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6 Surprisingly Simple Strategies To Turn Fear Of Failure Into Business Success

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6 Surprisingly Simple Strategies To Turn Fear Of Failure Into Business Success

Has it ever happened to you?

You’re about to do something important, and suddenly you’re struck with this sickening, pounding feeling just above your stomach?

It’s nauseating. You can’t breathe; you just can’t get enough air. Pressure sits on your shoulders and you just don’t know where it is coming from.

Or do you?

This paralyzing fear appears every time you plan on doing something outside of your comfort zone or if you’re not sure what will happen, no matter how banal the task may be.

But mostly,  you’re afraid you’re wrong about yourself.

Maybe that entrepreneurial aspiration of yours is the fruit of an illusion that you can succeed. Maybe your ideas are ridiculous, and everyone is waiting for you to crash. Maybe you’re just a fool, and this fantasy of being an entrepreneur is just that, a fantasy.

 “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho

You are afraid to fail, and this fear suffocates you, has control over your life, and threatens your business success.

What if I revealed a few ways to take back control of your life? What if I told you that proven strategies could turn your fear of failure straight into business success? Isn’t that exactly what you need?

But before we look into those strategies, let’s see where your fear of failure comes from.

Of course you have a fear of failure. You went to school, right?

We usually fear failure when we’re about to do something for the first time or when we get different results each time we try, like when you call someone. We normally don’t fear failing at tasks we’re well accustomed to.

Please be aware; you’re not born with low confidence or fear of failure. Your fear of failure is an acquired emotion, acquired in your early youth and especially your school years.

What is the only thing that is rewarded in school? Giving the right answer the first time.

Giving the wrong answer is certain to lead to punishment and humiliation from peers, teacher’s disapproval, discipline, and possibly lower grades. Consequently, at the end of your schooling years, you’re effectively trained to be afraid to fail.

Yet, acquiring your fear of failure is actually a good thing. It does not belong to you like your eye color; this means you can lose it again!

With fear of failure, you get more than you bargained for. Humans have many fears to cope with. Depending on who you ask, you will get a list of 15 to 20 types of fear.

The fear of failure is a nasty thing because it actually combines a variety of different fears.

 

The most common fears found within fear of failure are the following:

1) Fear of embarrassment
This is the fear of failing in front of others.

2) Fear of being judged
This fear is based on our need for approval, which we developed in our childhood.

3) Fear of rejection
This fear is based on personalizing what others do or say about us.

4) Fear of vulnerability
This fear is based on our fear of getting hurt if we open up to others and expose our true inner selves.

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” – Jack Canfield

The combination of these fears can paralyze you. It makes you hesitant to take action. But it doesn’t have to.

Use your fear of failure to become super successful.

No matter what your intention is, maybe it’s to complete a challenging project at work or start your own business. Fear of failure can paralyze you, hold you back, and put your emotions in control.

But you can take back control by embracing fear as a growth tool.

pursue-your-dreams-picture-quote-addicted2success
 

Top professional athletes and entrepreneurs are not immune to the paralyzing effects of fear of failure, but they have learned to handle it with a little outside help.

Even better, the strategies used to battle fear of failure also have a direct positive impact on how you approach your professional life.

They make you amazingly focused and help you do business feeling supercharged.

In my career of over 10 years coaching top professionals in Europe and North America, I have used a variety of strategies to help my clients overcome their fear of failure.

So let me show you how you can overcome it too.

 

Combine the following six strategies to create your own strategic success plan:

 

1. Get crystal clear on your goals

Write down your goals and what you want to achieve in the next 12 months, but sub-divide them into smaller, easier, achievable goals, and be as precise as you can be.

If you don’t know where you want to go, you won’t know how to get there. That will confuse you and make you fearful.

But knowing where you should go gives you confidence.

Every goal achieved is a success and makes you feel successful.

 

2. Identify the obstacles preventing you from achieving your goals

Contrary to most beliefs, obstacles are not a bad thing as long as you can identify them. If you know what your obstacles are, then you know how to remove them; e.g., you have more to do than you have time.

One possible solution would be outsourcing.

Eliminating that obstacle between you and your goal means clearing the way toward your goal and therefore toward success. Knowing your enemy (obstacle) gives you confidence.

So make a list of your obstacles, and your fear of failure will decrease significantly.

 “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

3. Plan how to overcome your obstacles

Write out exactly how and when you will overcome your obstacles. Not only does this create a plan to follow, but it puts you into a positive emotional state.

Since your brain cannot attend to opposite signals simultaneously, it cannot maintain fear of failure any longer.

This puts you back in control.

Your fear will have passed by now.

Plus you have a blueprint that leads directly to success (which should be part of any good business plan anyway).

 

4. Embrace choices

If something doesn’t work out as expected, don’t see it as a failure, see it as a conclusion to shift into a different direction that offers another opportunity for a successful outcome.

Business means constant change, and adapting is not a sign of failure but rather good business sense.

 

5. Celebrate

Celebrate not only big, but small achievements.

Again, you focus on the positive the success you just experienced and your brain cannot attend to opposite signals.

So you will face your next task less fearful. Plus, if you can’t have fun working, what’s the point of doing it.

And if you should run into sudden obstacles, don’t panic.

 

6. Breathe

When you’re about to enter a situation you fear, you tend to draw shallow breaths.

Deep breathing will reduce your anxiety.

It also increases blood circulation and oxygen to the heart and brain. It removes muscle tension too, which allows you to move easier and gain confidence.

Deep breathing releases endorphins that create natural highs and easy sleep.

You will be calmer, and a calm mind moves toward control.

fear
 

Yes, you CAN turn your fear of failure into business success.  Aren’t you tired of being a slave to your anxiety attacks?

Isn’t it exhausting to feel defenseless, hopeless, and afraid of failure for no reason? Don’t allow your fear and anxiety to hold you back and render you paralyzed in your business affairs.

This is not you. You know that you can do better than that!

You can take back control of your life, and your days of unexplained anxieties can end today.

Set big goals, chase your dream, be happy, and celebrate. Create your own success story.
What are you waiting for?

Wilfried Lehmkuhler is passionate about helping people achieve their dreams; create financial Freedom and a Life they love by applying proven success strategies. Wilfried is a blogger, speaker, consultant, and accomplished author who has worked with professional athletes and businesses in Europe and North America. You can find him at FinancialFreedomAndALifeYouLove.com or @WLehmkuhler

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. 7 day fitness

    May 10, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    Very good article. I certainly love this site. Keep it
    up!

  2. Alex Palmiere

    May 3, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    I think most of us are afraid of failure, not because we are afraid to fail, but because we are afraid that we might get laughed at. I think that’s what’s stopping most people from trying. Great advice you’ve given Wilfried, and if more people would follow it the world would definitely be a better place.

  3. testo xtrm testosterone

    Apr 26, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Normally I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to
    say that this write-up very pressured me to check out and do so!
    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.

    • Wilfried

      Apr 29, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      Hi testo

      thank you very much. 🙂

      Cheers
      Wilfried

  4. ronnie

    Apr 24, 2015 at 12:08 am

    Awesome “playbook”. I also believe that it would contribute to your happiness and eventually reciprocity will kick in. To the point where being happy and having fun along the way will create that success!

    Peace
    RM

    • Wilfried

      Apr 29, 2015 at 2:36 pm

      Hi Ronnie,
      Glad you like the post, I could not agree more with your statement of happiness, reciprocity and success…Yup you got it!

      Cheers
      Wilfried

  5. Andrea

    Apr 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Hey Wilfried,

    What a powerful post!

    I can identify with many of your fear points, the one that has been haunting me most – feeling like I’m not good enough… I’m glad to say, however, with similar strategies to what you suggest I’ve been able to gradually rise above it. 🙂

    • Wilfried

      Apr 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Andrea,
      Yes the fear of being inadequate is a big one. I’m glad that you could overcome your fears.
      Thanks for sharing your story!
      Cheers
      Wilfried

  6. Laura Tong

    Apr 20, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Such a clear and powerful look at this potentially paralyzing emotion. Breaking down the overall fear of failure into it’s sub fears will be a great help to me on its own going forward as not only will I recognize it as a sub-fear but I’ll be able to hone in on what I need to tackle. Definitely agree with breaking goals down into sub goals – I’ve gone down to bite-size on many occasions and have found this to be the best fear of failure defeating strategy. Celebrating each and every success, however tiny is an absolute must for me. Thanks for posting such a positive and empowering look at this.

    • Wilfried

      Apr 22, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Hi Laura,
      thank you so much for your insightful comment. Yes FOF can be paralyzing for people and is in many cases the true reason why great plans not turn into reality but die the slow dead of “Over Research”.
      Thank you again for such a great comment.

      Cheers
      Wilfried

  7. Peter Banerjea

    Apr 17, 2015 at 1:59 am

    Great post Wilfired!

  8. Dan Western

    Apr 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm

    Nice stuff Wilfried,

    Love the Paulo Coelho quote you used, and those common fears you listed used to often appear within me a lot of the time. Not so much anymore though which is a good sign!

    Thanks for sharing this advice,

    Dan

    • Wilfried Lehmkuhler

      Apr 20, 2015 at 5:45 pm

      Hello Dan,

      My pleasure. And much thanks to you for sharing your experience regarding fear. Glad you doing better.

      Cheers
      Wilfried

  9. Puranjay

    Apr 16, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    “Breathe”.

    Wilfried, that’s the best possible advice I can think of.

    So many people forget the simple act of stopping and taking a deep breath. It’s the best antidote to fear.

    • Wilfried Lehmkuhler

      Apr 20, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Puranjay,
      You got it! Yes step back…breath and regain control!

      Cheers
      Wilfried

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Startups

5 Ways to Deal With Startup Uncertainty

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how to deal with uncertainty in your startup
Image Credit: Unsplash

Starting your own company may sound like a dream come true in your mind, on social media, and to all the people looking on in envy from their office jobs. But when the fantasy fades, you realize how much uncertainty you now have in your life. The inherent risk in any startup is that you are trading the certainty of a normal job for real growth and freedom. What people get from office jobs is much more than a steady pay check and free coffee. It’s a sense of certainty that their lives, work, and finances are in order.

You will have to give up certainty to fully take on the risks of this lifestyle. It will be roller-coaster and something you need to prepare for. Logically, it’s easy to know that. But emotionally, there are so many ups and downs in an entrepreneur’s life. Stress, frustration, and decreased motivation are inevitable.

Here are 5 ways you can deal with startup uncertainty:

1. Stick to a morning routine

There’s many ways to start a morning routine. What’s important is to have a stable, predictable routine. This centers your mind and gives you some order to your day. You manage your business and you can do whatever you want. No boss and no one telling you what to do, it can be mix of productive to outright messy days. By giving yourself some stability, you start the day off in a predictable way so that you can jump into work each day.

It’s as easy as taking your dog to the park, having a cup of coffee, and listening to a motivating audiobook for 20 minutes. You may need meditation to get into the state. Whatever it is that you need to get from a sleepy/hungover mindset to that of taking on the day.

“If you win the morning, you win the day.” – Tim Ferriss

2. Make time for high performance books

Speaking of audiobooks, everyone – especially entrepreneurs, need motivation. Get a few motivating books from other business leaders. This will do incredible things for your mindset and the way you think. Most of them help by keeping you excited for bigger goals. Look for classics from Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins. Or the newer motivational personalities like David Goggins and Rachel Hollis. You’ll be surprised at how much hearing someone’s hardships on their journey will help you on your own.

3. Schedule your week

It’s easy to get a packed calendar working an office job. Everyone else in the company seems to be demanding your time for one meeting or another. Pointless meetings are even the reason some people leave their jobs in the first place. The issue with having your own startup is that while the pointless meetings are gone, so too is any semblance of structure from a filled up calendar.

Spend one evening and fill the upcoming week as much as possible. I recommend Sunday afternoons to think about your goals. Plan big tasks every day throughout the week. That way you always know what you should be working on and stay on track.

4. Hit the gym

This one is actually part of my morning routine and it’s benefits can’t be overstated. Exercise helps fight off anxiety and stress. There’s no better way to funnel your business frustrations more than into the weights. By the time you’re done, your body and mind will be much more relaxed. A necessity when it comes to the tension of being an entrepreneur. Whether that’s staring at your laptop or making sales calls.

“Daily exercise is an insurance policy for future illness.” – Robin Sharma

5. Be grateful

Gratitude was one of the feel good things that I always used to skip whenever it was mentioned. I wanted cold, calculated strategy or tools I could use to build a business as fast as possible. Many brilliant minds in not only self help but also in business, speak about the need for gratitude.

Here’s why it helps me when the business is going through growing pains or everything seems like it is going wrong. I get filled with doubt and uncertainty and gratitude is the quickest way to relief.

Yes, starting your own business is a massive effort, but there is always some job out there. You decided to launch something of your own because you don’t want a baseline existence. You want to grow and build with the freedom someone can only give themselves.

That alone is enough to be grateful. But if you need more, how about that most people are too scared to do what you’re doing. Or that you are taking the time to believe in yourself and live a life of taking chances.

That speaks to your character and self-worth. Much more than the life of quiet misery so many people in the world allow to decide their entire lifestyle. Be grateful you have this opportunity and make the most of it.

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Startups

The Best Side Hustle You Can Start Today In Just 15 Minutes

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The best side hustle you can start in 15 minutes is blogging.

It can be writing, making videos or speaking about topics you love through a regular podcast show. All of these acts are a form of blogging.


15 minutes is not long

That’s why blogging is a good choice.

A video that’s less than 15 minutes is easy to make and will work well.

A short piece of writing can be written in under 15 minutes.

A 10-minute audio conversation on one single question will give people heaps of value and detail in one particular area.

Starting is not where the power lies. Doing this side hustle every single day is how you get what you’re really looking for.


Many successful people are doing this

Whether it’s Hollywood actors like Will Smith or writers like Tim Ferriss or musicians like Ariana Grande — everyone is doing it.

Why is everyone doing the side hustle of blogging?

  1. It’s how we connect with each other.
  2. It actually works.
  3. It’s a way to create an audience which can become a business.

I didn’t invent this side hustle

I just tried it for myself and saw how powerful it was.

It got me:

  • New clients for my 9–5
  • A new 4 day a week day job
  • Clients to coach via Skype
  • Features in major publications like CNBC
  • The opportunity to meet amazing human beings like LinkedIn influencer Michael Chapman

The side hustle of blogging gave me meaning for my life

Before this side hustle, I was washed up, uninspired, negative and pissed off with the world.

Spending 15 minutes to start the habit of blogging got me out of my head. It forced me to search all over the internet and find things to talk about. Pretty soon I was spending 2+ hours a night researching personal development and figuring out what I wanted to blog about.

Blogging led me to want to help the homeless, share my very private battle with mental illness, come to grips with my startup failures and share the lessons, and even overcome my fear of public speaking in the process.

Now I have a meaning for my life thanks to the side hustle of blogging. I reckon it can do the same to help you grow and get you to the next level. You can blog about whatever you want and then watch it grow from there.


Why is blogging the best side hustle?

It’s how you be creative.
It’s how you express yourself.
It’s how you grow.
It’s how you attract the right people into your life.

There are many side hustles you could choose. Blogging is one of many. In my opinion and based on my experience, it’s the best. There are so many avenues you can go down.

Attracting what you want in your life has a lot to do with what you’re putting out into the world”

Blogging is a fantastic way to put out more of what’s important to you, into the world. Like a magnet, blogging attracts more of what you put out into your life.


Oh and don’t forget the income

Investing, giving back and making an income are all possible through blogging too. Part of my monthly income comes from blogging.

This allows me to back causes that help those in need, invest in stocks that provide me with a passive income and have money to spend on the occasional treat such as dinner dates and drinks with my co-workers.

That money comes from:

  1. Ghostwriting for other people
  2. Posting on Medium.com
  3. Coaching clients via Skype
  4. Consulting to businesses on how they can create content that aligns with their brand

There aren’t too many side hustles that can do that for you

Seriously, blogging is a game-changer. It’s a habit you can start in 15 minutes and repeat daily without much effort. Choose your poison — writing, video or audio — and then get started.

Do it for around twelve months and then send me an email with what you experience. I already know, having challenged lots of people already to start this side hustle, that it will work. It just requires patience and the habit of doing it daily.

15 minutes to start today.

And then 15 minutes every day for the rest of your life.

Try it.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

You Are The Problem With Your Business

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A great way to screw up your company is to get into the habit of blaming your suppliers, the market, your staff or your product for your failures.

I recently heard a story of a business that had set up a website. They sold various products and services focusing on helping people with psychological issues. The business owner was smart. The product solved a problem.

Unfortunately, the company was making almost no money. They’d hired someone to help them with their digital marketing and it wasn’t working.

Plenty of traffic was coming to the site, users were having a look around and then not buying a single thing. Who’s fault was this?

Well, according to the business owner it was the person running their digital marketing. As a result, they wasted approximately eight months marketing a website that couldn’t make any sales. The reason the business was failing according to the owner was because of the keywords that were being targeted in the marketing campaign. This is a horrible excuse.

The reason your business fails is because you’re blaming someone other than yourself. It’s the quickest way to bankruptcy. Don’t do that.


Your company is a reflection of you.

It took me a long time to figure out that a company is a reflection of its founder.

One of the businesses I had, had a toxic culture and a bunch of people that were rude to customers, arrogant and not nice people. That was a reflection of exactly who I was at the time.

The company was reflecting the flaws of my own life and what I refused to admit.

In the case of the business owner above, what was obvious is that they were good at telling lies to themselves. It was easy not to change as a business owner and insist that the change needed was nothing to do with their vision.

The issue of their company was not the digital marketing strategy but their lack of understanding around what their customer wanted.

The thought that their products were too complicated, not solving a real problem or priced incorrectly was an admission of guilt they wanted no part in. Hence the eventual demise of their company.


Take responsibility and it will change.

When you own the business, everything is your fault.

You have the power to solve any problem you choose. It starts with you being brave enough to admit that there’s a problem, and then secondly, being bold enough to insist it’s your fault and that you can change it.

The problems in your business can all be solved. That’s what it took me a very long time to understand. When I changed as a person and faced up to my hidden battle with mental illness that I didn’t want to talk about, the odds turned in my favor.

Had I have not taken responsibility for my mental illness, I would have never become a leader in a business or started another side hustle. I would have been crippled by the big, bad world that I thought I could control.

Control came from responsibility, and responsibility solved the major problem in my business: me.


Change is a must.

Not with your digital marketing strategy.
Not with hiring new people.
Not with developing a new product.

Changing yourself is the *must* because YOU attract the problems and the solutions into your business”

You can’t find the solutions or stop the never-ending problems until you stop the cause of it all: you. You’re the problem with your business. The good news is that it’s entirely within your control to fix.

Change you.

Not the business.

<<<>>>

If you want to increase your productivity and learn some more valuable life hacks, then join my private mailing list on timdenning.net

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Startups

The Different Ways of Measuring the Success of Your Start-Up

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startup success
Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve probably heard people use the term “unicorn” in a business context. This means a privately held start-up whose value has grown to at least one billion American dollars. Think Airbnb, Uber, and so forth. There is no doubt that some start-ups have been major financial successes. And many smaller-scale start-ups are doing great as well, working hard and turning a steady profit. But that begs the question of whether finances are the only way to measure the success of a start-up. As it turns out, they might not be. At least, not always and not on their own.

How to Evaluate Success

As anyone who’s been involved with start-ups knows, you need a fair amount of flexibility to do well in this environment. Take the division of labour for example – rather than strict roles, you’ll often see everyone do a bit of everything. The same principle extends to measuring success. It can be vague and mean different things to different people, and it can change over time.

But amongst all that vagueness, one thing has become clear. Predicting the success of a start-up is very difficult for external observers. As a matter of fact, it’s often impossible. Therefore, in order to evaluate how successful a start-up has truly been, we need to know the goals of its founder(s).

“Success means we go to sleep at night knowing that our talents and abilities were used in a way that served others.” – Marianne Williamson

The Numbers

When people think about business, it’s common to boil matters down to the finances. And it certainly is possible to use numbers to measure and predict the performance of a start-up business. Net worth, gross margin, customer acquisition cost – these can all be indicators of success. But, a start-up can post impressive numbers for a while, perhaps even attract large investors, and still shut down in the end. So does this make it a failure?

The answer to this depends. If the founders wanted to start a lasting business, then yes, they failed to meet their goal. However, that isn’t always the case. If they were looking for a short-term solution and came out with more money than they had coming in, a closed-down start-up needn’t be unsuccessful. It can actually be the opposite of that.

So, looking at the figures isn’t enough, and there are different perspectives to consider. When they start planning their business venture, start-up founders may not have any particular numbers in mind when it comes to profit. Instead, they can judge their success according to some of the following criteria.

1. Happy Customers and Solving Problems

The story of a start-up often begins with a problem. The desire to help people overcome a specific issue can be the spark which ignites the creation of an entire business. And in the end, that may be all that matters to the founders.

This is closely connected to the happiness of the customers. If the resulting product or service has made people happy by helping them solve a problem, that is all that may be required for a start-up to be a success. Now, no business wants unsatisfied customers. But in cases like this, happy customers aren’t the way toward the ultimate goal – they are that goal.

In other words, some start-up founders don’t just use financial reports to measure how much they’ve achieved. To them, the one metric which stands above all others is the quantity of positive feedback they’ve received. The main area of focus is customers who use the start-up’s products or services to solve a problem they were having.

2. Impact

Every start-up founder likes doing well in terms of revenue. But for some of these entrepreneurs, the profit is merely a side effect of what they actually set out to do – impact the world in a positive manner. You can see an example of this line of thought with Elon Musk. He said that back in college, he had wanted to be a part of things that could end up changing the world. The continuation of this philosophy is evident in his electric cars (which aim to reduce pollution) and the SpaceX program (which strives to break down some of the barriers of space exploration).

In both cases, the furthering of mankind is the ultimate goal. Many other start-up founders feel the same, even if they have smaller goals in mind. To these people, there is no greater proof of success than if their company has had a positive impact on society or even a small segment of it. In their view, to make a difference is to succeed.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” – Tony Robbins

3. Freedom

For some, starting up their own business is less about getting rich and more about gaining the freedom to conduct their business the way they want to. In this case, financial success is just a means to an end. The endgame is to be your own boss.

The fact is, some people don’t do well when they’re constantly receiving orders. They are simply hardwired to be free thinkers and they require an environment that allows them to do things in their own way.

Being in a position where you hold all the cards can be exhilarating. The knowledge that your decisions are final is very empowering, and many strive for such freedom. If a start-up can allow such people to go from being a regular employee to being in charge of making all the decisions, then it has already achieved all the success that it needs to.

4. Time for Friends and Family

As many people know all too well, a job can easily turn into the focal point of your daily life. Instead of being a way to support your lifestyle, your work dominates your time. And when that happens, the time you have to dedicate to your loved ones becomes scarce. Combating this is precisely what some have in mind when they decide to take the leap and start their own business.

Now, running your own company is no mean feat and it will require a lot of effort. But the beginning is the most time-consuming part of the process. Later on, it can be possible to create a system which leaves you with a lot more time on your hands. You can spend this time with your significant other, your children, or your friends. A start-up which gives you this opportunity is perhaps the greatest success of all.

A start-up is an extension of its founders and so are that company’s goals. Some entrepreneurs are in it for the profit, but not all of them. In the end, there is no single way to measure the success of a start-up. It all comes down to the specific aims of those who established it. But if the founders can end their day on a happy note, then the venture is a success even if it doesn’t fit some standard definition of the term.

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