What can an entrepreneur do to succeed? Success depends on a lot on factors - some under your control and some outside your control. As is the famous saying - "Success is 90% luck and 10% perspiration" - you can only control the perspiration side of it. It does not guarantee success, but it is the best you can do.
Internet is full of tips for entrepreneurs - top 10, top 20 things to do. But the following 2 things are the most important for an entrepreneur to focus on:
1. Spend at least 70% of your time selling: The core business of business is to sell. Every entrepreneur should make it a point to spend time on sales - selling to customers, investors, employees, family members and friends. 'Sales' does not only include talking about your product/services to bring in revenues, but it also includes selling your ideas, your company, and yourself to others. It also includes changing the way you think about your product - how to better understand customer requirements, how to change features to bring in new revenue streams, how to change your business model, etc.
Entrepreneurs, who come from development background (or think themselves of as 'geeks'), get lost in the development process and completely lose track of sales. Others get lost in day-to-day operational activities. If it happens, alarm bells should be ringing.
2. Evolve: Entrepreneurs should be ready to evolve with time. Evolution can happen on multiple fronts:
- Product or service model
- Business model
- Field of business itself (as dramatic as it may sound, entrepreneurs should not limit themselves to one sector. They should follow any opportunity, where they can play a role)
- Founding team
- Your own style of work and thinking