The 7 Questions Every Successful Entrepreneur Asks - and Answers

Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and daunting of experiences.

What separates those who succeed and those who fall by the wayside?

Every young entrepreneur I have ever met has three qualities in abundance, three qualities which spur movement beyond the comfort zone and a compelling journey into the unknown.

The first is boldness

Put another way, they come up with crazy ideas, because boldness, by definition, has a hint of the impossible, even at times, madness about it.

I remember setting up my own business years ago, being told, it’s not the right timeyou are mad giving up a good job etc. But that burning desire inside was so strong I had to do it.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that I, as everyone who starts their own business, possess a second personal attribute that many people construe as a weakness but which, in reality, is their greatest strength – they balance a fine understanding of their own skills with a drive to be creatively vulnerable.

What this means is that the fear of failure does not compute, it is not allowed to enter the psychological thought process.

Fear of failure is the biggest showstopper for those who are desperate to make the leap to the unknown world of managing your destiny in its entirety.

But why is this so?

The writer Brene Brown* offers a powerful insight:

It is easier to live with disappointment than risking excitement and feeling disappointed.’

We would prefer to suffer the frustration of not realising our true potential than suffer the public disappointment and personal embarrassment should our initiative fail – something that an up and coming entrepreneur would value highly as a beneficial learning experience.

Being bold, creating new challenges that inspire is to understand that mistakes will be made, blind alleys will be encountered and failures experienced with the accompanying  public embarrassment.

When you start a business, the often-asked question is what is your strategy? Strategy should at first be a passionate desire to make a difference, coupled with a reason to buy and an absolute determination to help your customer excel. 

I can say with complete confidence based on personal experience that your strategy will change, you will learn by doing, but if your passion does not dim, success will follow.

The third and final attribute is resilience, never ever giving up. 

Successful entrepreneurs nurture the passion, the confidence and the desire to strike out on their own to make exciting possibilities a reality.

They ask themselves, and answer, these 7 questions:

1.    What would I do differently if I knew for certain that I would be successful?

2.    What is stopping me from making that bold decision right now?

3.    Will my action connect to my past and provide an inspirational link to my future?

4.    Will it encourage others to step forward and join me on my journey?

5.    Will it enhance my own brand and set me apart in making a real difference to others?

6.    Am I prepared to suffer the consequences and learning opportunities the inevitable knock backs will offer?

7.    Do I want to start my business more than anything else in the world?

Asking these 7 questions will help you appreciate how entrepreneurial you are, and more importantly, how more entrepreneurial you can truly become through breaking out of the shackles that surround your own comfort zone. 

As the German writer Goethe once said:

‘Boldness has power, genius and magic in it.’

*The book Daring Greatly by Brene Brown is an excellent read about achieving your true potential through exploring the theme of vulnerability, this 90 second video sums up the book’s core theme: