By Shannon Williams
Experts like psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman say the key to entrepreneurship is one’s state of mind. While factors such as the type of business, products and services offered play a significant role in the success of a company, experts contend the owner’s mindset is what will prove most beneficial in the long-term.
Most experts also agree that a successful entrepreneur must have willpower. Willpower is what will initially give an individual the courage to step out on faith and execute the idea formulated in their mind. Willpower is what will give someone the courage to continue despite a low initial return on investment. And when that budding entrepreneur is feeling discouraged and frustrated, willpower is what will bring them out of that dark state and into the light.
There has been on-going debate in the business world about entrepreneurs and it can be summed up in one question: Are entrepreneurs born or made? I tend to believe the latter. There is no mistake about it; there are some entrepreneurs who have an innate ability to succeed. It is a characteristic they are born with and such distinctive gift has proved well for them professionally. But being born void of “the gift” does not prevent someone from becoming an entrepreneur.
I dare to say that not having an innate ability makes a person that much more determined to succeed because, perhaps in a small way, they think the odds are stacked against them. One’s personal circumstances can also help them determine whether or not they would like to pursue entrepreneurship. I have a friend who lives in an incredibly competitive city, and though she is highly qualified, securing permanent positions that utilized her vast skills was difficult.
So, instead, she set out to form her own education consulting business. For her, failure was not an option. She had to succeed because her life and the lives of her two young daughters depended on the success of her company. Four years later, she is more financially-comfortable and personally-fulfilled than she has ever been. My friend’s success as well as the success of other entrepreneurs I’ve encountered can be contributed in large part to willpower.
Nearly all of them said there were times they almost threw in the towel, but their determination to stay on the course kicked in, resulting in a vengeance that made them even more motivated. Willpower is significant. It can erase doubt, combat naysayers, inspire investors and stimulate growth. Willpower is a tool and should be used as such.
This issue of Indiana Minority Business Magazine features entrepreneurs who used willpower to not only launch their companies, but also to help navigate them through challenging times once their businesses got off the ground. You will learn each entrepreneur’s road to success, some bumps in the road they experienced, as well as advice they offer burgeoning entrepreneurs.
Whether you’re looking to start your own business or find pleasure in climbing the ladder of pre-existing companies, having willpower will help you accomplish your goals. I hope you find this issue of IMBM as compelling and motivating as our staff does. Here’s to you finding and utilizing your sheer determination to succeed!