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What Too Many Startup Founders Get Wrong About Success

February 27, 2016, 6:30 PM UTC
Coworkers at workstations in high tech office
Photograph by Thomas Barwick — Getty Images

The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question “How do you stay inspired to run a business?” is written by Kevin Shahbazi, cofounder and CEO of LogMeOnce.

When it comes to starting a business, there are quite a few factors that determine success. Achieving it isn’t based on luck. Successful people are passionate and inspired about what they do every day. Without inspiration, it is difficult to find success.

During LogMeOnce’s inception, we went back to our collective experiences, dug deep into our company roots, and created a checklist of what we found most important in order to build a company that would benefit our users and keep us inspired. This checklist is what I look back on for daily inspiration. It reminds me where I started from, what I have accomplished, and how I can get to that next level of success.

Eternal fire
For entrepreneurs, the fire should be eternal. Each entrepreneur’s fire runs parallel and is consistent with the fire of a volcano that keeps on dissipating warmth, life, and energy. It’s that butterfly feeling that we feel in our stomachs when we think about our businesses.

Founding fathers
The cohesive bond between cofounders is of paramount value. It is that unwavering belief, trust, understanding, and collective push that turns a startup to an agile and productive team. A five-second elevator ride between cofounders can accomplish more results than an hour-long staff meeting can.

See also: Why You Should Take a Vacation Next Week

Power of rehearsal
Visualize, dream, and rehearse all aspects of how your business will function and prosper in your mind. Even simple product features or user interface need to be rehearsed for achieving success. By taking the time to rehearse, you know where to make improvements and tweaks to make something work.

The stalemate agony
Keep your eyes and ears open. Carve out enough time on a daily basis to network. That benign advice is often what we need for micro navigation to dig out and move on.

Positive outlook
Maintaining a positive outlook on your business and life is fundamental. Optimism is very contagious, and you want the good vibes to rub off on your team members so they feel inspired and learn from their own experiences. Use humor to start the flames.

Power of reality
Be realistic and monitor your performance. We use tools such as the Critical Path Method to meet schedules and deadlines. Regardless of how you monitor performance, each individual goal should be achievable and attainable so you don’t crash and burn.


The team
Like individual team members, every single drop of water gathered from melting snow forms the strength of a powerful river rushing to the ocean. Your team’s cohesive, eternal fire flowing through the veins of your business will keep together everything you’ve built.

The philanthropy
Organizing your team around a cause will instill a powerful rhythm needed for everyone to row at the same time and in one direction: your end game.

Competitive validation
Entering a new market might mean facing fierce competition from one or multiple directions. Ironically, the validations (attacks) you receive from competition of all sizes attest to your abilities to dissect the methodology of your competitors.

You have a responsibility to lead your team and navigate through the idiosyncrasies of challenges, while your company needs to take responsibility and ownership of its role. Believe in what you’re doing.

The finals
Once we have created the perfect playlist, we can then see a dream come true by playing it. If you have been rehearsing from inception, then the obstacles and challenges are clearer, and you will be ready to tackle them head on. Enjoy the journey.

When it comes to staying inspired, both big and small wins are equally important. Small wins are daily reminders of what your team is doing right. Big wins streamline the process, making things run smoother—much like lubricating the engine of a race car for maximum performance. Enjoy the game. After all, it’s your game.

An accomplished serial entrepreneur, Kevin Shahbazi has cofounded multiple successful companies, including Applied Technologies, Trust Digital, eView Technologies, and Avocado Security.