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The Three P’s of Entrepreneurial Success

In this article, we look at the three P’s of entrepreneurial success.

This is a great mnemonic that will remind you how to do proper entrepreneurship, especially when you feel doubtful, stressed, fed up, or impatient. I remind myself of these over and over again.

The three P’s are simple, but together they make a formidable triad. They work not only for entrepreneurship, but for any endeavour that you’re working on. Write them on your mirror, or a sticky note, or your smartphone to etch them into your memory.

Let’s get to it.

The Three P’s #1: Passion

I like to think of passion as the rocket fuel that drives lift-off. Passion is what stirs you to begin the project and create an inspiring vision for it.

Though you can get passionate about the prospect of earning more money, gaining financial freedom, quitting your current job, or being in control of your life, these are all carrots that can only motivate you to a certain degree. Your passion will wither as soon as you achieve them, because you’re seeking the rewards of the work, not the work itself. It’ll feel like you’re back in the rat race again, except now you’re the captain of the ship and can’t just jump off.

So I recommend you build a business around a passion of yours.

This passion then infects the project and everyone it touches. As an entrepreneur, especially for small businesses, you are the business. Sure, legally you aren’t, but when it comes to marketing, people view you and your business as intertwined.

If people sense passion in you, it sells your idea or product to them, and they get infected with your passion and excited to buy your product. They then become your marketeers by recommending your business to others. If they see you’re indifferent to it, they’ll feel the same.

This emotional attachment is what keeps you going through the difficult times when it seems that you’re bound to fail. In those moments, you can connect with your original motivation for beginning the project, and this will help soothe the discomfort and disappointment.

Sure, if you aren’t passionate about the business, you won’t feel so hurt. But you also won’t have anything to fall back on when you feel overcome by obstacles. You’re much more likely to jump ship whenever things go wrong.

Let me tell you – when you start a business around a passion, it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like you’re doing exactly what you should be. It’s a natural extension of you. Money can’t buy it, and no amount of sex, drugs and rock n’ roll can replace it.

#2: Perseverance

I think perseverance is the key factor in business success, especially if you’re working for yourself or just starting out. In fact, I think it’s the key factor to success in any area. With perseverance, you keep going no matter what. You don’t take no for an answer. You’re unstoppable.

There is no substitute for persistence. It cannot be supplanted by any other quality! Remember this, and it will hearten you, in the beginning, when the going may seem difficult and slow.

Napoleon Hill

This is because on the path to creating new sources of income, you’ll meet many obstacles on the way, and you’ll fail many times, especially in your first business endeavour or at the start of a new one.

This isn’t a problem. It’s just an inherent part of the process, yet each failure can feel like a little punch in the stomach. You need to learn to take those punches and stand up on your feet again. Persistence is the force that gets you up again.

In business, perseverance enables you to find your niche: the unique way your business reaches clients, offers a service, and monetises. Perseverance is what keeps you on the path long enough for all your actions to multiply and eventually explode and create remarkable results. Without it, you just won’t remain in the game long enough to have success.

When we first begin fighting for our dreams, we have no experience and make many mistakes. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and get up eight times.

Paulo Coelho

Practically, this looks like expecting failure to occur, and adjusting your strategy when it does. Don’t get overly attached to any product or strategy. If it doesn’t work, don’t panic. Just change tack and keep going. Eventually you will push through and find what works. At that point, you can repeat it and bring it home.

The Three P’s #3: Patience

When we think of success, we think of proactivity, motivation, action, effort and sweat. It seems like a solely active endeavour. And indeed, two of the three P’s are active qualities. Passion spurs us to action. Persistence spurs us to continue taking action in spite of discouragement. Together they make a formidable pair, but it’s not enough.

Though patience is a passive, laissez-faire quality that may seem to incline us away from progress, it’s essential to success.

When we cook a meal, we take lots of action, like peeling, chopping, gutting, opening, grating, pouring and seasoning. But inevitably we have to spend a good deal of time waiting for the ingredients to fully cook and for the flavours to develop.

When winemakers make wine, it spends months and years sitting in a dark cellar before it’s ready.

Two quotes sum this up nicely:

No matter how great the talent or efforts, some things just take time. You can’t produce a baby in one month by getting nine women pregnant.

Warren Buffett

A task will always take longer than expected, even when Hofstadter’s law is taken into account.

Hofstadter’s Law

As in cooking, wine-making and baby-creating, entrepreneurship requires patience. Past a certain point, there’s not much you can do apart from leave it alone to marinate.

This is deeply reassuring too. It’s not all in your hands, and it doesn’t need to be. Take plenty of action, but also sit back and let it cook. Neither of the two works without the other.

Practically, this looks like working sustainable hours, focusing on the long-term, and being more relaxed about your project than you tend to be.

Those are the three P’s, folks! Passion, perseverance and patience. It’s easy to remember, and it’s powerful. I like to keep them in mind both during the good times and the tough times. It keeps me going, and it helps me realise I’m doing well, regardless of all my fears and doubts.

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