What Sort of Background Do You Need To Be a Successful Entrepreneur?

Ying Lin Getting Started

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As an aspiring business owner, you must have read stories about successful entrepreneurs and how they got to where they are today.

It may seem like a far-fetched dream for you. After all, you don’t have their natural business acumen, marketing talent, and knack for picking out winning products.

Or so you think. 

Today, we’re here to set that mindset straight.

What may seem like an easy road to success is never really so. Behind the trained eyes, knowledge, and skills of these business owners lie paths fraught with obstacles.

They’ve all overcome it. But what sort of background and experience did they require?

Read on because, in this post, we’ll be exploring the diverse experiences of some successful merchants so you know what you need to succeed.

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Adrien Taylor

Adrien Taylor stands in front a wall with graffiti

Aside from being a former journalist and photographer, Offcut founder Adrien Taylor also had some entrepreneurial experience in starting and running a marketing company.

Selling physical products, especially fashion-related ones, however, was completely foreign to him.

Unfazed by his lack of experience, Adrien was determined to save discarded fabric from his father’s curtain business. He pushed ahead with his idea to start a business selling products manufactured with those offcuts.

From doing industry research to looking for manufacturers, he powered through using his instincts. 

“I just did what any entrepreneur would do – had the idea and then found the right people who could make it happen,” says Adrien.

Now, after being the proud owner of Offcut for around five years, Adrien has recently sold the business and is moving on to new pastures.

Ahmed Hadi

Ahmed Hadi in the outdoors

Ahmed Hadi’s story is quite different from Adrien’s.

The young entrepreneur graduated high school as recently as Spring 2019. Instead of going straight to university, he deferred it for Finland’s mandatory conscription service, where he discovered dropshipping from a friend.

He only had a vague idea of how to go about it but decided to give it a go anyway.

His first store failed. So did his second and third. But instead of giving up after each failure, he learned from the mistakes of each store and persisted.

Today, not only has he driven his business to success in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, but the ambitious Ahmed is also exploring plans to scale and expand to foreign, untapped markets – all while attending university.

“I think it serves as a great example for beginners about how dealing with issues instead of letting them drag you down really pays off,” says Ahmed.

Kamil Sattar

Kamil Sattar ecom king

Kamil Sattar’s journey to success didn’t involve school. In fact, he says he “failed school completely.”

When he was 15, he had a passion for luxury goods. But he was unable to afford them with the income from his retail job and began to explore ways to earn more money. 

Ultimately deciding that he wasn’t cut out for school-based education, Kamil quit school, his college plans, and his job to start a business in the buying and reselling of high-end products.

Today, Kamil is earning more than $8,000 a day from five different businesses.

To him, it was his determination that set him on his path to success.

“The thing that separates me from everybody else is I just don’t give up. As soon as I want something, I go and manifest it and I take it,” says Kamil.

Ryan Carroll

Before the coronavirus hit, successful merchant Ryan Carroll was living the envious life of running a business while globetrotting. 

But he didn’t get there with the conventional backing of a business degree. In fact, it was quite the contrary.

Going against family’s wishes for him to attend college (and a high school teacher who told him he’d end up working at McDonald’s for the rest of his life if he didn’t), Ryan gave ecommerce entrepreneurship a shot.

Ryan eventually found success, but it didn’t come easy and certainly wasn’t without a few failures along the way.

Today, he credits his achievements to his hours spent on learning from experienced ecommerce entrepreneurs online and persistence in making it work.

And as a successful business owner himself now, he has one advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:

“Learn as much as possible, and don’t give up in the beginning.”

Courtney White

Courtney White

Like Ryan, online store owner Courtney never went to college, which was something that had always made her feel insecure. 

“I didn’t feel as good as somebody who had a college degree and always having to prove myself in these jobs that I had,” says Courtney.

Although Courtney has a tech background and never had trouble designing websites, she didn’t know if it was enough to go on to get the success she coveted. 

“I had no idea what I was gonna sell, didn’t really do the research that I needed to in the beginning,” says Courtney.

After a lot of hard work, Courtney finally made it. She’s the face behind Finer and Dandy, a successful ecommerce store that specializes in baby clothes. 

And she attributes her achievements, not to something specific she studied or learned online, but her experience as a mom. 

I honestly feel that if I wasn’t a mom myself and didn’t have many areas that I can relate to my audience on, I may not have had the success. – Courtney White

Conclusion

On paper, there’s no one background that unites these entrepreneurs.

But if you dig a little deeper, there is an obvious quality that defines every single one of them – their grit and determination to go against the odds, persevere through failure, and make it work.

So what do you need to succeed in entrepreneurship? It’s not a set background, fixed education, or career path, but rather, ambition and perseverance.

Or in the words of Bill Bradley:

Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.

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Ying Lin
Ying Lin
Ying Lin is a journalist-turned-content marketer who is on a journey to help companies scale. She is also the co-founder of Dear Content, a content marketing boutique.