February 26, 2019
February 26, 2019

By Farrah Gray

An entrepreneurial mindset is re-emerging in Black America.  New-breed entrepreneurs are no longer obsessed with lack of opportunities, but with creatively creating their future out of nothing into something. Necessity is the mother of invention! Becoming self-made gives you a fighting chance.

If it is your dream to become successful, achieve financial independence, earn a lot of money and become a millionaire in five years. My advice? Become an entrepreneur. History is full of entrepreneurs who saw a need, met it and made a fortune in the process. More than half of the world’s self-made millionaires are entrepreneurs or self-employed professionals.

Of course, there is another side to it.  Those who have squandered away their life’s savings did so, trying to start or run a business! So, why is it that some people succeed in business, while the rest fall flat on their faces? What makes an entrepreneur successful? What traits and characteristics best describe that unique person who directs his rags to riches story through sheer grit, perseverance and enterprise? Here is what people, businessmen themselves, have to say about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

They are fast moving and flexible, and adaptable. Entrepreneurs are persistent and determined to succeed, because their own money and ego are at stake. Successful entrepreneurs are passionate about their business. Their overwhelming passion for their work helps them overcome exacting challenges and find solutions for insurmountable problems that come in their way.

You don’t need to posses an MBA or PhD to succeed in your own business. In fact, there are a lot of entrepreneurs who did not even finish secondary education. And not all of them are geniuses. Studies show that most self-made millionaires have average intelligence. Nonetheless, these people reach their full potential and achieve financial and personal goals in business because they are open to learning new things.

Entrepreneurs think of problems as opportunities for improvement and sources of new ideas. With the traditional employment track seemingly on the decline, entrepreneurship is fast becoming a catching trend. Running your own business is a creative, flexible and challenging way to become your own boss and chart your own future. But, before you take the plunge, do understand what it will demand of you and whether you are prepared to give what it takes.

The lure of entrepreneurship is undeniably strong for many but it is important that you go into it for the right reasons. Being miserable in your job does not automatically make starting your own business the best idea in the world. In fact, it could be the worst reason of all to get into business. Do remember, finding another job is certainly far easier than running a business. But if, taking into account everything that’s been said above, are you still sure that you have courage, determination and foresight to become a successful entrepreneur, go on, take the bull by the horns and go for it.

The aspiring person in the mirror must ask the right questions:

“Am I the type”? Remember you will be your top employee! Rate yourself objectively. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. If you need retraining do so or hire somebody more competent.

Be Committed! Successful entrepreneurs make it their mission to commit to their venture. Work is their heart and soul. You may need to forego luxuries like a regular pay packet, holidays and almost certainly sacrifice your weekends.

Be a type `D’–someone with desire, drive, determination and discipline. Never say, (you) never can! It is not just enough to have good ideas; you should have the tenacity to follow through.

Believe in your product/venture and work hard to make your people believe in it too. Know as much as you can about the various aspects of your business

Create a business plan (after the prerequisite market research) and stick to it. No amount of determination and discipline can help you if you do not have the knowledge of how to run a business successfully.

Have a great backup. While you may like to run the show alone, you most definitely need the support of others like your spouse and friends. They can provide you with the advice and encouragement needed to keep you going.

Cultivate the resources above and you’ll be well be on your way to success!


Entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author and award-winning fashion designer Farrah Gray has inspired millions around the world through motivational speaking, economic evangelism and the strength of his example. Gray is also an agent of social change. His partnerships include the Kauffman Foundation, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program, among others.