While a bit of luck and maybe some prayer to the deity of your choice can't hurt, the most successful entrepreneurs have common traits that separate them from the wannabes.
There's no microwave-ready recipe for success, so these aren't five-minute fixes. But if you take this advice, you'll be following in the footsteps of the entrepreneurial greats.
Time to make the donuts
Most successful businesses didn't get that way because their founders were brilliant, or even lucky. What made the difference is that they were founded by people who understood the value of hard work and perseverance.
Even if you somehow defy the odds and find that lottery ticket to success, the odds are that it won't last. Why? Because a single, magical event cannot sustain long-lasting success. You have to keep going back and keep working at it.
Look no further than Jerry Seinfeld. When Seinfeld took off, it was worth $267 million to him, but not because he told one joke so funny that it caused the clouds above him to rain money. It was because he was persistent.
He famously forced himself to write jokes every single day, even when they weren't funny. The routine sharpened his skill. His consistent "GSD" (get stuff done) attitude was the key to his success, and you're not likely to be successful without it.
Know when to say when
Warren Buffet once said, "The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."
It might seem odd to encourage yourself to say "no." Negativity, we're told, is an awful personality trait, and we're also told there's great virtue in saying "yes" to the unexpected. However, successful people realize that by saying "no," they can focus on saying "yes" to the things that deserve their time, their attention and, when the time's right, a calculated risk.
Pick up a book
Maybe your parents were right when they said cartoons and TV were rotting your brain.
Thomas Corley studied TV use in Rich Habits, the Daily Success Secrets of Entrepreneurs and found that around 70% of rich people only used TV for less than an hour a day.
Instead, you should use that time to read. Numerous scientific studies have found that reading fires up new brain synapses and boosts your creativity. It might even be the key to millions too - Corley found that 86% of the wealthy love to read everyday.
Money isn't everything
Most of the entrepreneurs who are rich today didn't go into business just to chase money. Obviously, profitability and sticking to a runway matters, but it can't be the driving force behind your business, particularly when you're just starting out.
Many businesses will not make a single, solitary dollar in their entire first year. So in the absence of a paycheck, you'll need a compelling mission to get you out of bed every morning.
I was motivated by a mission when I founded LexION Capital. I wanted to help bring Wall Street back to Main Street, and this separates us from most of the other wealth managers out there. It's why clients flocked to our door, and it's why they've stayed with us.
What are your best success secrets?