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This time of year in particular, I hear business owners asking this question a LOT.

They are speaking, of course, about all the tips and tricks they've tried in their business to create success.

There are some simple reasons "it" isn't working. Simple, but not easy, or fast. Don't get me wrong, there ARE some fast ways to fail. In fact it's better to fail fast, learn, iterate your product or service to integrate your lessons, and have another go. But before you do any of that, there are some other steps needed.

First, what is YOUR definition of "success?" No one else's matters. YOUR version of success is unique to you and your business. It can be unrealistic, or fuzzy, or too operational to be of much use. Or if it's realistic, clear, and vivid it can be your North Star to guide your path!

Second, in this era of consumer empowerment, any business that does not start with defining and understanding your audiences distinctly is headed for a tumble. No, not everyone needs (or wants!) your product or service! And just because YOU love your product or service does not translate into automatic adoption by the market.

Third, how you get revenue for your product or service is critical. Even if you have a nonprofit, you still need to create revenue. This is known as your business model. There are myriad approaches to business models. But those who don't validate their plan with potential customers first may rue the day.

Do you see anything that these goofs share? It's perhaps the most common fallacy that leads to entrepreneurial defeat: quick wins don't work. If you want to build a business and wealth, you must build on firm foundations and principles, and focus on systems that are scalable, sustainable, and workable.

The Entrepreneurial Journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

The Entrepreneurial Journey is not for the faint of heart! And it's just that -- a journey. Full of hills and valleys, unexpected potholes and mudpits, tollways and freeways, predictable and unpredicted detours, Having a roadmap certainly helps. A lot! And having some fellow wayfarers to accompany you on the expedition can be all the difference in the world.

That is why we developed the business model of CEO School to include teaching, coaching, and peer-mentoring. It's this blend of support in community that is for the long term, throughout the Entrepreneurial Journey. We understand it isn't a fast thing. It takes as long as it takes. Our needs shift and change, but they never evaporate. And what joy we can glean from seeing our journey story help another!

If this model sounds intriguing to you, and you're looking to have a different conversation about your business in 2019, I hope you'll join me December 13 at 1:00PM ET for a Facebook LIVE on CEO Schools Facebook page.

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