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The Secret to Success (It Isn’t Just About the Right Idea)

The Secret to Success (It Isn’t Just About the Right Idea)

Every entrepreneur across the globe is in search of success. Success in business and success in life. So why do so many businesses fail? According to, by the end of one year, 20% of small businesses will fail. By the end of year two, 30% of those businesses will fail. By the end of ten years, 70% of those businesses will have failed. The question then becomes, is there a common denominator?

Simply defining success is a difficult proposition. Many business owners use key performance indicators (KPIs) to track success. A KPI can be anything from profitability to brand awareness and audience reach. KPIs across industries tend to differ, a tech startup’s KPI in the first two years may look vastly different than an ecommerce brand’s KPI.

Even more difficult than defining success is achieving success. Every entrepreneur and business owner starts with an idea or a defining principle. Creativity is an important first step into creating a new business. In fact, 83% of Ellevate members have cited creativity as an essential piece of the puzzle to success.

Creativity can help to create a brand-new product, a service, a brand, or something else entirely. This is important, because without the right idea, a business will never even get started. But, getting started is exactly what it sounds like: the start.

The mistake many new businesses make is to rely on the value of the perfect solution that will solve all the answers of a niche or a growing market. In today’s vast and noisy world of marketing, even the greatest idea can get lost among the many startups and brands vying for attention.


What is the secret to achieving success? It’s an equation; one that adds up to a greater sum of profitability and growth for a business. It all starts with the right idea, but it can’t end there. From that one idea must come a truly well-thought out business plan and strategy that covers everything from starting costs and competitive analysis to pricing, messaging, and marketing.

Once a strategy is in place, the real work begins. Executing the strategy must be done carefully and in due process, but this isn’t just a set-it-and-forget-it business model. In the ever-changing market of the world, business owners cannot sit by and watch. It’s important to track as much data as possible, and it’s just as important to be able to review it and understand what it means. Part of the reason why so many new businesses fail is a lack of adaptability.

[Related: Three Surefire Ways to Own Your Value and Boost Your Career Reinvention]


Data gives foresight into what is coming next. It shows what parts of the strategy have worked and what parts have failed. By properly using this data, business owners can pivot to meet upcoming trends, adjust and improve strategies for even better results, and be in the loop on how close a strategy is coming to meeting those KPIs.

[Related: Four Powerful Techniques That Will Help You Close More Sales and Build a Reputable Brand]


Success takes hard work, drive, and follow-through. Some days are going to be tough and it can be easy to slip into a state of mediocrity. But mediocrity is a slippery slope that leads to failure for many businesses. No matter what, your business is going to have ups and downs, but the most important thing is how you handle the high points and the low points.

Both our successes and our failures provide unique learning opportunities that can help our businesses to grow even further. With dedication, business owners can make it through those low points and continue to strategize for the future with insights based on hard facts and data.

So remember, the initial idea is important, but what you do with it matters just as much. Strategize, plan all that you can, establish key success metrics, and then execute that strategy and keep a close eye on your data.

[Related: Innovation Starts With “I” in the Reinvention Revolution]


Julie Cropp Gareleck is an experienced strategist, author, and founder of Junction Creative Solutions, where she works with global and growth stage brands on developing the right strategies to grow their business. She has been recognized as an industry experience and leader, featured on NBC affiliate Atlanta & Company, as well as in notable publications as the USA Today. Find Julie empowering business owners and entrepreneurs @JulieCroppGareleck.

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