What does success mean to you? For many, success is often associated with freedom. This is why so many individuals decide to leave their jobs to become entrepreneurs. There’s plenty of freedom in being an entrepreneur. You’re free to set your own schedule, there is no financial ceiling to bump up against, and you get to pursue what you love.

That being said, an entrepreneur’s livelihood is connected to the success of their business. It would be impossible for me to say anything to the contrary. Cash flow, and overall revenue, must be steady so the business, and the entrepreneur running it, may thrive, not just survive.  

That being said, success in business should not equate solely to making a lot of money. If you go into business with a flat end goal of becoming an overnight success, chances are highly likely you won’t reach it. The keys to consistent success in entrepreneurship are found in following three simple rules.

1. Always work hard.

The best possible thing you can do for your mindset as an entrepreneur is not to expect success in any form. Rather, you should commit yourself to knowing you’re in it for the long haul — and it’s gonna take a lot of hard work to get where you want to be.

Spend each and every day as an entrepreneur giving it your all. Work hard on the days when there’s an endless supply of good news, and work hard on the days when nothing feels like it’s going your way. Always work hard. It’s difficult to be a business owner. Real entrepreneurship isn’t a curated Instagram feed. It’s hard, time and energy consuming work day in and day out. If you go in with the mindset that you can, and will, work hard, great things will happen to you and for your business.

2. Be positive.

Maintaining a positive attitude is often easier said than done, especially in entrepreneurship. It’s difficult to be positive when you’re faced with many negatives. A client that decides to end a partnership, a drop in social media followers, an angry email from a customer. The act of staying positive can feel nearly impossible when it feels like everything is falling apart.

However, the beauty of a positive attitude is that it is contagious. When you are optimistic and see the glass as half-full, others around you will catch on to that feeling. Be the most energetic you that you can be. Get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy, and make time to exercise and read so you are able to nurture the self-care side of yourself. Share all of your ideas, and your great attitude, with your team, colleagues, partners, and vendors. People want to be around positive individuals. They’ll stick around for a positive entrepreneur, and work with them no matter what. Be that to others and watch as your connections and opportunities grow!

3. Keep calm.

There’s always “something” that can be considered an emergency for any startup. We’re almost hard-wired at this point to react in the moment. We’ll drop everything to fix it — even if it’s not the most pressing issue, like a negative Yelp review. However, the question remains… How many emergencies are we really facing in business? Can’t it wait?

Some of it certainly can, and a calm mind that approaches an issue is usually much more effective than a frenzied one. Rather than flip out, take a moment to collect yourself. Don’t react too quickly. Think and take your time on making decisions, as there is no need to respond and address issues the moment your inbox pings.

When in doubt, sleep on it. Sometimes all it takes is a good night’s sleep to give you significant perspective, and your response will be much more effective with a little time!