I encounter looking to start their own business.
This doesn’t only apply to the entrepreneurs who don’t want to have a boss, but to anyone starting and running a business, period.
Why Luck & Fortune Have No Value to You
Yes, luck has helped people win millions of dollars in the lottery. Yes, fortune has placed people in the right place at the right time. All that relies on chance, and the truth is — that makes for a horrible business model.
You simply can’t run a business based on being the luckiest entrepreneur around, or the most fortunate. Your business needs you to be hands on, and always in control. But most importantly, you need to be accountable and always available to make decisions.
Anything and everything that happens (whether it’s good or bad) has a reason to why it happened, and can almost be traced back to something you did.
To give a few examples:
- You get a post retweeted by Mashable, or another high-profile tweeter
- The product you released sold hundreds of copies on the first day
- Your company posts a 50% decline in total revenue for the year
- Your guest post was accepted to Copyblogger
- People give your product or company negative reviews
None of this is determined based on how lucky (or unlucky) you are. You have no advantage over someone because you’re taller, live in a bigger house or have a cuter pet.
You truly are the reason your business thrives or dies, and all the hard work and time you put into it will show that. And that is your advantage.
Successful Businesses Are Built Through Passion, Sacrifices and a Sore Back
I’ve learned time and time again that you can’t be successful building your business on the premise of making a lot of money. You need something extra to keep you going.
Look, you can’t realistically expect to be successful in a business you don’t have much interest in. For example, if you were to go into real estate and… hate real estate.
Just because you’ve seen others be successful there, or think that’s where the money is, doesn’t mean you should go there for the sole fact that you may be getting into something you don’t love.
The more you see as something as a “routine” or a “burden,” the less of it you’ll actually do.
That’s why I tell people all the time: think about what you really want to do. There aren’t any quick fixes or fast money in the business world. It’s all a process, and you are going to break your back doing all the work.
That, and you will be saving yourself a lot of time in the future. I’ve learned time and time again that you can’t be successful building your business on the premise of making a lot of money. You need something extra to keep you going.
Happiness is the New Money
…and you heard it here first:
Making money gets old. It’s exciting at first, but once you’ve figured out how to create an income stream for yourself, it just loses its touch after a while.
Don’t get me wrong, you always want to make money, but I’ve found that the greater reward and the larger sense of accomplishment comes from creating something great and making people happy.
So Don’t Undermine Your Accomplishments…
After reading this post, I don’t want you to ever tell people how lucky or fortunate you are to be where you are with your business.
It’s just not fair to you to say that everything you have or everything you achieved was through luck or fortune, when it really all came from your tireless work, sacrifies and dedication.
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts. How does this all apply to your business and personal mindset? Don’t be shy, leave a comment below. Can’t wait to read your response!