What It Takes To Succeed As An Entrepreneur

16 April 2019Career, Inspiration • Susan Rietano Davey



Kelley and I are serial entrepreneurs. Prepare to Launch U is not the first business start-up rodeo for either of us. Creating something and being our own bosses is just what we’re wired to do.

Through Prepare to Launch U, and in our private practices, we meet many women who feel the same. Or at least they want the same. Or they think they want the same. After exploring options for a career-return or pivot, they decide they want to go the entrepreneurial route.

The truth is, however, only a small percentage of them are well suited to entrepreneurship – and only a small percentage of that percentage will actually succeed.

Starting and running your own business is hard.

So, we recently decided we’d assemble a list of what we believe are the ten top requirements for being a successful entrepreneur. To keep it interesting, we each wrote our own personal top ten lists – and then shared them live during a recent Facebook Live session we hosted.

Our lists reveal a little about our experience and perspectives, and a lot about why we are such a good partnership. Here they are:

Susan’s List of 10 Things You Must Have For Success As An Entrepreneur:

  1. A unique product or service (or a unique way of producing or delivering an existing product or service).
  2. A market that needs your product (or that you can convince needs your product).
  3. Time to work – a lot, often without breaks.
  4. Money (your own or investors’) because you won’t make any for a while, and because you have to spend it to make it.
  5. Flexibility to change gears quickly, nimbly (and without attitude) when necessary.
  6. Patience to take the long view. Success takes time; you’re not going to get rich quick.
  7. Confidence in yourself, your product, your pitch – and the ability to fake it ‘til you make it.
  8. Humility to know what you don’t know, or don’t do well, and ask for help.
  9. Grit to power through, to not give up, and to shake things off.
  10. A PARTNER to share the work, the worries and the (hopefully abundant) LAUGHS!

Kelley’s List of 10 Things You Must Have For Success As An Entrepreneur:

  1. Flexibility to go with it when things change or need to be changed
  2. Be a Learner, wanting and willing to dive deep and get educated on everything in your market, field, etc.
  3. Willingness to make mistakes because you will make them!
  4. Discipline to work hard, often, and sometimes around the clock
  5. Accepting of Feedback (and willingness to solicit it, too)
  6. Ability to Defend Your Idea to customers, business partners and naysayers
  7. Keep Asking for the YES and don’t settle for a NO
  8. Curiosity about people, businesses, processes, everything!
  9. Patience to wait out the hard parts of the journey
  10. A Partner 😉

It was a happy (huggy) moment for Kelley and me when we saw that we had the same #10.  Perhaps we should do a piece on what makes for a successful partnership, next 😉