This is a guest post by Kolyanne Russ, founder of Pinch of Attitude blog.
Great entrepreneurs know which rules to follow and which ones to break, and one mark of genius is being able to distinguish between the two.
While going off the beaten path and making your own way is a critical part of being a successful entrepreneur, there are also certain rules and guidelines that you will want to always stick to.
Outlined below are ten of the top rules of success that have led some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs to the level of achievements they currently enjoy.
Rule #1: There’s No Such Thing as Mistakes, Just Lessons Learned.
The path to success is paved with countless failures, and the best entrepreneurs realize that failures are simply valuable lessons to be learned.
Sir James Dyson, inventor of the Dyson vacuum, had to produce 5,126 prototypes before he found one that worked.
Tim Ferris, author of the best-selling “Four-Hour Work Week” was turned down by 25 different publishers before finding one who would publish his work.
Learn from your mistakes, use a process of trial and error to hone your approach, and, whatever you do, don’t ever let your failures get the better of you.
Rule #2: Finding Problems is Better than Finding Ideas.
Everyone always talks about coming up with the next big idea, but it isn’t necessarily ideas that successful entrepreneurs look for. Instead, successful entrepreneurs look for problems.
Constantly observe the world around you in search of problems that have yet to be solved.
Once you’ve pinpointed a problem and figured out a way to solve it, success will follow.
Rule #3: No One Can Do it Alone.
The internet is flooded with stories of entrepreneurs pulling themselves up by their bootstraps with no one to help them but themselves.
Successful entrepreneurs, however, realize that behind every self-made millionaire (or billionaire) is an entire support group of people who encouraged them, offered advice, and helped them along the way.
In working towards the rules of success, make sure to not push away the people around you. Chances are they are the best resource you have.
Rule #4: Risk is Part of the Game.
The number one trait that keeps most otherwise creative, intelligent people from ever finding success as an entrepreneur, is the fact that they don’t have a high enough tolerance for risk.
While managing and mitigating risk is a crucial part of entrepreneur’s job, the best entrepreneurs are able to lay everything they have on the line without so much as blinking.
Take for example Bill Gates, who risked his entire future by dropping out of college to start Microsoft. Or Elon Musk, who continues to gamble his entire fortune and legacy in order to make private space travel a reality.
Entrepreneurs such as these embrace risk, and so should you.
Rule #5: Be Disruptive.
No one has ever changed the world without upsetting the status quo.
Instead of focusing on how your ideas and plans can fit within the current system, change the system.
Entrepreneurs are forces of disruption, changing the economy, culture, and world forever.
Just look at entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, who, with a single idea, changed the way millions of people shop for products.
Aim for ideas that change the way things are done and you’ll be far more likely to make it big and follow the rules of success.
Rule #6: Honest Feedback is Golden.
The world is full of people who will lie to you to keep from hurting your feelings. The world is also full of people who will lie to you for the sole purpose of hurting your feelings and dragging you down.
Very rare are the people who will be honest with you no matter what. As an entrepreneur, you need to find them. Seek their feedback and use it to fine tune your ideas and approach.
Rule #7: Nothing Happens Without a Sale.
The phrase, “nothing happens without a sale” was coined by former IBM president Thomas Watson Sr., and it couldn’t be more true.
No matter how great or how revolutionary your idea or product is, it isn’t going to succeed unless you can sell it.
Make learning marketing and salesmanship one of your number one priorities. Then, when you do come up with a great product or idea, you’ll be well equipped to make it succeed.
Rule #8: There’s no Such Thing as a Free Lunch.
Another phrase popular among the entrepreneur community is this: “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
It was made popular by economist Milton Friedman and is meant to communicate the idea that, if you want something, you are going to have to work for it.
No matter who you are, the world doesn’t owe you anything, and it certainly doesn’t owe you fame and fortune.
If you want these things, you have to be willing to pay the price for them just like all the entrepreneurs before you.
Rule #9: Take Action.
How many people do you think are out there who, at one point, had a great idea but never acted on it?
Thousands? Millions maybe?
The only difference between these people and successful entrepreneurs is that entrepreneurs take action.
Be a doer, and don’t waste your whole life in the “planning” phase.
Rule #10: Always Aim Big.
Don’t stifle your dreams or lower your expectations. You’ll never make it big by aiming small, so you might as well shoot for the stars and see what happens.
Many people are afraid of the work and commitment involved in pursuing a huge idea, but the truth is that there’s only so many hours in the day. Running a small company tends to take up just as many of those hours as running a big company.
Always pursue each new idea and business you start with the goal to make it the “next big thing” and even if it falls short you’ll still be better off for it.
Complete Your Life’s Puzzle.
There’s nothing standing in between you and success that can’t be overcome, and now is as good a time as any to start taking positive steps towards making your dreams and goals a reality.
There are many rules of success out there that you will find. However, above are my favorite to apply to my life and I believe you will find them as useful as I did as a motivation to achieve your own success story that people will reference for years to come.