How have I reached success as an entrepreneur? What has helped me succeed in generating a multiple six-figure income working part-time? What can you do to find this same success?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot, because I think I might have answered this question differently even just a year ago.
There were certain ingredients that I had thought made me a successful entrepreneur.
But recently, I’ve been seeing other folks do “all the right things” in their entrepreneurial ventures yet not achieve the financial or influence-based goals they’ve set.
It made me wonder: What is actually going on, at least for me, that is contributing to my success? Especially since it may be different from what I would have originally thought would be the ingredients in how I’ve reached success as an entrepreneur .
Of course, these are just my musings and personal reflections, and not data-based research.
Ingredients In Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur
Here are my speculations on how I’ve reached success as an entrepreneur:
This is something that I have stood by from day one.
If you are inauthentic as an entrepreneur, then that means that you are going to be trying to be someone that you’re not. Or trying to look like someone you’re not.
That means you are, potentially, building an entire business on an insecurity. For example, you may be thinking, “Who I am is not good enough to have a successful business, so I have to pretend to be somebody else.”
2) Use Multiple Skills
I’ve chosen businesses that leverage multiple of my skill sets.
I’m not just finding one thing that I am good at, and centering my business around that one thing. Instead, I find things that I am decent enough at, then build something that leverages all of those skill sets.
For example, my YouTube channel has been successful because I am decent at teaching, I know how to edit videos, and I am familiar with SEO and branding. All of those skills, in combination, give me a pretty unique competitive edge.
I want to emphasize that I’m not particularly fabulous at any one of these skill sets. I’m not an expert therapist, business owner, teacher or videographer. But, when I put together my “good enough” skills, it’s a win.
3) Intentionally Face Fears
This is a newer revelation of mine.
I’m always intentionally looking for opportunities to face my fears.
When I was in early high school, I developed a very severe panic disorder. This started creating a smaller world for myself. I was actively avoiding places that I had experienced a panic attack at. It got so bad that I decided to do something about it. I started systematic desensitization, and I kept challenging myself until I had worked through every item on my fear hierarchy.
I wanted to share that story to explain the inner motivation I have to constantly find and face my fears. I believe this drive has massively benefited me as an entrepreneur.
There is so much scary stuff that comes from being an entrepreneur. Some of those fears can include: running your own business, knowing that everything is your responsibility including your income, and not wanting to make mistakes that may impact other people.
Because of the mindset I have developed to help face my fears, I am able to see the fears and try my best to face them.
And of course, I still have days when I avoid facing those fears. I am human!
4) “Gamifying My Life”
The approach that I have is to see myself as the competitor that I’m always trying to “one-up”.
For example, after completing a blog post, I may ask myself, “What can I do next time to make it a little bit better?” “How can I one-up myself?”
This turns my tasks into a game. How do I level up? What new skill can I learn that would make what I do even better?
When I am only comparing myself to myself, it becomes very intrinsically motivating. And rewarding!
Angela Lee Duckworth describes grit as a combination of passion and perseverance. She points out that grit doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with talent.
Grit is basically being able to consistently show up for something, even though it is hard.
Having grit leads to success.
My first year when I started Private Practice Skills I wasn’t getting paid. I was working a regular full-time job, and working on Private Practice Skills during my evenings and weekends. I was working 20-40 hours a week building my business from nothing.
But, I kept showing up because I was so passionate about my business and willing to persevere.
6) Failure As Part of Success
I see failure as a necessary part of success.
In other words, it’s not just that failure is a thing to push through. Instead, I believe failure is part of the learning curve. We are all supposed to fail over and over and over again as part of achieving success.
I can’t tell you how many times I have failed. Just recently I recorded a whole video only to find out that the audio wasn’t working. I also have had many failed business ideas before I started Private Practice Skills.
Every day there are multiple things that look like failures in my life. And now I see them as a normal part of reaching success as an entrepreneur.
This is important to acknowledge.
There is some luck involved in being at the right place at the right time.
For example, at the beginning of the pandemic my YouTube channel saw a huge growth spike. Possibly because more folks were at home looking for online resources. I didn’t plan that! It just happened.
No Such Thing As A Cookie-Cutter Entrepreneur
The reason I wanted to share my thoughts in this article is because I think for me and for others, we can have this picture of what a successful entrepreneur looks like. Then, we see that we’re not quite like that, and assume success is not for us.
I’m also peculiar, highly sensitive, and I perform really poorly when I work for others. I’m also prone to anxiety when I work more than part-time. All things that one might say would get in the way of being able to reach success as an entrepreneur. But I think I found my sweet spot using the advantages on this list.
There is more than one way to have reached success as an entrepreneur. It is most important that you know who you are, what your strengths are, and find a way to meld those strengths together for your own benefit.
More Entrepreneurial Thoughts
If you are interested in learning more about what I have learned about being an entrepreneur, I have an article all about that.
Also, I polled some other private practice owners and got their thoughts on things that surprised them the most about private practice.
Finally, if you are interested in pursuing private practice yourself, I have a checklist to help you get off and running in starting a private practice.
And until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels
Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels