The Top 10 Common Rules of Success Among Entrepreneurs 76

The Top 10 Common Rules of Success Among Entrepreneurs

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.

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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.

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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.

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Becoming Your Own Boss: Tips on Getting a Business Off The Ground 7

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Becoming your own boss is a complicated process, and not everyone does it the same way.

I got lucky. I was still working when I got my business off the ground, so I had a source of income while I was working the kinks out of my business. I did most of my work for the new business when I got home or on the weekends. I asked for a change in job responsibilities at the office so that I didn’t have as much on my plate.

This all gave me a chance to start earning money without going into debt. When it was feasible, I stopped working my regular job and transitioned into working for myself full time. It took about a year and a half.

Establish clear boundaries.


Sometimes people don’t take you seriously when you tell them that you work for yourself. They think you are always available to chat or have lunch.

I had a number of friends that would call me at all hours, assuming I was available because they wanted to talk. Granted, it was nice to have that freedom at first. But, I soon realized that if I was going to be successful, I couldn’t let those kinds of distractions interrupt my workday.

Save before you start working for yourself full time.

I was in pretty good shape when I made the transition, but looking back, a few more months with a paycheck would have been wonderful.

When you start your own business, money can be very tight. You never know what you are going to make month to month.

I had one customer that initially made up most of my revenue. That customer only paid on a quarterly basis, which meant that times were tough in between payments.

I had to spend money to build the business, which meant there wasn’t a lot left over. If I didn’t get a payment right on time, it was very difficult to deal with.

There were times when I had to ask for a loan from family members simply to pay my bills.

Reach out and build a support network.

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It can be really difficult to adjust at first. You have great days and you have terrible days. You meet goals some months, while other months you are left wondering where you went wrong.

If you make a mistake, you alone are responsible for it and your business and reputation can suffer. It is easy to feel depressed at times. You may even start to feel like you can’t handle running a business and that you made a big mistake when you left your office job.

Remember that you are not alone. All entrepreneurs have these moments, which is why it is so important to connect with others in the field.

Take time for yourself.

I had a honeymoon period of about half a year. It was really exciting to see the business get bigger. Each milestone that I met was a reason to celebrate.

However, heading into the second year, it was more difficult. I was tired. Things weren’t as exciting because they weren’t new anymore. And then, year three came along. I was done with working such long hours.

I was done with having no time off. Burnout is certainly an issue in this business, so you have to figure out how to balance your personal and your professional needs.

It took me a long time to get where I am today. I had to do a lot of research. I had to educate myself on business. I had to find an SEO expert. I had to figure out who my main competitors were and keep an eye on them. I also had to stay current with what was happening in the field so that I didn’t fall behind.

No matter how hard I worked, it seemed like I could never get caught up. Running a business is a big responsibility.

If you are interested in starting your own business, you want to set yourself up for success. Try to cut back on your living expenses. Make sure you have substantial savings. Set up an area in your home where you can work, free from distractions.

If you are married, get your spouse on board. He or she can help pay bills while you are getting your business off the ground.

Your business is only as good as you are.

Make sure you have a support system of other business professionals. These people can help you acknowledge your weaknesses, encourage you to keep moving forward and advise you on common mistakes.

You can try and go it alone, but it will be very difficult for you. As with anything else in life, your support network has a lot to do with your success. You are probably strongly invested in your business; after all, it is something that you created. Make sure you have people that you trust to help you along the way.


Grace Lee has been practicing in the field of digital marketing for several years now. She has already brought numerous sites in search engines’ first pages in search results. In her spare time, she loves listening to podcasts about Google algorithm updates and other matters related to SEO.