Home Articles After the lightbulb moment: what does it takes to be an entrepreneur…successfully?

After the lightbulb moment: what does it takes to be an entrepreneur…successfully?


It’s a question asked by many: How do you become an entrepreneur?

Becoming an entrepreneur is easy. Becoming a successful one takes work. It’s more than just having a good idea.

Having established a number of successful businesses and social enterprises, I’ve made many mistakes, learned many lessons and experienced many victories. Here’s a breakdown of the attributes I believe one needs to make a good go of entrepreneurship and forge a sustainable and successful path.


How intelligent are you? You don’t need a PHD or even a degree; however, if you don’t have great instincts, intuition or street smarts, you’re behind the eight-ball.


As Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.


You have to believe you can achieve what you set out to achieve and work to inspire those around you. Pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.


Be a visionary. Begin with the end in mind and refuse to be tripped up or slowed down by over-analysing your actions, neglecting to make decisions, or from fear of obstacles. Tackle every task head-on and with gusto.


Always trouble-shoot to find an answer or alternative solution to problems you face.

‘Can-do’ attitude

Always find ways to make things work when others only see the problem they’re facing.


Courage is when your strength overcomes your fear and you dare to ‘ask’ for what you want, need or desire.


You’ll rarely take no for an answer. When you receive a no you handle it with grace and charm.


When you fall you fall quickly, but you always get up and try again.


You can bring together the right people to support your idea and make it happen.


Luck comes to those who are constantly looking for new and existing opportunities.


Many great ideas never see the light of day. Be realistic about what’s possible; don’t expect to get rich quick.


Without a competitive spirit you’ll fall by the wayside.


You’re a game-changer. You keep up with future trends and believe the future is full of potential.

Next things next

Now you’ve assessed the attributes you have or need to develop, here are some actions you should take to get started:

  • Make realistic assessments of the demand for your product, system, service or process.
  • Devise a strategy and document it.
  • Gather a diverse advisory board of trusted mentors, senior leaders and colleagues around you. Listen to their feedback and thank them for their support.
  • Find the right people to be part of your team and consider innovative ways you will keep them engaged.
  • Start implementing as soon as possible. Don’t be put off by nay-sayers.
  • Monitor your progress, test and fail. Make appropriate adjustments as required.
  • Borrow as little as possible and try to retain equity.
  • Manage – don’t stress – about problems you face.
  • Continue your own development. Upskill yourself and those around you.
  • Remain focused and be positive and passionate about your project. Smile and have fun!

Celebrate your achievements and reward great ideas and innovation

Tania de Jong AM is a leading soprano, inspirational keynote speaker, award-winning social entrepreneur and business woman. She is the founder of Creative Universe, an organisation that offers a range of Australia’s best performers, speakers and creative leadership and team building programs. Tania is also Executive Producer of Creative Innovation 2012, a major conference that takes place in Melbourne each year. Tania can be contacted at [email protected]; more information can be found at www.creativeuniverse.com.au and www.ci2012.com.au.