With the big trend in Internet startups today and the big wave of investors who are ready to put a lot of money into a promising idea, it has become sort of ‘cool’ to be an entrepreneur. However, it’s still a known fact that around 8 out of 10 new businesses will fail and the road to success for the 2 out of 10 who make it is not easy.

The truth is that entrepreneurship is a hard journey. It needs a lot of passion, self-motivation, dedication and guts to do it. It actually needs the right DNA. That’s why most entrepreneurs that fail will go and try again. It’s just in their DNA.

So here are the 5 main lessons that my journey into entrepreneurship has taught me so far:


The first lesson is that you need mentors who have succeeded in what you want to do. This is very critical. I believe that entrepreneurship cannot be taught at the university, unless it’s done by other successful entrepreneurs who have been where you want to go and have build their own businesses in real life. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case with university professors. What you need to do if you want to succeed faster and avoid mistakes that will kill your business, is to find mentors who have build successful businesses and keep them close to you throughout your journey. Even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world like Richard Branson, have mentors that they consult. So learn from people who have been where you want to go.


Some people are just meant to be entrepreneurs and if they go against their nature, they struggle in every job they get. Some others though are just not cut for being entrepreneurs, and that’s ok too. They are destined to be great in something else. I knew I wanted to have my own business since before I finished high school and at almost every job I had before I became a full time entrepreneur, I would start a business on the side. I was restless and I could’t imagine not having my own thing and living for a salary. Although my parents tried to convince me repeatedly to secure a managerial position in a big company like a bank for example, I rebelled against all their recommendations until they realised a few years later that if you create an entrepreneurial child, you have to let them express their true nature and support them in their journey, because they are going to do it anyway so it’s a waste of energy to fight it. If you are truly entrepreneurial, you feel it in your blood. There is nothing more that you want to do than create your own thing, and you don’t really care how hard you work for it until you get there. This is the true essence of a successful entrepreneur. This passion and dedication that come from the heart.


There are no fast fixes. If you do try to make fast money and create fast success, your clients and your success will leave as fast as they came. Focus on building quality and long term value and be patient with your journey. There is no overnight success. Most of the overnight successes that you see out there, took at least 10 years of hard consistent work to happen.


Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, and it requires internal strength, belief in yourself, passion about your dreams and tenacity. You need to believe in yourself and your dream first, before others believe in you. There is going to be so many obstacles, so many moments when you think that nothing is moving forward, that if you don’t have this strong undeniable belief and internal strength you will give up.

Success is mostly about how many times you get up and keep going when you get knocked down.

Success has nothing to do with how many times you fail — it’s about not giving up.


Each entrepreneur needs a strong support system to succeed long term: the right team and the right network of people around you. Keep close to you only the people who believe in you and support you and people who have been where you want to go or who are on a similar journey. Learn to let go of the toxic ones, the ones who don’t see the bigger picture and the ones who come from a totally different mindset as these people will drag you down and delay you. Wisely choose the people you surround yourself with: your partners, associates, employees, and even your clients as they will play a big role in your success.

Entrepreneurship is essentially a personal development journey. The more you develop yourself, the more you will succeed.

Make sure you keep growing and learning every day and enjoy every moment, because its all about the excitement of the journey and not the final destination. And choose a business that you love and are passionate about, this will make things easier and will make you more persistent and more successful.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learnt as an entrepreneurs? Share it in the comments below.

Originally published at www.pavlinapapalouka.com.