How to become a successful entrepreneur

How To Think Like an Entrepreneur

Many people are asking online how they can become a successful entrepreneur and how to think like an entrepreneur. I hope my attempt to answer this question is somewhat sensible to you.

I called it the 4 ‘S’ principle to think like an entrepreneur. And once you master this, you can start any new businesses with lesser friction.

The 4 ‘S’ Principle

1. Strategy

As a new business owner, you need to crave out a dream of your desired business. It can be a totally new business or a direct clone of existing business with your own added flavours. The BIG picture of what you need to be crafted out. For example, how many employees do you need to grow your business 3 years down the road. What are the resources you need to bring you to the next level? No one can give you your dream business and only you yourself know how it would be like 5 years down the road.

You have to learn skills like visualization or goal setting in order to do this step right. And to think like an entrepreneur, it’s an on-going process. You would very certainly need to change course along the way but having a Big picture blueprint allows you to switch fast or know what you already have or need.

One strategy you can apply is to think of building a wall. How do you build a wall? You start with the first brick. And over time you will have a wall build by applying the skills you acquired along the way.

2. S-Positioning

I refer to satellite positioning. First you need to think of yourself having to do all the stuff in running your business. Each process is a small satellite feeding your business with the necessary information. Use a mind map to help you map out all these ‘satellites.’ Then ask yourself, what would be my role in this business that produce results the most. At which point, I can safely remove myself but play a passive role to guide and grow my managers.

Another part to this is to simply position your business difference from the current in your marketplace. Why your business is different? It can be you’re into detail needs of your customer. Do not over complicate this. Simply put how do you set yourself apart from competitions.

3. System

Once you have you mind map of your business, you can start to build processes and system for your business. Each process needs to be fine-tuned to give you the desired results. It won’t be a one time set and let go thing. Every system will have its flaw.  There is simply no perfect system. As a business owner, your task is to mitigate the risk of failure and keep on improving the processes. You can also model after successful business similar to yours. There is no need to reinvent system. One practical way is to network with different industry business owners.

4. Scalability

I need to mentioned. NOT all business needs to scale. Some businesses are meant to be small in order to be profitable. Scaling is often an over used word. And the down fall of many so-call BIG brands out there. Identify your business strength, leverage it to the maximum is one way to scale.

You can scale your business in many ways. Your monthly gross income, your annual profit, your happiness running your business. All these can be scale without additional cost. It’s about coming up with an even better strategy.

You can try applying the 4’S’ principle when starting a new business. This would at least give you a blueprint to put in the details for your business quick and easy.

Back to the first part of the question on how to be a successful entrepreneur. How does one know he/she is become a successful entrepreneur?

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Your Real Value

All human beings are driven by value they can provide to another. You can almost certain a successful entrepreneur is observant and understands where things could be the latest trend or create a value before his competitors arrive. Many called this first mover advantage.

They have the privilege to define the rules of the game. Take for example the demand for online ecommerce store back in 2017, we can see a big surge of people getting onto online platform like eBay, Amazon and Shopify. The initial ecommerce store business owner makes a huge sum of money as a result of scaling to multiple stores. Learn that real value is an asset for your business.

Market product to the mass

Eventually we see many businesses started to create products variant and try to sell to the mass market. Some product succeeded but many failed. Introducing new products can be difficult especially if you didn’t do enough research on who you’re competing with. Take for example if you have a product that sells well on platform like Amazon and Amazon decided to sell this product to compete with you. What’s the chance of you winning this game?  

Therefore, it’s almost certain to create a new sustainable product for a long run unless you have a very unique proposition or special formulation no one can copy.  Successful entrepreneur focuses on their business cashflow all the time. You need 1-2 basic products that bring you consistent cashflow even with both eyes closed. Without this, it’s almost sure you’re firefighting every single day.

Found a Thousand Ways

Many serial entrepreneurs failed several businesses before they hit the right business that make them successful. However, most people chose to give up after one to two tries when setting up new businesses and failing. The mindset you ned to acquire is to change your failure to fact findings. Meaning you’re finding out if you’re suitable to be in that new business and the experience of failures are your stepping stone to success.

Your story can be used to inspire many people who are trying to get into a new business but are fearful. A successful entrepreneur always inspires another person unknowingly.

Multiple Businesses

All of the successful business owners I knew all have more than one business. Is it coincidental? No. To truly become an entrepreneur, you have to be always on the look out for new business you can leverage. Having a network of like-minded people around is a plus on when you have value to put on the table and taking the idea into a real business.

First thing you need to do is to start your first business with the correct mindset. Then things will be easier for you. Read vastly and often on a topic you wanted to improve on. Some good business ideas can come from books. Always see yourself as a business owner. You own the business and you don’t run it. Else it’s impossible for you to look into other businesses which you can leverage at the right timing.


At the end of the day, successful entrepreneur would mean differently for different people. For me, having the time to recalibrate and self-reflect upon my daily decision on my business bring me closer to the success I want to have for my business.

If this article helps you in one way or another, do share it on your favorite social media.


Author | Online Entrepreneur

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