How To Be A Successful Entrepreneur – The Ultimate Guide

Entrepreneurship . 7.5 Min. Read . By: Devon Brown

In just a moment, I'm going to show you a picture.

The picture, if you look carefully enough, will give you specific instructions on how to be a successful entrepreneur - while most fail miserably.

But let me warn you...

The lesson the picture is trying to teach you is NOT as simple as you're likely to think it is. In order to see the REAL WISDOM of the picture, you've got to look past the glaringly obvious.

But not to worry. If you don't immediately understand the lesson the picture is teaching, as it pertains to achieving success on your entrepreneur's journey, I'll make sure I explain it.

Let's Jump Into It...

Have you ever gotten really excited about a business idea or opportunity?

Have you ever jumped into that new business with both feet, only to find yourself on to the next shiny object a few months later?

Maybe it’s a hot new MLM/network marketing company that you found out about. The product and compensation plan got you all excited, but a few months later you found yourself jumping into a newer company with an even “better” (notice the quotes) product and comp plan.

Maybe you saw an ad on TV or online that showed you how “regular people with virtually no experience” are making 10’s of thousands of dollars a month as real-estate investors. You drop $4,000 to attend a real estate investing workshop and learn all the "secrets”… 

How to be a successful entrepreneur

but a few days after the workshop, your real estate investing career is over before it even started. Next thing you know, you’re off looking for a new opportunity to make money that would require less work (this exact scenario happened to me – haha).

Or maybe, you attended an online seminar (a.k.a. webinar), and you were told by an internet marketing guru how easy it is to make money with your own online business. You decide to give their system a try, but a few months later, you’ve decided that results aren’t coming fast enough and you’re on the lookout for a newer/better system that can help you make money online even faster!

If you can personally relate to any of the examples above, then stick with me… because as you keep reading, you’re going to have a HUGE “aha” moment!

This Is Something Most New Entrepreneurs Don't Realize...

What I’m about to share with you is something I WISH someone had shared with me back in 2001 when I first started my entrepreneurial journey.

Or maybe someone did try to tell me, and I just wasn’t in a place where I could HEAR what they were saying. Regardless… if you’re not achieving the success you’d like in your entrepreneurial endeavors, and you constantly find yourself looking for a newer/better opportunity, then it’s highly likely that the reason you keep failing can best be summed up by this picture:

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Entrepreneurs Journey Illustration 1

Have you seen this picture before?

Whether or not you have, I want you to stick with me because there are actually two important lessons in this picture.

The first lesson is GLARINGLY obvious.

But the second lesson is hidden.

I am going to break down this hidden lesson for you in just a second. But as you read, I want you to be aware of the SEXY (i.e. the essence) of this article.

And the "SEXY" is this...

In life, not just during your journey as an entrepreneur, the path to achieving what you want will never follow your best laid plans. Optimism is great, but expecting it to be easy will only SET YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE.

However, if you balance your optimism with a healthy dose of realism you will PREPARE YOURSELF FOR SUCCESS and strengthen your resolve to PERSIST… Especially when it gets hard – which it undoubtedly will. 

Note: Want to watch the video version of this lesson? Click Play Below

The First Lesson Of The Picture

The First – and glaringly obvious – lesson the picture teaches us is that reality is NEVER as smooth/easy as you’ve laid out in your plan.

What’s that you say?

You’re going to join this new network marketing opportunity, talk with some friends, place a few ads online, and you’re going to have 135 people in your downline by the end of the week? 


Things don’t work that way.

They just don’t.

So you might as well get used to the idea that the smooth/simple path, that quickly and painlessly takes you from where you are to where you want to be, is only in your head.

OK, so do you acknowledge and accept the fact that, in reality, the journey is NEVER going to be as smooth and as simple as you’ve got it in your head?

If not, then I love you, but you should probably just go ahead and stop your entrepreneurial journey now.

But if so, then cool beans! We can now discuss the more hidden (but equally as important) lesson the picture is trying to teach us.

So again – the first lesson this picture teaches us is that reality is NEVER as smooth/easy as you’ve planned in your head.

Now... let’s take a look at the picture again.

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Entrepreneurs Journey Illustration 2

I want you to pay special attention to the flag poles along the journey in the bottom (reality) version of the picture.

I’ll get back to their importance in just a second, but for now, just keep them in the back of your mind.

The Second Lesson Of The Picture

For most, when you start on your entrepreneurial endeavors, you imagine that the journey is going to be like the smooth/simple image at the top.

So, with that image in your mind, you start down the path.

Then, something happens…

You hit the first challenge (represented by the pit of rocks in the bottom image).

An example of this, in real life, might be if you’re getting started in your network marketing company, and after approaching 10 family members, 9 of them tell you they’re not interested - and two of the nine tell you that you've joined a pyramid scheme.

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Reality Of Being An Entrepreneur 1

So, what happens when you hit the first challenge (i.e. the pit of rocks)?

Well, seeing as the image you had in your mind of how things would look did not include a pit of rocks, you quit, and you move onto the next opportunity.

This time, you decide to try your hand at real estate investing (still with the idea that everything should be as easy as all of the “gurus” make it sound on their websites and in their commercials).

Not too long after you get started, you hit the first obstacle…

That’s right, you hit that pit of rocks… AGAIN!!  (“F*ck you, pit of rocks!!”)

And since your mind’s eye is still looking for an easy path with no pitfalls, what do you do?

That’s right! You quit, and you start over again!

This time, you attend a webinar (an online presentation) where someone shows you how you can easily make internet sales even if you don’t know how to build websites!

“This business opportunity is DEFINITELY going to be it!!” you think to yourself!

You make the commitment to not quit…

You get your new internet business going…

And then…

That’s right, you guessed it, THAT DAMN PIT OF ROCKS AGAIN!!!

This time the challenge occurs when you send some traffic to your website, but you don’t make any sales.

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Reality Of Being An Entrepreneur 2

“WTF!!”  You think to yourself – “I thought that guru/expert person said he spent $200 on traffic to his website and made $500 in sales! I just spent $200 on traffic to my website and made $4 in sales. This stuff does NOT work!”


You quit, and move on to the next thing.

And on and on - the cycle continues…

Eventually, you realize the first of the two lessons taught by the image we’ve been talking about in this article.

And what was that glaringly obvious lesson? Oh yeah...

Reality is NEVER as smooth/easy as you think it will be.

As you come to this realization, you notice something…

You notice the flags that were placed along the “real journey” (the bottom image). Furthermore, you notice that that each flag is STRATEGICALLY placed immediately after each obstacle!

You realize that the purpose of those flags are to serve as checkpoints along your entrepreneurial journey, and each checkpoint symbolizes that you've overcome something specific and that you've reached the next level!

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Reality Of Entrepreneurship Illustrated with Checkpoints 1

All of the second lesson hits you like a ton of bricks...

Those obstacles are not put there to tell you to turn back.

The obstacles are put there to help you learn the lessons you need to learn... so that you can grow into the person you need to be... so that you can have the success you desire!

Over the past 6 months you’ve stopped and started 3 different times. But had you not stopped and started over each time, then, by now you would’ve been at the 3RD FLAG-POLE!!! ("F*ck you again, pit of rocks!!")

Let Me Say That a Different Way

It takes the same amount of energy to make your way through the rock pit (the first challenge) as it does to completely start over.

So, had you taken your “just start over” energy, and put it towards overcoming the rock pit, then, by the time you were done starting over again, you would’ve been at the first flag pole!

But your happy ass decided to start over. So instead of being at the 1st flag pole, you went back to the beginning.

And as you started over again, what happened?

That’s right… you hit the rock pit again (because the rock pit is ALWAYS there). And because how you imagined things in your mind didn’t include rock pits, you chose to start over…. AGAIN!

But what if you were already at the 1st flag pole, and you’d taken that same “star-over” energy and put it towards overcoming the second obstacle (the ladder thingy).

Then, instead of starting over twice, you’d already be at the second flag pole!

How to be a successful entrepreneur: Reality Of Entrepreneurship Illustrated with Checkpoints 2

Now, is the 2nd flag pole your actual goal?

No, of course not. But it is a mile-marker you have to pass in order to make it to your ultimate goal (the final flag pole).

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here?

The most important point...

The lesson of the image is not just that the path/journey is challenging…

It's that every time you choose to start over after hitting an obstacle, you’re PROLONGING the amount of time it’s going to take you to achieve success.

Steve Jobs said...

"I'm convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."

Whenever you hit a rock pit … or a ladder… or some water… you’ve got a choice…

Either turn around and go back…

Or “Cowboy-The-F*ck-Up” and go THROUGH.

It takes the same amount of energy to start a new venture as it does to go through an obstacle that’s presented itself in your current business endeavor.

So don’t turn back.

We, as human beings and entrepreneurs, often OVER-estimate what we can do in 6 months, and we UNDER-estimate what we can do in 5 years.

So stay the course.

And at before you know it, you’ll be past the pit of rocks, across the ladder thingy, and crossing the water hazard. You’ll be further along than 90% of people who set out on entrepreneurial journeys. 

And, because you chose to NOT keep starting over, you'll be that much closer to achieving the success you desire.

I hope that makes sense.

A Group for People Like You (Maybe)

One effective approach to becoming a prosperous entrepreneur is to have a supportive network of individuals who share your mindset, can provide guidance, motivation, and hold you accountable along the way. In this way, you can learn how to be a successful entrepreneur and achieve your goals with greater ease.

Assuming one of your goals is to become a more confident public speaker, or an event emcee, you can find those like-minded people in the Awesome On Stage Facebook group

Interested? Just click the button below. 

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Devon Brown (“Duh-Von” not “Dev-in”) is a speaker, author, entrepreneur, former hip-hop dancer, and World's #1 Event Emcee. Once described as a sort-of ‘MC Hammer meets Tony Robbins’; his style is 50% education, 50% entertainment, and 100% must-experience. Be sure to connect with Devon on social media.

Devon Brown with Arms Folded

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