Nowadays, many people want to start their own business. There were 804,398 businesses started in the United States in 2020 alone. When these new entrepreneurs get started, they’re hopeful and think they have what it takes. Unfortunately, many fail shortly after they start because they don’t realize how hard it really is to run a successful business.
Statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by Fundera, show that 20% will fail within a year. Within 10 years, nearly 70% of businesses will fail.
So what is it that entrepreneurs do to make a name for themselves while achieving great success?
Today, we are going to hear from Tom Wang, who has become a self-taught millionaire while still in his 20s. One thing that made him a successful entrepreneur was his drive to do something great and not give in to societal norms. He even left his comfy 6-figure job at Yellow Pages to pursue his business.
That business would later become Sdara Skincare, a multi-million dollar skincare brand. It wasn’t built overnight. He says there were days where he thought about quitting, but there were some things that kept him moving forward. Let’s hear them.
Be a visionary
“I’ll be honest with you all, I can’t see where I’m going to be in the next five years, but I would love to find a project I’m so passionate about that I’m willing to dedicate the next 20 years to accomplishing it,” shares Tom. He stresses the importance of having a vision that will help you define your goal and look for a route to achieve your goals.
He recommends brainstorming about what you genuinely want and defining where you want to see yourself in the next 5, 10, or 20 years. All the successful entrepreneurs—like Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffet—have a master plan that they visualize and work to achieve. This process might be scary or unknown, and you will probably have to learn a few skills, but it will be an excellent learning experience.
What is your why
Tom Wang always insists that his team sit together and define their life goals. They could be anything like improved health, increased skills, a better career, more money, and so on. He suggests that people should prioritize their health because when your body isn’t in its best capacity, nothing else works in your favor.
Since we have seen the pandemic shake our lives, it has become clear that we should focus on having a healthy mind and body. While money doesn’t guarantee happiness, it could help alleviate some of the problems that cause us stress in life.
“One of the things that I believe and also tell my students is that money is not something I’m chasing. It’s merely a tool to solve money-specific problems,” says Tom.
Family and relationships
Due to the pandemic—and Tom Wang contracting the virus as well—he started thinking about his place in life. What if it was to all go away? This led him to make sure he lives life to the fullest. Yes, he went out and bought an Audi R8 to enjoy the money he has earned, but he also set out to fulfill a promise he had when he started.
He wanted to do more for his family and the people around him. And he encourages you to spend more time with your family, friends, and people you love. Because at the end of the day, no matter how successful you are, if you can’t enjoy it with the ones you care about most, what’s the point?
Working hard is always necessary, but you must have some hobbies outside of work—something you love to unwind with or just do for recreational purposes. Sometimes, in our fast moving world, it’s easy to forget to enjoy ourselves away from work. We become all work and no play.
Tom suggests that we spend more time thinking about how this could affect our life, “We generally don’t spend a lot of time thinking deeply about things that affect your life, personalities, and overall development.”
So when you are working hard on your vision for the future, don’t forget to space some time out for yourself and the ones you care about.
Tom Wang leads a successful life because he believed that his ideas did not need to be confined by societal expectations. “Working for someone is hard, starting a business is hard, but you have to choose your hard,” says Tom as he shares his ideologies.
He is currently showing his students how he was able to build his business and how to get repeat success through his online education space. It is similar to other education platforms like Coursera, Khan Academy, etc., but with a focus on e-commerce.