What is the Secret to Entrepreneurial Success?

The secret to success of any kind is elusive and much sought after. At present, the claim to a key to entrepreneurial success is what sells magazines, books and piques most people’s interest. I’m an easy mark for that sort of stuff.

This magazine claims to have "the secret."

This magazine claims to have “the secret.”

This weekend, we’re staying with our friends, Chris and Kim Heim at a resort in the Brainerd, Minnesota lakes area. The above magazine was sitting on the coffee table in our cabin and the by-line of “The #1 secret to entrepreneurial success” caught my eye.

I went to the table of contents of the magazine to learn that the article was on page 48. It wasn’t. Well, at least, there was no “#1 tip” that I could find.

I made a comment to Chris that it bugs me when the table of contents and the content in a magazine don’t line-up.

I read a bit about what they had to say about Entrepreneurs in general and then it occurred to me, sitting right across the room from was a guy that the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal often time interviews and refers to as a “Successful Serial Entrepreneur.”

My friend Chris Heim has grown and sold three different companies in the time that I have known him so I asked, “Chris, what’s the key to entrepreneurial success?” He sort of chuckled, thought for a moment and said, “persistence.” A point of view from experience…

I loved the answer because of the simplicity. I am humbled because it was delivered by someone who has been there multiple times and because of the hope that it may offer to anyone actively pursuing a venture or thinking of getting started.

Notice that he didn’t say, money, market, management, business model, intelligence, product or anything else that one must go out and find. What he said was something that is available to anyone.

Anyone can persist through the hard times, nay-sayers, start-up set-backs and periods of self-doubt. The only thing required to persist is the will to do so. No one can give that to you or take it away.

The next time that I find myself leaning towards throwing in the towel, I’ll remember Chris’ thoughtful words. Thanks, Chris, for sharing your wisdom.

I also believe it’s important to control your thoughts. After all, what we think about is as important as how we think.


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