By Ayo Olaseinde

Today, there are half a billion entrepreneurs in the world. Many of these workers are struggling to make money or expand their businesses. New entrepreneurs often ask me about the key to success. The truth is, success isn’t a straight line. It isn’t a single door that the right key can’t open. Success takes focus, discipline and hard work. But specific techniques can streamline your approach and refine your goals. Read on to learn more.

Mentors Provide a Boost

I often tell novice entrepreneurs, “No one is ‘better’ than you. People who are more ‘successful’ are simply ahead of you in the learning curve.” Success isn’t an inborn trait. You can learn to become successful, and mentors can reveal the truth about success. New workers can benefit from seeking out capable and qualified mentors.

Look for mentors who share your personality type. Introverts can learn from extroverts and vice versa. But if your mentor is too different, you might find it hard to copy their approach. Seek out a mentor who reflects your interests and personality traits. This person can serve as your role model. Keep in mind that not every mentorship requires face-to-face contact. You can observe mentors from a distance or follow them online, that is what I did.

Find out how your mentor achieved their successes, and follow their template. Learn from their approach and take notes of their mistakes. Their guidance can save you time by shortening the journey to success. An experienced mentor can explain the path that led to their success. They can also share the pitfalls they faced along the way. You have to become a student of success and a student of observing why people fail.

Success Isn’t a ‘Big Break’

Aspiring entrepreneurs often mention that they’re waiting for their big break. These workers believe that they can cross a mountain in a single leap. But success doesn’t lie in a single promotion, product launch, or contract signing. Success happens day by day in thousands of small accomplishments. Each daily success takes you closer to the summit. Whenever you see a big success, that is a result of thousands of little successes that have all come together.

Successful people know that patience is vital. I always tell entrepreneurs to begin by choosing the right goal. Find a goal you’re passionate about, one you’re willing to sacrifice and work hard for. Then prepare for the long haul. Sometimes, it may take years to achieve your goal, but if you’ve chosen the right goal, stick with it. Chip away at your goal every day.

Goals Are Not Wishes

If you toss a coin into a fountain and hope that you’ll win the lottery: you’ve made a wish. There’s no need to work hard for a wish. But goals are different. If you want to open up a small business or franchise location, you need to put in a lot of effort.

Before you begin, decide what you’re willing to sacrifice for this goal. If you aren’t prepared for long hours and hard work, you probably won’t succeed. But if you’re ready to work hard, you can find success. Don’t underestimate the value of hard work. Hard work can often substitute for talent, luck, and skill. If you’re starting without a degree or experience, hard work can help you launch your career.

Choosing the right goal is also essential. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of setting goals based on salary or income. But these goals aren’t always useful, especially early in your career. They might lead you to scale your business too quickly, which can result in a sudden collapse. Try to set goals that extend your skillset or forge new connections that develop you as a person. Make sure your goals stretch you, but do not break you. A mentor can help you develop the right goals at each stage in your career.

Compete Against Yourself

New entrepreneurs often make the mistake of competing against others. Competing with others can leave you feeling discouraged and frustrated. Instead, make a habit of competing against yourself. That is the real competition, being the best you, that you can be. Focus on personal growth and reaching new benchmarks.

Begin by developing a strong sense of self-confidence and a positive outlook, it is important that you believe in yourself. Why Not You?  No matter where you are, you have advantages and opportunities. Look for the good in your current situation. Consider your assets and abilities too. Set goals for how you’d like to sharpen your skills and hone your assets.

As you gain knowledge and expertise, you become a better version of yourself. You develop a greater capacity for growth and reflection. Success will come in time. When it does, you’ll discover that you have more to offer the people around you.

The Truth About Success Podcast

One of the greatest benchmarks of success is the ability to mentor others. In time, you can pay your success forward by mentoring entrepreneurs who have just launched their careers. Giving back to the next generation is rewarding, exciting, and humbling.

That’s why I’m proud to launch my new podcast: The Truth About Success. With each new episode, we welcome new guests who share their journey. They discuss surprising truths about their successes and struggles in their chosen field.

Our goal is to unravel the truths about success, so you in turn can use them as tools for your success.