Hello, I’m Tony from Woodbridge, New Jersey in the US. My background is in professional sales with a big part (32 years) having been devoted to real estate sales as a sales associate and agency broker, as well as mortgage broker and mortgage lending services.

Over a nineteen year period which ended on May 31, 2010 I held positions in the capacity of Account executive, Office Manager and Vice President with three New York-based mortgage lenders. Currently I manage TPJaveton & Associates, a family-owned Web-based entity, from my New Jersey residence.

Hello, I’m Tony from Woodbridge, New Jersey in the US. My background is in professional sales with a big part (32 years) having been devoted to real estate sales as a sales associate and agency broker, as well as mortgage broker and mortgage lending services.

Over a nineteen year period which ended on May 31, 2010 I held positions in the capacity of Account executive, Office Manager and Vice President with three New York-based mortgage lenders. Currently I manage TPJaveton & Associates, a family-owned Web-based entity, from my New Jersey residence.

Composites of Entrepreneurial Success and Failure


An entrepreneur has much to learn in order to be successful. Among the educational requirements are: The day-to-day complexities of running a business, creating and/or producing products, delivering services, making money and dealing with the public. The biggest challenge of all, however, is to develop an understanding of yourself.

Entrepreneurs must come to grips with what they want and what motivates them; this will support their willingness to face adversity – that is bound to arise – and come out as winners over the long term. Successful entrepreneurs will have learned to transform their thinking, allowing them to prevail where others fail along the way.

True entrepreneurs struggle with their business ventures just like anyone else and for a variety of reasons, among the most obvious of which are a lack of capital, lack of understanding about marketing, and personnel issues. However, from my own entrepreneurial experience (32 years in real estate and mortgage financing business), and what I know of others, there are three underlying causes of failure when individuals pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

  1. They tie the success of their business with their own self worth.
  2. They neglect to set realistic goals and plans for themselves and their business.
  3. They are not prepared to pay the price for success.

True entrepreneurs with the right mindset will prevail over a period of time because they will have learned to understand certain fundamental maxims of entrepreneurial success.

Playing the part

Successful entrepreneurs, in contrast to those who fail, have learned to separate their standings in life from their self worth or self-identity. They understand that positive performance or failure in their own venture is not a judgment of them as individuals. People who are inclined to measure their self-worth against their venture performance are inherently adverse to risk and seek to remain in a perceived comfort zone.

Being able to differentiate these two identities allows them to see risk differently, and manage it better, which in turn lays the groundwork for success as an entrepreneur. People who have risked failure, experienced it, and learned from it, have not only learned how to separate their business performance from their self-identity, they’ve also learned the lessons of risking and failing.

These risk takers have a clear understanding that early failure in ventures is a natural part of successful start-ups. They are able to embrace those experiences, learn from them early and move on. This is critical to success as an entrepreneur. They must be willing to face and deal with early failures in order to prevent ultimate failure.

Objectives

Even though much is said and written about goals and objectives being necessary for success as an entrepreneur, few people learn the mechanics of successful goal and objective setting and planning. It’s not the plan but the planning that is important, and the goal setting process allows them to develop the confidence to take risks and fail.

Successful entrepreneurs are not only goal driven and goal oriented; they have learned to put into place the steps required to plan strategically and put forth reachable goals and realistic objectives. Visualizing goals, writing them down and putting together a detailed plan for achievement provides the confidence and motivation to prevail.

More than just business or operational plans, they have goals and objectives for all the important roles in their life. They have learned early that if they aren’t working their own plan they are probably working on those set forth by someone else. They chart their own course, embrace risk-taking leadership positions, make adjustments as required and prevail over a predetermined period of time.

Paying the price

As with any other aspirant to accomplished fields of endeavor, an entrepreneur understands that in order to be successful s/he must be prepared to pay the price at one time or another. There are really no overnight entrepreneurial successes. In fact, it has been said that overnight success generally takes 15-20 years. One of the early prices that entrepreneurs are quite often forced to face is the “re-making” of themselves in a way that can propel them to grow beyond the comfort of their sphere of influence.

Since most people tend to stay within their own psychological comfort zone, they begin to lose the risk taker mentality. They are comfortable with the type of person who is more like them, while the successful entrepreneur moves on to a different circle of associates who understand the journey.

Breaking out, being your own person and venturing into the risk induced unknown is lonely but bold and forces the risk taker to face the new set of circumstances. Consequently, there can be a new-found stress in old relationships.

It’s been said before that pioneers get shot in the front and the back, and only through a process of separating the venture performance from self-worth, being open to risks, prevailing through adversity, sticking to set goals and objectives, and adjusting your plans will you be prepared to pay the ongoing price that must be paid if you are to be a successful entrepreneur.

Being an Entrepreneur: Skillful, Creative, Committed


A small business owner is expected to be creative and inventive, if s/he is expected to succeed in the operation of his/her enterprise. While small business owners are not expected to be geniuses, most of them are entrepreneurs, and therefore must possess the skill, creativity and commitment to their craft in order to be successful. If you have a sneaky feeling that creativity is not one of your strong points, you may then ask, what can I do to stimulate my brain and get it kicked-started?

Here are a few ideas you might take a look at to help you reach your creative objectives:

Be Unlimited

Too many people are ‘limited thinkers’. They have their world placed squarely in a box and nothing can exist outside of that. If the newspaper reports something then it must be right. If Joe next door says that something is impossible then he must be right. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to be a ‘limited thinker’.

You have to be an ‘unlimited thinker’ in order to be a successful entrepreneur or enterpriser. Get into the habit of seeing no boundaries; decide that there are no taboos. Be imaginative, originative, even fanciful. Have the belief that with a bit of focus you can find a creative solution to all of your problems. This is the foundation for a creative thought process.

Be Future-Focused

Creative ideas invariably come when you ‘look’ into the future. The feeling of propelling yourself forward and seeing the problem solved is a great motivator. Do you think you could achieve the same result if you were backward focused? I don’t think so! Train yourself to be future-focused, always looking ahead, not a traditional thinker who tries to find answers in today’s world.

Be a Writer

Once you open your mind to the joys of creativity the ideas will quickly start flowing, as if someone has opened the flood gates! Just like flood water, unless you catch it the ideas are lost for ever. Capture all your ideas by carrying a small pocket notebook with you. As soon as an idea pops into your mind, write it down. It doesn’t matter how outlandish it is, you can look at it in the cold light of day later on.

The fact you are responding to the ideas by noting them will further encourage you to be even more creative – good deeds encourage more good deeds! And the same can be said of “good habits”. If you get into a good habit routine, you will be pleasantly surprised at how your actions will automatically adjust to the good habit routine with little effort on your part.

Be Clutter-Free

If you are naturally an untidy person, then get out of the habit! A cluttered office will lead to a cluttered mind. You cannot expect your brain to work efficiently when all it’s doing is constantly reminding you how untidy your office is. To be creative remove all the clutter from your life and free your mind.

Be Action-Oriented

All of these points are great, but if you don’t take any action with your ideas, then you may as well not have bothered. An idea is nothing but a thought unless you take a specific action to help bring it to life. Periodically review your notebook and see if there are any hidden gems, or ideas which can be quickly actioned.

A lot of your ideas may not suit at all but in there somewhere is probably an idea, which if acted upon, could change you or your business. Commit fully to move forward on as many of your ideas as you can. Don’t be afraid to break down the boundary walls. As John Stuart Mill said, “That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next.”


And Yes…Be A Dreamer!

There’s a great line in Alice in Wonderland when the Queen says, “Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast.” I think you’ll agree that this has to be creativity at its best! As a small business owner this is an ideal you really need to strive for … but how on earth can you open up your mind to get to the point where ideas just spill out?

I’ll leave you with this thought to ponder: If you can be creative enough to be dismissed as a dreamer, you may just be on the fast track to success as an entrepreneur. If not, you need a little practice, and NOW may be as good a time to get started as any.