Entrepreneurship and the Pursuit of Business Success

Entrepreneurship and the Pursuit of Business Success

Article by : James Vena


The label “entrepreneur” isn’t a job title or one-time act. Aspiring entrepreneurs and founders quickly learn that there is really no such thing as ‘business ownership utopia’ and doing something entrepreneurial doesn’t automatically make one an entrepreneur.

One of my discoveries from a rewarding life of a being an entrepreneur is that you can never really own anything in life that doesn’t ultimately own you, and that includes your business, your possessions and your knowledge.

New founders quickly learn that entrepreneurship is a lifelong journey and not a final destination. They also come to learn that have en-grained in their DNA is more important to their success than their business plan. Why? Because the mission of getting a business launched and successfully developed must become a purpose even greater than one’s self for both, the business and the builder to be successful.

“Gardens are not made by singing. ‘Oh, how beautiful’ and sitting in the shade” (Rudyard Kipling)

If there is anything I have learned in my 35 years as an entrepreneur and business owner is this; There are no magic beans, there is no such thing as “business ownership utopia”, an entrepreneur’s life is not “normal” (nor for everyone) and doing something entrepreneurial doesn’t necessarily make one an entrepreneur.

Amongst the many things you will need in your inner make-up such as vision and the innate ability to ‘see’ the end result of it before others is also integrity, emotional and social intelligence, empathy, and healthy dose of “ABL” (Always Be Learning) to go along with that DNA that constantly whispers to you; I Can, I Will, End of Story!

Of course, you don’t have to be an entrepreneur to start your own business, but it sure will help. You may come to learn that your “inner entrepreneur”, or lack thereof, will dictate your success on this lifelong and often difficult journey.

Success is always more difficult than failure for the true entrepreneur. Why? Because true entrepreneurs continually raise the bar and are always seeking an encore while willing to sacrifice their own pleasures in life in order to be the growth and development custodian for their visions. Failures are only learning experiences to the entrepreneur, and to those that don’t have the will to persevere, there is always those corny clichés, people and circumstances to blame and a long list of excuses.

In life, we can either be comfortable or courageous, but we can rarely, be both.

As Morticia Addams once quipped, “Normal is an Illusion. What is Normal for the Spider is Chaos for the Fly,” it truly takes something deep down inside you, to find the humbling journey of an entrepreneur normal.

Successful entrepreneurship requires a long term and committed obedience to stay on the endless road of constant self improvement. This road is paved with the stones of Passion, Perseverance, Purpose, Commitment, Courage (aka grace under pressure), Emotional and Social Intelligence and the will of living with a mindset of Intellectual Humility.

Despite what many think, true entrepreneurship doesn’t mean that one had a “fear bypass” at birth. True entrepreneurship however, does lie in one’s ability to always believe that they will succeed in their mission, even after suffering failures and facing cynics.

Failures are part of every learning experience and tuning out cynics, dream killers and naysayers is an absolute necessity to achieving success, especially for innovators and the entrepreneur.

Those that are afraid to dare and to dream, will always try to stand in the way of those that are willing to take risks.

So, when the cynics voice opinions (and they will) remember that opinions are not facts. Actually, opinion is the lowest form of knowledge and in almost all cases, merely the confession of the ‘opiner’s’ own internal character.

I truly believe that genuine imperfection is always more attractive than disingenuous perfection…. So, NEVER trade your authenticity for approval!

The ability to see the end result of your vision and subsequently make it your mission to get others to see and understand it to convert your cynics, is just part of the job of the job description of the successful entrepreneur.

And more importantly, the ability to get others to see what was once invisible to them, to ultimately believe in what they once considered impossible, is tantamount to the innovators success in launching a new venture. It takes a certain skill-set to do this. Articulate storytelling, methodical planning, charisma, passion and good old fashioned salesmanship come to mind. But it doesn’t end there.

“It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult, to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions, and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones” Machiavelli

I think that when Machiavelli made the above statement, he must have been defining in his most eloquent terms, The Entrepreneur. I believe that true entrepreneurship is a lifestyle of passion and purpose that requires a strong and committed mindset and relentless work ethic to advance these visions and execute missions to achieve ambitions. Focusing on one accomplishment at a time in a relentless yet methodical fashion is a key component to an entrepreneurs make-up.

Achieving success (in anything) requires a daily “rules to live-by” in order to attain the foundations and live a lifestyle that will help breed success from within. These rules must become a belief and a daily practice, NOT just a mantra for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Contrary to all of those success books (many written by people that never succeeded in their own business) and plethora of motivational speakers promising you an awakening, simply saying you are an entrepreneur, won’t be enough.

With all thy getting, get Intellectual Humility! Intellectual Humility is Being intelligent enough to understand the importance of knowing what you don’t know is just as important as knowing what you do know; being understated in a way that your reach never extends beyond your grasp; possessing a mind so open and curious, that you genuinely strive to learn something every day, from every one that you encounter; being passionately interested in others, knowing that makes you more interesting to others.”

The 15 Principles of Developing a Winning Mindset via Intellectual Humility:

  • Know that underachievers will always find an excuse; Winners will always make time.
  • Learn when to give in, but don’t EVER give up, especially on something you believe in. But NEVER, Never “fall in love with your inventory”, just because it’s your inventory.
  • Understand that lapses in judgment are human, but there is just no such thing as a lapse of integrity.
  • Remember that intelligent people fight fire with water and never with fire. Emotional intelligence is highly sought after art for those who lead.
  • Be as passionate about understanding the needs and desires of others as is your own need to be understood.
  • Know to be INTERESTING, you must first be INTERESTED. Be a good listener and then an articulate and genuinely passionate storyteller.
  • Remember that time kills all deals. Be as purposeful and expeditious about finishing a mission as you were about starting it.
  • Always possess a child’s curiosity to go along with awe-inspiring humbleness. Genuine imperfection is ALWAYS more attractive than disingenuous perfection. BE REAL
  • Know that knowing what you don’t know is often more important than what you do know. Learn something EVERY single day, from EVERY person you meet. Adopt ABLL (Always Be Listening and Learning)
  • Have high expectations of others, but even higher ones of yourself. Be a great teammate and “inspire to aspire!”
  • Compromise to cooperate, but never at the expense of your own integrity and the principles of your own team.
  • Aim high, think big but be understated with a grasp that extends beyond your reach. The world already has far too many overstated people with a reach that extends far beyond their grasp.
  • Always be eternally optimistic and genuinely excited about the success of others.
  • Demand quality from partners by always choosing “character” over “characters.” Become the example of the integrity and humility that you demand from others.
  • Express genuine kindness, benevolence, compassion and gratitude. Let your kindness be your strength, not your weakness. Always be seen as a giver, never a taker.

Is there any doubt that by adopting the above 15 principles to your daily mindset will make you a more emotionally and socially intelligent, likable, knowledgeable and more interesting human being?

By achieving what I believe is the most important skill to attain in life, namely “Intellectual Humility” you will find that your potential limitless as you go through life looking for constant improvement of yourself, which is a common thread that you’ll find in winners and respected leaders.


May you always have enough of the things you need for yourself and an abundance of the things you’d like to share with others. In this way, your hands will always be extended in friendship and never in want…. And, should you find yourself more fortunate than others, build a longer table, not a taller fence. While you’ll find that the grass in not always greener on the other side of a fence, you’ll learn that it will always be greener where you water it!

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more, please click the FOLLOW button.

James Vena

For more about me and my fantastic journey to a rewarding career, check out “Moving Forward to the Next Chapter” post here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/personal-career-lifestyle-update-2019-james-vena/


Comments are closed