SUCCESSFUL vs. UNSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS: How to Turn Failure Into the Habits of Successful People

by Apr 23, 2023

The Difference Between Successful and Unsuccessful Entrepreneurs: Turn Failure Into Success

Successful entrepreneurs share the same traits and manage failure all along their path to success. The difference between successful and unsuccessful people is their ability to strategically differentiate between an opportunity to seize today and a hurdle to surmount later and use their energy accordingly. Failure is normal. Successful entrepreneurs experience success in business because they use handle it as part of a strategic habit. Succeeding starts with a positive mindset, then asking questions and embracing change.  .

Image of Asian lady holding sign that reads Welcome We Are Open. Blog header image for SUCCESSFUL vs. UNSUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS:

So let’s normalize failure.

What does it mean to fail? 

Failure, in the most simple terms, is the omission of an expected result. 

Successful people: 

  • strategize
  • assume risk
  • plan
  • execute the plan

Successful people are strategic. They actively work toward achieving goals which typically lead to increased sales and profit. The action is part of a plan, and because of this, their time is maximized and focused. This is pretty basic, but unfortunately, many people do not take the time to create a plan or execute against it. They lose motivation and then give up. 

Motivated people get themselves out of bed each day and Take Action!

Unsuccessful people:

  • talk more than do
  • are skilled but not proactive
  • dwell and make excuses vs. accepting responsibility
  • may know it’s time to work but are less productive without plans to achieve

Unsuccessful people secretly hope vs. planning and making an effort to achieve their goals. Unsuccessful people tend to fear for too long, and the waiting makes them unproductive. All is not lost, though. They can stare down the face of adversity by making a few changes. 

Ultimate keys & ways to improve:

Change up your thinking. Remove the emotion. Remove negative self-talk. Do not tie failure to your self-worth; instead, tie it to your growth!

  • Where you might see failure, a successful person sees you developing strong leadership skills and self-awareness. 
  • Where you might see failure, a successful person sees you growing outside of your comfort zone. 
  • Where you might see failure, a successful person sees you adjusting your goals and taking responsibility. 
  • Where you might see failure, a successful person sees you embracing change and demonstrating a growth mindset. 

It’s completely normal to feel like you failed sometimes. It’s normal to stumble – repeatedly. 

Make experiences with failure work for you as part of your business development plan. 

Make reinforcing values on a daily basis part of your daily plan. (Yes. Have a daily plan and actually DO this.)

Your willingness to analyze your perception of failure and adapt to “CEO thinking” will help you achieve your goals. You’ll soon naturally demonstrate these 7 successful habits of a successful entrepreneur. 

  1. Strong leadership skills
  2. Strong sense of self-awareness
  3. Getting out of your comfort zone
  4. Setting goals 
  5. Taking responsibility 
  6. Embracing change 
  7. Having a growth mindset
Image of Entrepreneur at work early morning or late at night at his desk in home office EnvisionaryMe

How to develop these 7 habits and How to succeed:

SITUATION #1:  I didn’t do anything again today. I haven’t gotten off the ground yet.

  • ACTION:  Use strong leadership skills. Ask questions, care about introspection and use your findings to take ownership.
  • THE RESULT:  Lack of leadership has a profound impact on an organization of any size – even in a startup organization or a party of one.

Be the leader you’d look up to, and you’ll show up for yourself tomorrow. 

Barack Obama quote; You can't let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you. Image of a young man

SITUATION #2:  Day by day, thinking about my business has me more depressed and overwhelmed. 

  • ACTION:  Focus on self-awareness. You are part of the situation, so think objectively. Ask: what have you done to improve? Remove the emotion, and objectively acknowledge your feelings and consider how your actions align with your business goals for the business. 
  • THE RESULT:  Feelings are good and help fuel your energy and passion, while an action plan ensures dedication and focused time on a positive activity.

Difficult times are normal and part of growth. Your self-awareness keeps you moving through down periods, enabling you to still achieve your goals. 

Young lady with depressed, stressed feelings. Includes the words So Overwhelmed

SITUATION #3:  I cannot market myself or my business. I have no funds, and social media is overwhelming.

  • ACTION:  Get out of your comfort zone! Marketing to your ideal customer is not just about posting on social media, and there are plenty of free or nearly free options. When you become overwhelmed and worried, you may find simple tasks especially tricky. Revisit your marketing plan. List every option to gain reach, from talking to people, to utilizing every social media outlet, to flyers, to opening a storefront. Get excited! Consider every option, and update your plan with a combination of goals you can achieve easily, along with areas to stretch, where you are willing to take risk. One of the keys is your willingness to learn.
  • THE RESULT:  Stepping out of your comfort zone allows you to turn marketing concerns into opportunities with smaller steps and goals.

Accept getting out of your comfort zone as your personal responsibility. Make it part of your growth mindset. With technology accelerating quickly and continually, your willingness and ability to learn new things will eliminate your feeling of being left behind. 

Image Quote: Failure is a lesson learned. Success is a lesson applied. - Gaddam Anjali

SITUATION #4:  I need a steady income and never have time to start my business.

  • ACTION:  Set goals. Set reasonable goals as part of your business plan. Follow the 8:8:8 strategy of 8 hours of work, 8 hours of recreation, and 8 hours of rest. Perhaps use some of your recreational time to focus on your business, but not in a way that creates additional pressure and stress. Every new venture requires time, but you can create balance. Break your goals down into smaller objectives. You are the manager of your time, funds, and network. Take steps forward while appreciating your steady income for allowing you to keep a roof over your head and put food on your table as your new business develops. 
  • THE RESULT:  Setting defined, reasonable goals changes failure to meet an expectation into an ability to move forward.

 As an aspiring entrepreneur, you will work additional hours to attain your goal of creating revenue from your business. The change is one that will occur over time, and setting goals helps you monitor and appreciate your progress. 

SITUATION #5:  My family and friends aren’t buying from me.

  • ACTION:  Take responsibility for your business. It is not the responsibility of your family and friends to generate the sales needed to create your income. Stop blaming others. Pull out your business plan, expand your thinking, reevaluate your market and goals, and set new action plans as necessary. 
  • THE RESULT:  Removing the assumption that sharing your business with family and friends will create the payback and income stream you desire will help you redefine your target market and focus your efforts productively.

Unsuccessful people blame others, and this shouldn’t be you! Developing your business is hard work. Know you will not achieve success without planning and execution, so own it and consider what your competitors are doing, and go tackle those goals.  

Image of a crowd at a beach at sunrise or sunset with the words Embrace Change EnvisionaryME


SITUATION #6:  I’m good on Facebook, but it’s not enough.

  • ACTION:  Embrace change! As with any other business, your target market continually evolves, so your approach to sharing your product or service must evolve too. It’s a fluid opportunity. No business remains stagnant and stands the test of time, so expect change, embrace it, and re-adjust your efforts. How does your target consumer shop? Have you actually maximized the Facebook opportunity? What can you do in addition to utilizing Facebook? 
  • THE RESULT:  Embracing change helps you care for current priorities while planning for, and managing, future opportunities. 

Unsuccessful people fear change, and consequently, may spend a lot of time in a mental space where they become easily overwhelmed. You’re in charge of your thoughts and behavior. Adopt a positive mindset and think of yourself as aspiring and evolving. Think about how you can differentiate yourself even more. Realists can still live in a positive mental space!

Image of an insect on the ground with a quote "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new by Socrates

SITUATION #7:  I show up every day, and stick to my plan, but I am not a good jack of all trades.

  • ACTION:  Have a growth mindset. Know you may literally have to run and develop your business on your own, but do consider your options and resources. As a business owner, tasks you may not enjoy still need to be accomplished on behalf of the business, so plan them into your day. Those tasks do not need to be overwhelming or painful though. For example: don’t purchase unnecessary graphics software requiring a heavy technological investment and 40 hours of learning if you don’t need it yet and especially if it will not pay back. If you have a great smile – learn how to create a brief video. Start small. Invest in you. 
  • THE RESULT: Having a growth mindset allows you to take steps forward. As you become more empowered and self-confident, achieving small goals will turn into achieving larger goals. Ultimately you will be successful. Maybe you cannot hire yet – but you can use LinkedIn and other resources to find support which will help you grow.  

Unsuccessful people may secretly hope change will go away if it’s simply ignored. More likely though, their business may go away if they do not continue learning and staying ahead of changes and growth in society that impacts their rate of success. Who’s responsible? You are

AND…. go read the entire jack of all trades quote. You will be pleasantly surprised!

Neon Sign reads Open

FACT: successful and unsuccessful people have different habits!

FACT: entrepreneurs have the ability to become successful built right into their very nature! 

Accept responsibility & create your strategy: 

  • Maintain a positive mindset. Unsuccessful people may reflect inward but become overwhelmed by blaming others or themselves. They think in terms of negligence, nonperformance, foundering, and potential collapse. Just reading those words can work on a person’s psyche, right? It’s needless mental anguish. if you are already an overachiever and perfectionist, your passion for the business runs high, and you don’t need the added pressure. 
  • Accept failure as normal and deal with it in a positive manner. Stop berating yourself, and replace self-described failure with the brave face of a fighter. You are a Winner. You are the Ultimate Warrior. 
  • Successful entrepreneurs know failure tends to bring out an emotional response, so they combat that issue with a focused business plan.
  • A successful entrepreneurs moves from experiencing to understanding what happened, asks “now what,” then develops a solution. 

For example, if your online business stopped growing, don’t give up. Analyze your results. Look at your competitors. Consider people’s buying habits, and look at economic differences. Worrying is not helpful, so let it light a fire under your butt and incite action, knowing the difference between success and failure is your ability to navigate through continual changes and adapt. 

Challenge yourself to turn each perceived failure into learning. You may become frustrated at first. Unsuccessful people take credit from others. be sure you take the opposite approach! Replace negative thinking with an action packed plan, filled with SMART goals. This change will set you apart. It will make you THE entrepreneur – and THE true success. 

The key differences between successful and unsuccessful entrepreneurs come from each person’s mindset. No negative mindsets allowed! Make your point of view a positive one!

On behalf of yourself and the future of your business, make this turnaround. Use failures to craft your success story. Your great foundation is built from learning and growing as a result of capitalizing upon your opportunities. Great minds think alike! You got this!

BLOG CATEGORY: Entrepreneurship

Leave a comment.