Success is a journey, not a destination. However, like any journey there are certain milestones along the way that can help guide you along your path. These signs that you’re headed down the road of success can be particularly important for your morale during hard times. They can also help to alert you that you’re doing the right thing during transformational moments in your business.
While no two paths or people will ever experience success exactly the same, there are some fairly common signs you can watch out for along your journey. Here are five signs that showed me I was on the path to entrepreneurial success:
1. Taking big risks started becoming habitual.
In a way I’m lucky because my entrepreneurial life started when I was very young. My grandfather instilled a love of entrepreneurship in my brother Matthew and I at a young age. It was a great way to grow up because risks rarely felt scary -- they felt fun.
However, when I started one of my first entrepreneurial endeavors as a young adult, spending my hard-earned money suddenly did feel a lot more like a big risk. It was terribly exciting, but there was definitely anxiousness attached with the unknown outcome.
I’ve learned that you have two choices on how you approach intelligent risks: you can choose to tap into the feelings of anxiety or you can choose to identify with the excitement of risks. As I’ve learned to tap more into the excitement of big risks, my capacity to take risks has improved over time.
Each time you take a risk, it will be coupled with some anxiety. However as you learn to trust yourself and risks begin to work out for you, you’ll quickly grow your ability to assess and take better risks. When risk-taking becomes a little more comfortable, it’s a good milestone you’re on the path to long-term success.
2. Receiving an influx of meeting requests.
As your endeavors begin to become more successful, you’ll start to notice that suddenly you begin getting requests from strangers to meet up. Sometimes these requests will be in direct correlation to a news story, press release or other anticipated event. However, you’ll know if you’re on the path to success when these requests begin to roll in organically.
People start to take note of what you’re up to, and as they do, they begin to talk about it more with their colleagues and peers. Entrepreneurs you know start to introduce you to people they think you should know and those second-hand contacts start to get curious about what you’re up to and reach out.
When unprompted connections and introductions start being made on your behalf, it’s a great feeling and a good indication that you’re on the path.
3. Being asked to contribute.
Being asked to contribute or speak is another phenomena that starts to come when you’re on the tipping point of success. Suddenly, people will begin to ask you to contribute to magazines, websites or podcasts. Usually shortly thereafter come the requests to speak at industry conferences, other businesses and graduation commencement ceremonies.
It’s a humbling feeling and one that compounds as you become more successful in the entrepreneurial arena. The more success you experience the more these contribution requests will come your way. Say yes to as many as you can responsibly contribute to -- they’re a great opportunity to teach and give back and a great sign you’re achieving success.
4. Finally sleeping.
I still remember the intense schedule my brother and I kept as we worked on our first business. Every day was an 18-hour workday, seven days a week for the first year because we were working day jobs to bankroll this first venture and hustling all night on our business after he got out of work. We worked ourselves to the bone to meet our profitability deadlines, but suddenly we reached a success tipping point and things started flowing.
The business started thriving and I finally got to experience my first night of more than five hours of sleep. Entrepreneurship is ultimately about accountability. You have to hold yourself responsible for your failures or successes. We were determined to succeed, which meant not getting a lot of sleep for a while.
Sometimes your journey to success is going to require extended periods of stress and little sleep. You’ll start to realize you’re on the path to success when your business is thriving, you get to leave the day job and you’re finally able to log some sustainable sleep.
5. Being approached to mentor.
One of the most rewarding things about success has been the number of people who have approached me over the years to tell me how one of my businesses impacted their lives. To know that your success has had a personal effect on someone else, whether that’s through what you taught them personally or the work you were able to provide them, is a truly memorable and humbling thing.
As I became more successful individuals started reaching out to ask for mentoring. While I’m careful whom and how I mentor, being asked to mentor for the first time was an experience that showed me I was on the path to success.
If you’ve been approached by others to teach or mentor it’s a great sign you have valuable skills and knowledge to share. You’ll need to be selective in the time you dedicate to mentoring, but it’s a great experience and one that shows you’re on the path to success.