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20 Entrepreneurs Reveal What They Would Attribute To Their Success

‘Success doesn't come on a silver platter' is a common saying that applies across every field. Often, there will be something to be attributed to your success be it financial, skills, human resources or anything else that helps foster your growth and success. It's some of these things that make us say, ‘were it not for…. I would not be where I am today.' We asked entrepreneurs and business owners what they would attribute to their success.

#1- Education and leadership skills

Photo Credit: Yves Frinault

I attribute my success to my education and leadership skills. Although I gained experience in my industry at an early age, I didn't have the formal education to learn the ins and outs of the sector. After earning my bachelor's degree I completed a master's in construction management. This helped me develop a thorough understanding of the pain points of companies in the construction industry. I saw technology was being developed to improve the design phase of projects, but nothing was being created to help workers with their day-to-day work and communication. My education was the inspiration for starting my company to help solve this challenge. In addition, another important factor in my success to this point has been my leadership capabilities. I've always enjoyed setting goals and leading teams. I get a lot of satisfaction out of uniting people behind a common mission. Leadership skills are critical for being successful as an entrepreneur. It's a quality that has helped me recruit and retain great team members, build business partnerships, and attract investors.

Thanks to Yves Frinault, Fieldwire!

#2- My definition of success itself, and my attitude towards mistakes

Photo Credit: Paula Welsh

While I contribute several reasons to my success, I believe the most important reason is my definition of success itself, and my attitude towards mistakes. My view of mistakes is that they are nothing more than steps on the journey to success. Most people assume success is a line from A to B with a few bobbles in it. But in reality, the line to success from A to B looks like an up and down swirling mess. I believe the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is to get comfortable with making mistakes. Truly. Don’t be afraid of them. No one likes to make mistakes or fail, but you can’t have success without them. Behind every success, there are a string of failures or mistakes. Some people will say “what if I make a mistake?’ So what? You learn from it and you find a way to move on. People who are afraid to try or can’t recover are the ones that are never going to be as successful as they can be. So go become friendly with mistakes. Embrace the idea.

Thanks to Paula Welsh,  7 Charming Sisters!

#3- My willingness for consistent learning

Photo Credit: Matt Collins

Without a doubt, I attribute my success to my willingness for consistent learning. Success in business, or anything for that matter, can be learned step-by-step if you are willing to take the time to learn it. From marketing to operations, anything I found success in doing, I had to first make the effort to learn exactly how to do it. With the advancement of technology, learning is even easier. Effective literature can be downloaded directly to your Kindle, and YouTube provides a ton of free videos to help you succeed in area you desire.

Thanks to Matt Collins, Loans Now!

#4-  Learning to code

Photo Credit: Cristian Rennella

The key to our success was undoubtedly learning to code! Making the decision to study computer engineering and then specializing in being an online programmer was what helped to form this company that today generates 4.7 million dollars a year. I think even today being a programmer can help many new entrepreneurs take their first steps. If you are not a programmer you can learn, even from your home, there are excellent courses in all languages, it is the best decision you can make!.
Start today!.

Thanks to Cristian Rennella,!

#5- Playing Defensive Back for a Division 1 Football program

Photo Credit: Isaac Cooper

I attribute a majority of my success to playing Defensive Back for a Division 1 Football program. Transitioning into starting my own financial planning practice after football was over due to injuries there were two obvious attributes that jumped out that was needed to sustain the course. 1. Having a short term memory when it came to the day to day hurdles. 2. Being comfortable in the time-frame in which you are uncomfortable. Playing defensive back it is a known saying to play the next play which essentially means don't worry about what just happen you have another play to focus on. Also, when it pertains to preparation, there's a ton of times in which will you be uncomfortable working out, running the extra lap, doing one more repetition of heavy weight, to picking up the phone to call the wealthy client.. In all aspects you are uncomfortable, but regardless of your comfort, in that time frame, you still grow.

Thanks to Isaac Cooper, iMC Financial Consulting!

#6- Emulating traits of the best

Photo Credit: Ed Brancheau

As a huge sports fan from as soon as I could walk, I used to ask my dad and his friends, Whose the best _____? And I discovered that there was never a consensus on who was the best. But there was one commonality among all of the GOATs… they all studied the game more than anyone else and they all worked harder than anyone else. I do the same thing. And it made me successful cinematographer (until I
started losing my eyesight) and now it's made me a successful digital marketer. Am I the best? I have no idea but I certain work to be the best.

Thanks to Ed Brancheau, Goozleology Digital Marketing!

#7- Being myself

Photo Credit: Susan Harrow

Since childhood I protected and encouraged those without a voice or who were bullied and shamed for who they were. I started my media consultancy, Harrow Communications, Inc. and the Sell Yourself Without Selling Your Soul™ brand (and book) because my clients and course participants asked for it. They were afraid that getting good publicity meant bragging, begging or wh-ring to get what they wanted. They wanted to be able to promote their business, book, product, service or cause with integrity and spirit. And to get quoted accurately in the media – so they would be positively perceived and also get the results they wanted. At the time, “conscious entrepreneurship” as it’s called now, didn’t exist. I discovered that thousands online also clamored for a way to speak about their businesses — and do business without sports, sex, sales or war jargon to define their brand and business. Now, honesty and vulnerability is in “vogue,” but it wasn’t then. And most people’s biggest fear as they move from private to public persona is still that they can’t be themselves. My products and services show them that they can follow the advice of Oscar Wilde: “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken,” and get known, respected and beloved for being an original.

Thanks to Susan Harrow, Harrow Communications, Inc!

#8- Helping my team to help me

Photo Credit: Steven Benson

I always behave like a coach, teacher, and mentor and I think that this is key to being successful. I've always focused on making my team and the people around me successful, and doing my best to help them along their path in their career and in life. They, in turn, have made me successful. Even when it doesn't appear that it would help at all, I always help them out and give feedback and advice. More often than not this helps me and my organization perform at our best.

Thanks to Steven Benson, Badger Maps!

#9- Adopting to different times

I  define my success as being able to change with the times. By continuously learning and adapting to the ever changing new technology and staying up to date – this allows my company to learn about what's new and exciting, then pass that knowledge off to our clients. I also really listen to my younger staff about what's trending, this helps to keep us current in a field that changes every 3 months. Since we embrace the fast pace of constantly changing technologies we have grown into a cutting edge home automation company. Our clients depend on us to bring the newest and latest solutions and I am proud of that success.

Thanks to Pete Pedone, Interactive Home DesignWoodside!

#10- Learning from my failures

Don't see failure as a bad thing, learn from it and make yourself better. One thing most entrepreneurs share is they are stubborn and not willing to go down without a fight. You're going to mess up a lot on your journey of building a successful business, which might mean other failed businesses and other major setbacks. The key is to not let it get you down and to really learn from what went wrong. Then use that to try again, making sure to avoid the same mistake a second time. Think of it as playing the same video game over and over until you've learned to avoid all the pitfalls and hidden traps, letting you fly through the levels you've completed already much quicker than the first time you did it.

Thanks to David Batchelor, DialMyCalls!

#11- Simple

Photo Credit: Robert Barrows

When asked about the secret to success in business, Ted Turner said…

Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell and advertise!

Thanks to Robert Barrows, R.M. Barrows Advertising & Public Relations!

#12- Persistence

Photo Credit: Earl Choate

Persistence has been a big part of my success as a business owner. I'm not a quitter. When I start something, I go all in. Over the past 20+years, I've run into plenty of roadblocks and even some small crises. My son was severely injured in a fire which caused us to have to shut down operations  temporarily, we've had customers that failed to pay, and even an economic downturn that forced us to have to take out a loan in order to keep the business running. However, none of these things stopped me because of my persistence. If you want to run a company you have to be committed and believe in yourself and your vision. It's normal to have self-doubt and adjust your business plan, but you can't give up easily. A lot of companies fail simply  because people give up. Things always take longer than expected and unforeseen problems arise when you least expect. That's why persistence is key. You have to be able to work past hurdles. Persistence doesn't mean trying the same thing over and over again. It means using your creativity and drive to work past obstacles.

Thanks to Earl Choate, Concrete Camouflage!

#13- Pure Hardwork

Photo Credit: David Kosmayer

Many people overthink, over-analyze & over-plan. Stop pondering & start executing. I attribute all my success to the fact that I literally put my head down for years and worked my butt off. Success is not easy, but is definitely simple. Think of the 80/20 rule here, spend 20 percent of your time researching, thinking & planning and 80 percent of your time actually putting in the work and getting stuff done!

Thanks to David Kosmayer, Bookmark Your Life Inc!

#14- Attitude and Work Ethic

Photo Credit: Joshua Wilson

My attitude and work ethic have been the greatest contributors to my success. I feel like those are the only two factors that I have complete control over, so I've always focused on winning at those first. It's easy to focus on what we don't have going for us or how we are behind others, but we have to reject that tendency and simply control what we can control. In reflection, I think my attitude led to a certain swagger about being an underdog or a darkhorse. I accepted that it might take a little longer for a kid who grew up working at his Dad's junkyard in front of the local landfill in rural Alabama to catch up with some others, but I will catch up, no matter what. I'm always in control of my attitude and the work I put in. I can get to where you are, but you'll never be where I've been.

Thanks to  Joshua Wilson, WorthPointe Wealth Management!

#15- Employees, partners and family

Photo Credit: Deborah Sweeney

I attribute my success to so many important people in my life. Our employees and partners are committed to making our business so successful and we have incredible relationships with our long-time customers. Most of all, my family is truly involved in all of the upsides and downsides that come with being an entrepreneur and the sacrifices they have made for me, as well as feedback provided, have been endless. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them!

Thanks to Deborah Sweeney,!

#16- The Power of Process

Photo Credit: Debra Rizzi

Rizco was founded out a family tragedy. I was a Production Manager at Porter Novelli, where I headed up the creative process for 200+ account execs. Meetings, effective questioning, budgeting, ideation, speed, accuracy and accountability were all entwined with a detailed process that moved at the speed of light. When my husband’s father became ill, he asked me help manage his father’s production agency, which kickstarted the birth of Rizco 17 years ago. I already knew how to run a business from my role at Porter Novelli, and didn’t cut any corners. Bottom line is … don’t start a project on a hand shake and follow your process. Draft contracts for every project, get a signature on the dotted line, request a deposit to ensure cashflow, establish a schedule that is approved by both parties, and communicate efficiently in writing with your client to protect the process and ensure accountability. And last, when the project goes out of scope, alert the client immediately and don’t do work for free.

Thanks to  Debra Zapotocky Rizzi,  Rizco!

#17- Working smarter

Photo Credit: Thomas Adams

I attribute my success as an entrepreneur to taking care of my emotional health first and foremost. I try never to overwhelm myself, and instead focus on taking projects on one at a time. If I find my mind wandering and begin stressing over all that I have to do, I take a break and go for a walk. When I get back, my head is normally clear of any worry and I go back to focusing on the project in front of me. I give myself plenty of time to finish the project so I don't have to rush through it at the last minute. I've learned to do this because when I first got started as a web designer, I took on too many projects at once and became overwhelmed to the point where I just didn't do any of the work I needed to do. I learned my lesson and started working smarter rather than harder.

Thanks to Thomas Adams, Tech Prosperity LLC!

#18- Talented employees

Photo Credit: Antonella Pisani

The reason for my success in the business world is hiring fantastic people. I've spent 21 years in digital marketing and eCommerce, and throughout that time, I've had the opportunity to work on businesses of all sizes and in different life stages, often building or rebuilding teams. As a leader, I've always strived to surround myself with people smarter than me in their respective areas. One time, a recruiter came to me worried that a candidate would want my job one day… my response was, that's fantastic – it will free me up to take on new challenges! I've been privileged to work with great recruiters who have helped me find talented employees, and truly enjoy watching those employees grow into successful leaders in their own right.

Thanks to Antonella Pisani,  Official Coupon Code!

#19- Extreme focus and determination

Photo Credit: Lori Cheek

I’ve got a laser-focused vision to succeed and will do almost anything to keep this business flourishing. I’m actually not surprised by my determination because as long as I can remember, I’ve been extremely stubborn. When most people would have quit, I only hustled harder. I think my personal approach, passion and dedication mixed with my relentless conviction that failure is not an option has been the recipe that has lead to my current success. I could be the poster child for the age-old phrase “what doesn’t kill you can only make you stronger.” No matter what… in the end, I’m going to have a magical and cheeky story to tell.

Thanks to Lori Cheek, Cheek'd!

#20- Acknowledging that business is the business of people

Photo Credit: Jacqueline Darna

Pitching perfectly and winning every time is not a science but instead the acknowledgement that we as people are all the exact same. Remove gender, race, and title and understand that business is the business of people not products or services. So never pitched to sell, instead make the sale because you're relatable and human too.

Thanks to Jacqueline Darna, NoMo Nausea!

What do you attribute to your success? Tell us in the comments below.

Mercy - CBNation

This is a post from a CBNation writer. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(, podcasts ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue 16 Media.

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