Entrepreneurship: Courage, Drive, Inspiration, Creativity
Success in entrepreneurship is often equated to winning the lottery. A gamble, stakes high, and higher rewards. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. The higher the risk, the bigger the rewards. But, unlike the random chances of betting, there is actually a science that dictates success in business.
When starting a business, we always aim to succeed. We put resources at stake, work long hours, and
make sacrifices to achieve the dream. However, the chance of losing everything is still looming, ready to
pounce on your most desperate time, when you’re not paying attention, or when you let your guard
Some make success look too easy, while many are struggling just to get by. Is there a secret recipe for business success?
I’ve read somewhere, a very accurate description of success as it applies to me; Success is a duck
effortlessly gliding across a pond. We see the beauty and grace above water, but not the furiously
paddling feet under.
Most of the people I met have the impression of me just getting lucky, of success handed easily to me,
just like winning the lottery. I gave the impression of just rolling with luck, effortlessly popping out ideas, and reaping profits like it’s my only job. But the real entrepreneurs know better. They know the struggle and they see the backend work that produces the frontend me.
Entrepreneurship worked for me not because I was lucky. It was more because of the characteristics I
have that propelled me to success. Here are four of the pivotal elements common to successful entrepreneurs;
Courage. That graceful duck was once a struggling duckling. But, the risk of drowning didn’t stop her
from taking on the pond. It didn’t question the depth of the pond nor his ability to learn how to swim.
He just went right to the water, floundered a few times, and then started to float. It wouldn’t be long
before it will acquire the agility and grace of its mother.
My quest for an effective educational app for my child started my career in tech and app building. Upon
knowing its possibilities and opportunities, I committed to learning more about the industry. When I
started building my first app, I have zero knowledge of the industry. But I didn’t let that deter me from
jumping into the business.
Drive. To survive the challenges and pressure of running a business, one has to have the drive, the
persistence, and the tenacity of an Olympian. You cannot give up on your first flounder, your first failure,
or your first mistake. Ducks don’t cross the pond on their first try. Master chefs don’t get perfect meals
on their first try. Olympians don’t get medals on their first try. I will take years of bitter struggle,
practice, failures, and getting back up. Quitters never make it to the success podium.
Inspiration. My entry to business was almost spontaneous like it was the most natural thing for me to
do. Like how the duckling saw other ducks gliding, I saw my father and other businessmen and women
prosper. If they can do it, then there’s no way I won’t be able to do it too. I know I have a lot to learn,
that I could lose everything. But I have faith in myself, and the alternate life simply was not acceptable.
Identify your strongest desires and your worst nightmares. These are your best motivators. For me, I
dreaded the idea of myself leading a nine-to-five, five-day-a-week existence. That alone is enough
motivation for me to strive and work hard. I dream of being able to unite women entrepreneurs and my
advocacy for gender equality in business inspires me every day to be the best that I can be.
Creativity. The most successful entrepreneurs are also the innovators, creators, and pioneers in their
respective industries. One has to be passionate about what they’re doing. That is the only way creativity
will flourish. Your passion and engagement will lead to creative problem-solving, great product designs,
and inspired business ideas.
Do not be afraid to learn new things, to work hard, to be creative, and to face your fears head on. Follow
that spark of interest, the journey will be hard and daunting. You’ll never know where it’ll take you, and
how you’ll end up will be all up to you.
My journey as an entrepreneur has certainly been an exhilarating ride. It has taken me to the heights of
success and to the depths of despair. But I have my visions clearer now, I have learned a lot and is still
learning. I have become stronger to battle forthcoming challenges. You see, the struggles will never end,
we just have to learn how to deal with them better. The duck does not stop paddling, he just gets better
Interview with Susanne Birgersdotter
How are your keynote presentations unique?
My presentation is unique as the story I share is fully transparent revealing both ups and downs, and how I got myself through difficult times. Because of this I feel my audience from young entrepreneurs, men and women, as well as people over 60 can really relate to my journey and can recognize themselves in my story. I want the audience to learn from my own experiences even if the lesson is to avoid a mistake I made.
How do audiences gain from your keynote presentations?
My goal is to motivate the audience to take the next step and do what they have always dreamed of. I want to inspire people to start that business and apply my experiences to their own journey. After a presentation I frequently get audience members contacting me to share their awesome business ideas and I enjoy giving advice.
What is the most unique experience you have had as a result of your job?
My most unique experience in being a global speaker has been the unexpected result that people see me as a “guru”. The simple act of me sharing my own personal journey and desire to inspire others to reach their own goals has lead people to view me differently. Though it is a huge compliment I work to keep myself grounded by doing hands on mentoring.
Can you give three tips to individuals struggling with being an entrepreneur?
- Know your weaknesses and surround yourself with people that have those skills so you have a team that complements each other.
- Don’t forget to network, network and network! Trying to do it alone is not a good strategy. Meet as many people as you can as they may have helpful insight to share or they might be able to help you with your goal.
- Don’t let the criticism get in the way of your dreams, but if no customers want your product, perhaps you need to start re-thinking your idea OR look for a new business idea. As an entrepreneur you most likely have many, many ideas. Dare to take the step and use your network!
What is your input on how to keep a good work-life balance?
My approach to get a good work-life balance is to try to erase the work-life balance border and make work fun!
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who just don’t give up and persevere even if their initial idea doesn’t take of. They take those lessons learned and keep going. As an entrepreneur you always have many ideas!