Is being successful as entrepreneur about sheer good luck or hard work?

Is being successful as entrepreneur about sheer good luck or hard work?


As the famous adage goes: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” The most successful entrepreneurs are those who work for it.

There are ten core principles that differentiate good entrepreneurs from great ones. It is important to nurture an entrepreneurial spirit within an organisation and to empower the business to operate as if each individual works for themselves.

My top ten tips for entrepreneurs are:

  1. Have stamina and work hard. Be relentless in pursuing  business. Make sure you have the stamina to spend all the hours that you can on pursuing your dreams.
  2. Always spend your time on activities that are closest to cash. Certain hours are high income generating hours, spend them wisely.
  3. Be an expert in what you do. Invest time in yourself in order to be extremely well informed.
  4. Deal with people effectively. If you had to think of a leader  that really had a impact on you  and that influenced you in a positive way. You will find that the qualities they possessed were mostly emotional intelligence qualities and very seldom technical or IQ related. Make sure you develop your emotional intelligence to be able to deal with people efficiently.
  5. Do things differently. Ask yourself what can I do differently so that customers will do business with me. How can I add value to their business? Be innovative, and take bold steps to distinguish yourself from the competition, be it with product service or your operations.
  6. Be driven. Set targets for yourself, your business and your staff; your business will only do well if you are driven to achieve results. Make sure that your targets are realistic. Unless you set goals you will find that time goes by that you cannot account for.
  7. Do you have an immensely positive attitude. How you think is extremely important when you are a business owner. If you are able to stay positive and have a great mindset you are already on the right track.
  8. Measure as much as possible. If you do not know your business you will not be able to improve year on year.  An example would be to measure what employees do and to give them goals, motivate them and pay them accordingly, resulting in greater buy-in, more ownership and accountability.
  9. Read listen and learn. Make sure you have a culture where you never think you know enough. Be open to learning and hungry for knowledge, whether from people that are younger, older, in different places or culture groups.
  10. Admit mistakes and manage poor performers. If you do not manage people that perform poorly you will loose the whole room. For the same token if you have made a mistake by admitting it you will create a platform for peers to also admit mistakes. Keep the best employees and surround yourself with strong players.
Sandra Swanepoel
Sandra Swanepoel leads the growth of Sage’s human resource and payroll solutions business across Africa. Before her promotion to this role, she served as sales director for Sage HR & Payroll. Sandra joined the company in 1989 when it was still a start-up. Since then, her commercial acumen and industry expertise have played a key role in the company’s growth into one of Africa’s leading payroll and HR solutions providers. Prior to joining Sage VIP as a sales consultant, Sandra’s worked in the payroll and HR departments of a number of large companies. She has played a key role in signing contracts with large multinational customers over the years. For more information, visit Sage.