Categorized | Business


Self-Employment Success: Not a Game of Chance

By Tom Irmen

I’ve been at this for 30 years. Self-employment, that is. I’ve literally observed firsthand thousands of small businesses during three decades, many hundreds of whom failed. Sadly, most of the failures were preventable.

I am often asked by eager, first-time entrepreneurs if I think they’ll be successful. My response is always the same. Your success is entirely up to you. If you view success in business as a game of chance, like a roll of the dice, you’ve likely already failed.

Success in small business is a decision. An uncompromised commitment to succeed. A carefully thought out and well implemented strategy that ignores the odds. I know what the odds are against success in the first, fifth, and tenth years in business, but success-oriented entrepreneurs ignore the odds.

Insane? Not really. Keep in mind that there are no statistics for the serious entrepreneur with that fire in their eyes, commitment, and bulldog determination to adhere their strategy for success despite their circumstances.

Need an example? How about three? Three first-time business owners that refused to roll the dice but instead took on the challenges of entrepreneurship and won despite being in the middle of the nation’s deepest recession.

How about Clinton Glass, who not only thrived throughout the recession, but also totally transitioned their company’s product line? Or there’s Granite Transformations, who, although stumbled slightly out of the starting gate, implemented an entirely new business model which has catapulted them to the number one franchise in the Granite Transformations’ family nationally. Then there’s Slamdot, launched in a recession, yet thriving, relying on a business model that successfully combines affordable websites, genuine customer relationships, and a remarkable grasp of success-oriented marketing principles.

Luck? In your dreams. These entrepreneurs faced the very same challenges that confront every other small business owner daily. They just refused to accept an outcome that would be determined solely on the basis of luck or chance. Winners make their own luck!

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