Lee Iacocca: "You've got to say, 'I think that if I keep working at this and want it badly enough, I can have it. It's called perseverance.'"
One of the most common reasons for entrepreneur failure and business closure is a lack of determination and persistence.
Those who are not determined to persevere until they succeed tend to jump from one idea to another when encountering difficulties. If you don't try to overcome the obstacles, none of your ideas will have a chance to develop into something successful.
In contrast, successful entrepreneurs talk about the hardships ways of dealing with them. Sometimes with great creativity.
An entrepreneur starts with a good idea, continues to the design stage, and then arrives at the performance stage.
Though the entrepreneurial process, people will almost always have to overcome challenges. To handle these challenges, an entrepreneur must show determination and persistence. Persistence is also required to continue advancing projects and achieve the desired goals. Otherwise, every little problem will vanquish the entrepreneur.
Implementing the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program and talking to students about these issues helps them to understand the process of entrepreneurship, and enables them to be ready to tackle obstacles. The program also helps students understand that these difficulties are challenges that they have to go through to achieve success.
An Example of an Entrepreneur:
In an interview, the founder of Israeli manufacture Arack Mabrouka described the experience of an entrepreneur who started from scratch:
"The entrepreneurs have endless disappointments, failures, and frustrations. Entrepreneurs have to insist that people will listen to their ideas and convince the right people to invest and help them develop the project. The entrepreneurs must be willing to take risks and know that there is a possibility that they will not succeed.
Take the following into consideration: Raising ideas for projects can be misleading at first, since until the actual venture is established, an entrepreneur may not think of all the details required for its implementation.
So, if you have decided to be an entrepreneur, prepare yourself mentally for surprises and problems that you may have to handle throughout the entrepreneurial process."
Such mental preparation helps entrepreneurs to handle hard times and to persevere in the realization of the project all the way to success.
The video "How bad do you want it?" illustrates this message clearly.
Determination and persistence are a part of self-discipline. In order for an entrepreneur to be persistent despite the difficulties and not give up, he has to be equipped with self-discipline.
In his book "21 Secrets of Million-Dollar Sellers", Stephen J. Harvill interviewed particularly successful salespeople in order to understand what is their cause to success.
He describes all of those causes in the book in detail, but there's one that is common to all of them and that is self-discipline.
He wrote: "I must say that there's nothing, not personal charm, not talent or innate wisdom, that can substitute persistence and following through. Each and every one of the interviewees in this research demonstrated a strong ability to concentrate and self-control. These superstars don't dawdle on, don't postpone tasks, and don't make excuses. They're working with determination."
Determination and persistence are accompanied by energy, which pushes entrepreneurs to keep going, even when they encounter the inevitable challenges.
An entrepreneur's energy and passion, from the start of the project, equip him or her with an advantage over others, some of whom may copy his/her ideas.
When an idea is original, energy and excitement continue to drive the project forward and lead it to success. The entrepreneur has the motivation to dedicate himself/herself entirely to the venture even when it comes to irregular hours or finding creative ways to solve issues.
Successful entrepreneurs can visualize the picture of the success in their minds, develop their ideas, and put their full efforts into it.
However, sometimes, other people do not understand the entrepreneurial enthusiasm spirit. They do not see what is so special about the project the entrepreneur is working on, or why he/she is developing it.
This is where entrepreneurs' faith in their ideas and in their ability to realize them, distinguishes them from others. That's exactly what makes entrepreneurs pioneers. They don't act the way the environment expects.
Kevin Systrom, one of the founders of Instagram, says that this is how he felt toward Twitter in the beginning. He thought the entrepreneurs behind Twitter were crazy. He believed that no one would use their product and wondered who needed such a social network. The entrepreneurs behind Twitter went on with their dream, and the site became a popular social network with hundreds of millions of users.
Every project requires investing energy and resources. When a project fails, entrepreneurs must understand and accept failure, but at the same time, know that it does not necessarily mean that they themselves are a failure. Projects can fail, and statistics even show that the rate of success is not as high as it sometimes seems to be.
Entrepreneurs who can identify what caused the failure, figure how to fix it as well as improve and make changes, will likely overcome problems and proceed.
This ability to overcome, change, sometimes make a pivot and/or move on to the next project is what leads the entrepreneur to success.
Sometimes it seems like everyone around us is successful while only our project fails, but this is not true. It is just that people prefer sharing their successes while minimizing failure. However, before successful results, most entrepreneurs experience failure. Accomplishment comes from a lot of persistence and determination.
Michael Jordan, former NBA star, once said, "I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." Watch the clip here:
Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal, a successful online payment company, also once explained how determination and persistence help him to succeed:
Entrepreneurship is the process of starting over. Starting over is the essence of entrepreneurship.
Our natural tendency is to be somewhere safe and familiar, as well as to stay in our comfort zone.
However, when we talk about entrepreneurship, it's different. The entrepreneurs strive to obtain a comfort zone, but until they get there, they will find themselves dealing with new things that are not familiar to them.
When an initiator has a concept, he/she begins to formulate the idea, to prepare a work plan, and to promote it.
Every project is a kind of a new beginning. To promote your venture, you have to do new things, think outside of the box, develop new skills, get to know new people, etc. All of these tasks are necessary if you want to reach success.
The difficulty begins when the project fails, and then an entrepreneur has to start again from scratch. Starting from the very beginning can be compared to hitting the restart button on a computer so that it will begin smoothly again. Just like this, an initiator must recognize and accept the failure of a project. Maybe doing a pivot can help, and perhaps the entrepreneur has to close it and start a new venture.
This ability to admit failure and start over again is not obvious. It requires positive thinking, determination, persistence, and an entrepreneur's faith in his/her ability to succeed.
At the Entrepreneurship for Kids Program, we talk about failures, how we feel about them, and how people we know respond to failure. We attempt to understand how we will be able to find the energy to start over once again.
It is possible to develop this ability to start over, and it seems that it is never too late to learn. You can train yourself to try new things and to challenge yourself on an issue that you find particularly demanding. Of course, it is better to try this with something that interests you.
The more we habituate ourselves to get out of our comfort zone and have new experiences, the more we practice starting over without the anxiety of obstacles and new challenges. These are essential qualities for being entrepreneurial.