In the midst of a long entrepreneurial journey, it can be difficult to tell whether your idea—and more specifically, the way you execute it—is going to be successful. But if any of these eight signs have crossed your path as of late, you may be on the right track.
1. You’re excited about your business.
Those who start businesses for the money or to please friends and family are likely to burn out—or fall flat. The concept behind your business should be exciting from the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey to the end (even though it is often said there is not an end at all).
You know you are excited about your company when you talk about it obsessively with friends, when you cannot wait to get to work in the morning, or even when you feel a familiar warmth in your chest when you accomplish a minor business-related task. If you have lost touch with the “fun” side of starting a business, sit down and write out the reasons you started the company in the first place. What were your goals from the very beginning? Have you achieved any since then—or are you close?
2. People are talking.
If your core idea is a good one (and it is marketed well), people will talk about it. Check out the conversations circulating social media. If it does not take hundreds of social media posts per week to get people commenting, sharing, tweeting, and more, you are doing pretty well.
Customers, clients and fans can discuss your brand silently as well by wearing T-shirts, boasting stickers, and donning pins with your logo or catchphrase. People are eager to be the first to tell their friends about the “next big thing”—conversation surrounding your business may mean it is just that.
3. Your net income makes your overhead costs look reasonable.
When you are first starting out, it can be painful to shell out money for web domains, logo design, product prototypes, and other startup costs. Your wallet gradually becomes thinner, and you wonder more than once if that money will ever come back.
It often takes 12 to 36 months for businesses to be quite profitable, but if you are drawing in disposable income before or at that stage, you are on the right track. Keep careful records of your company’s finances. Once your loans and overhead costs seem a little less daunting, you are doing just fine.
4. You’re willing and able to adapt to change.
Successful entrepreneurs understand that the world of business is fluid—and so are the fields in which their products and services are encapsulated. Any business, no matter how big or small, will have to change along with the times. Those who do not are denying themselves an opportunity to impress their customers and achieve long-term greatness.
You are on the path to success when you are capable of adapting to the changes around you.
5. You welcome criticism.
No entrepreneur is capable of growing and enhancing their business if they cannot accept criticism for what it is—free advice. Feedback often comes in unpleasant forms, but many times it identifies areas of improvement. If you are able to receive criticism and turn it into positive change, you are that much ahead of business owners who can’t. Develop a thick skin, and brush empty opinions off your back while absorbing the ones that offer valuable tips on how to polish your business.
6. You learn from your mistakes.
Successful people are not those who do not make mistakes—they are the ones who learn from them. Much like welcoming criticism, successful entrepreneurs are capable of learning from their mistakes, and much like criticism, mistakes are lessons in disguise. Instead of wallowing in the false sense of failure that often surrounds a mistake, attempt to learn from it: What could you have done better? What obstacles could have been avoided?
Remember that because you do not have time to make every mistake, you can also learn from the mistakes of those around you—to learn by experience with no cost to your own business. You are already on the path to success if you consciously gain valuable lessons from your mistakes.
7. You are capable of being grateful for what you have while still striving for more.
You will never be satisfied with your progress if you are incapable of being grateful for what you already have. During the startup process, ensure that you differentiate resources you already have from those you have to acquire. Perform brief check-ins with yourself or with your team every six months or so, paying close attention to the victories you have experienced that you worked so hard for.
Being thankful for what you have not only surrounds you and your company with positivity, but it will also keep things in perspective when you are experiencing doubts about your abilities.
8. You don’t have regrets.
Those who are truly meant to be entrepreneurs love the hard work they put into their businesses no matter what results come from it—the passion and energy that go into starting a company are enough of a reason to push forward regardless of circumstance.
It is more than just “knowing”—thousands of entrepreneurs sense shining success in their futures by encountering any of these eight tell-tale signs. When did you realize you would be successful at what you do? What was the turning point of success for your business?
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors.
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