Behind every business is an owner who has interesting stories to tell. There were times I couldn’t help myself from wondering what made me continue wanting to become an entrepreneur despite the challenges and hardships that came my way. Every self-doubt is always a defining moment of character and decision-making abilities. One can easily be broken given a weak foundation of thoughts.

I continue to choose Entrepreneurship seven years and one bankruptcy after because I created a purpose for my living. This is the main reason I never regretted every bit of my decision as an entrepreneur. If your mind tells you that you’re better off as a businessman, allow me to share with you the following must-haves I learned if you want to stay in the game:

1. Right Vision and Mission

I consider earning money as the weakest factor and consideration to start a business. Sure, we all want to get out of the “rat race” ASAP and own our fair share of financial freedom. I cannot emphasize this enough but Entrepreneurship is the ONLY way to go. However, if you revolve your mindset around money and make it the center of your overall intention, then you’re bound to fail, my friend. I look at Money as merely a tool that allows us to get things done. No more, no less. Believe it or not, I’ve known and seen other entrepreneurs went gaga over the lack or absence of money. In Business, Christmas does not come all the time. If money has always been your “end-goal”, what will happen to you if, for example, you got no sales in a month? How about having no sales three or six months in a row? Will you just give up on your dream of becoming an entrepreneur? Some would reason with me and would say that they have loved ones who depend on them so they couldn’t afford to be broke. I say, that’s bullshit! Congratulations on taking care of the next generation of leeches in your family and for adding to the number of lazy Juan’s in the Philippines! Establishing a bigger vision and a long-term mission will keep you focused especially during tough times.

2. Right Attitude

I’d like to enumerate and specify the five behaviors that helped me get through the hard times as a businessman.

a. Optimism
While most people are feeling meh as Mondays come, I on the other hand always look forward to starting my week. In fact, I never liked holidays and weekends for a simple reason that banks are closed during these times. No banking day means another delay in receiving payments from clients. LOL! Kidding aside, looking at the brighter side of things makes a whole lot difference between experiencing continuous Success and Failure when faced with temporary and minor setbacks in your operations. Shits happen for good reasons!

b. Patience
Most young entrepreneurs nowadays feel like they’re so smart that they can achieve Success overnight or even for a short period of time. They immediately jumped onto each “supposed” opportunity that comes their way. They would rather choose the process of earning fast and easy money than a slow, sustainable cash flow. For the record, I am still an advocate of working smartly. Unless I was the one who created my own opportunity, I would be cautious about grabbing other chances provided by other people. Start your Pro’s and Con’s list. Is the opportunity provided to me really worth my time and effort? Stretch your imagination and visualize where you will be 10 years from now should you act on any particular opportune moment.

c. Humility
This characteristic is not only about managing to keep your feet on the ground because you don’t want other people to perceive you as a douchebag. This also covers the process of embracing and receiving infinite learning from the Universe by accepting the fact that you have many rooms for improvement. Trust me when I say that nobody likes a smart-ass. When in front of clients, show them your enthusiasm to listen to their needs. Never assume a universal solution to all problems. And in managing your business, never be afraid to ask questions and seek answers to the ones who you think you can trust. If one aims to become a Mentor, one should learn how to become a Student first.

d. Determination
You may have a million-dollar business idea but if you lack the drive or the willpower to make your thoughts a reality, then it is merely called daydreaming. I’ve met people both online and in the field who had these promising products and services in mind that can actually make huge money in a year’s time and make a difference in other people’s lives. But they’re either too afraid or too lazy to act on their thoughts. Whenever you come across failure and hardship, always remember why you began the business in the first place (read Number 1). And even now that you’re on top of your game, don’t be complacent. Keep moving forward. Just like how my friend Jazper Tiongson describes personal growth: “There’s no other direction but upward.”

e. Gratitude
When was the last time you looked at a cloud formation and realized how beautiful it was? If you can’t be grateful about small things, you will not recognize Success even if it’s already in front of you. One business inquiry in a day is something you should still be thankful for. Always be grateful for something! When I experienced how it was to be completely broke and had no money to spend even for food, it was my family and closest friends who were there for me and got my back. And I thanked my God for them and for letting me feel I wasn’t alone in my battle.

3. Right Knowledge

It’s good to follow your instinct. In business though, having the right data or analytics to back your next moves is always a smarter choice. We cannot always rely on guts alone. I have finally learned to calculate risks in my every action and decision that involves my company and my personal life in general. Having commonsense does not automatically mean you’re about to do the right thing. You probably have observed that our fellow Filipinos nowadays tend to be lazier by the day. They’re not fond of doing research anymore. Funny and idiotic as it may seem, but some of us simply rely on whatever information we see and read in our Facebook account’s news feed. And this is an opportunity for you and me! In Art of War, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, you attack the enemy at his weakest points. Feed your mind with all the data you need to increase your probability of accomplishing your tasks successfully.

4. Right Network of People

Now, here’s a simple task for you: Login to your Facebook account and go to your friends list. Visit the profile of those who you believe are successful in their field. The person may be someone who is older or younger than you are. If you already found one, go to his profile and do a little Facebook-stalking. Huwag ka na magpaka-plastik! I’m sure that’s what you tend to do on your free time anyway. So upon visiting your friend’s profile, observe the quality of people he hangs out with by checking the friends who are in this person’s list. If the list is private and you’re unable to view it, browse through the person’s timeline and I’m sure you’ll be able to find some of his photos with friends. BUT, if you can’t find anybody from your list that you think you can look up to, then it’s a perfect time to re-evaluate your circle of friends. Do you know the saying: “Show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are”? Associate yourself with your kind. If your business is about selling properties, connect with those who have great convincing skills and do not mind rejections. On a personal note, I “filtered” my friends list a couple of months back and I’m down to having 305 friends (from 900+) as of this writing. And you know what? Doing so felt liberating. On the business side, I gained more clients because I’m able to interact more with the business friends who I retained in my list. Since we’re able to talk more about each other’s products and services, we refer one another to our own network. Win-win!

So, there goes my best practices that worked for me. I want you to remember that there is no single, perfect formula for Success. If you can share with us your ways on how you were able to overcome challenges in your business, please do so using the comment section below. I’m always interested to learn from others. If you find this article helpful, please hit Like and Share this to your friends. Thanks!

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