7 Critical Ingredients for a Successful Startup

Ingredient One: FAITH
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Faith” as, “fidelity to one’s promises” or “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.”  For the entrepreneur, there may be no higher requirement than Faith.

Can we talk?  Starting a business is hard.  It always costs more – takes longer – is harder – than you might think.

And Faith is the bonfire on the shore when your Entrepreneur-ship is battered and torn by the waves and storms of mistakes and misdirections, fears and the ache of rejection.

So don’t set a goal; make a promise – and believe.

Ingredient Two: PASSION

On the start-up journey, if you are not passionate about your product or service or the process of starting a business, you will soon start second guessing yourself, stop working the long hours and eventually succumb to Cheetos, the remote — and obscurity.

Be passionate and bring something great into the world and you will be rewarded.

Ingredient Three: MARKET
Ok, yeah, I’m the girl who said you have to have a product or service you are passionate about, but you also have to have a market.

Passionate about making small mud Justin Bieber figurines?  Yes, strangely enough there may be a market.  (As I write this, Justin Beiber has 40.4 million twitter followers – really people?).  But if you are passionate about making mud figures of, let’s say, Cloris Leachman, start bailing water – you’re in a sinking ship.

At Girl EnTREEpreneur, we always follow the sacred Girl formula:



So, connect to your passion but then do your homework and make certain there is a hungry pool of fish waiting to be fed.  Then feed em’!

In almost every episode of Shark Tank, Mr. Wonderful, says something like, “You know Sharon, can’t I just hire a pack of trained monkeys to copy your chocolate cookie recipe and put you out of business in a week?”


Well, yes, he always has a point.

Your product has to have a unique and protected selling proposition.  Chocolate chip cookies?  It’s been done.  Your mom’s secret brownie recipe?  It’s been done. Chocolate cookies shaped like Justin Beiber with a small wispy lock of his hair in each one?  Maybe pure gold!  (I can’t believe I’m writing this, but it might sell)!!!

And if you own the licensing rights, the sky’s the limit. Find a way to feed your fish in a unique way.  Even if you are eventually copied, if you build a brand, you’ll still be ahead of the curve.

Ingredient Five: Weapon of Choice
Ok, now you have something you’re passionate about, there is a market for it and it is somehow unique.  It’s time to choose your weapons of choice.  There are hundreds of ways to get the word out.  Will you be an affiliate?  Will you start a website?  Should you market using Google Adwords? What about Social Media?  Would Fiver work?

Examine your options and then decide the best ways to market and deliver your product or service.

Ingredient Six: ACTION
I have a friend who makes to-do lists to make to-do lists, but he never gets anything done.

Take action!  Make a plan and execute.  If it doesn’t work change it.  If it still doesn’t work?  You guessed it – change it again.  If it still doesn’t work?  Don’t make me say it – change it again.  Keep acting until you succeed.


The last INGREDIENT is reaping the rewards of you hard work and dedication.  Imagine the freedom you will feel when you are financially independent.  You will know the journey has been worth the effort.

And finally, true happiness only comes from giving.  Imagine how you will feel when you know you have plenty to give and that you are making a difference in people’s lives.

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