Monday, January 28, 2013

What Is Success ? How Do You Measure It ? Business Tip # 13

We would all love to make our first $10 million by the time we are 30. Would that figure equal success for you? Would happiness equal success? Do you want to be respected? To make your parents proud? Do you want to pay for your own college education? Do you want to save enough money to Eurorail for six months? Is success a function of receiving a particular award? Of getting into a particular business school? Will you be successful when you sell your thousandth item? Or when your company finally goes public on the stock market? Will you feel successful when there is an article about you in the local newspaper or in Money magazine?

You should figure out exactly what you expect to get out of this business. List all of the components of happiness you hope to derive from this project, and decide if they are good reasons to work so hard, and whether they are strong enough motivators to carry you through the process. Success is a personal feeling of achievement and fulfillment the idea that your efforts have paid off. Each person has his or her own personal barometer. If what you want is to be famous, your approach to business is going to be quite different than if what you want is to be rich.

You are a powerful force, and you can move mountains with your determination. We know that one person really can change the world, and we encourage you to give your dream your all. But you must consider very carefully what your life will actually be like in the first few months or even years of your enterprise. When you decide to start a business in college, you will receive the encouragement of your friends and the pride of your parents. But as much as people are interested, you will probably find pretty quickly that they do not have much time to devote to your concerns, or much interest in helping you with the dirty work. Essentially, you will have to go it alone. Are you ready for that?

Visualize yourself working late into the night. Imagine yourself staying in on a Thursday night (or many Thursday nights) so you can wake up in time for an appointment on Friday morning. Picture yourself spending half of your summer working on the business instead of pursuing easier work like friends. How will you feel when you must give up spring break in Cancun with friends for a series of meetings you otherwise don't have time for?

You must be aware that there are many difficulties here. Not only will you be doing the majority of the work by yourself initially, but your lifestyle and mind-set will necessarily change, possibly isolating you from your friends and former interests. We are not trying to imply that you must give up your college life to be an entrepreneur on the contrary, you can do both. But this substantial undertaking will necessarily have an effect on your interests and personality. Be ready for that change, and for the enormity of the project. Are you prepared to go it alone?

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