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Cintia Miranda Cintia Miranda
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How do you know you've succeeded as an entrepreneur?

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Have you succeeded? Have you succeeded?

Every entrepreneur asks themselves this same question from time to time, and although we all have different goals and ambitions, the answer is always something along the lines of, 'When you're doing what you love while getting paid for it.' The key there, however, is that you do need to get paid for it otherwise, you're a hobbyist, not an entrepreneur.

Most entrepreneurs are visionaries, and often have great ideas of how to do things differently or even better than the current status quo. Being a visionary is a great trait, as long as we're able to focus and follow a strategic path to success. Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Liliberte has a great mantra: 'Do what you love, but follow the money.' Even a clown can become a billionaire, if their goals are truly entrepreneurial (and Guy's fortune is currently estimated at $1.8 billion no clowning around)!

My business is still in its infancy, and we have a long road ahead of us. I have learned a few good lessons along the way, however, which I am happy to share:

  1. 1)Know your limitations.  Face it: you're not good at everything in fact, nobody is. Hire people whose skills will complement your own, and who will help you build a great business. It's not only OK, but smart to hire people better than you.
  2. 2)Ask for help.  Don't be ashamed of not knowing how to handle something just because you're the business owner. Ask your employees for their opinion, and listen - allow them to help you make better decisions for your company.
  3. 3)Be trustworthy. Gaining your customers' trust is the best reward a company can possible achieve, because the rest (including money) will follow.  
  4. 4)Don't be afraid of failure.  It is our job as business owners to minimize the probability of errors, but mistakes are bound to happen. If you drop the ball, own up to it, clean up the mess and learn from your mistake. Sometimes great things come out of failure.
  5. 5)Never rest, or you'll rust.  Do you remember how your industry was 10 years ago? How about five years ago? How about two? You get the picture things evolve a lot faster nowadays, and if you take the time to rest, someone else will take over your market share and faster than you think!
  6. 6)Don't aim to be big; aim to be great.  This is another one of my own mantras (if you know me personally, you've probably have heard me say this over and over again). Always choose quality of product/service over quantity of output. The money will follow, as well as loyal customers and brand recognition.

If you have been asking yourself lately what it will take to feel like you've met your entrepreneurial goals, think about how you do business, what you've been able to take home and whether your customers respect you and your work. If you have a satisfactory answer for all of these questions, I'd say you're doing well and should keep up with the good work. If not, think about what's missing, and how you can change it.

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