In life we are often given instructions for the path we are supposed to follow. We are told to go to school, work hard and keep our nose to the grindstone. After high school or college, we get our first full-time job and begin the first of some 45 years of our life where we'll work 40 plus hours a week. Along the way, we expect career advancement, good pay and hopefully bosses that will value the work we do.

Within a few years, reality sets in and some of us begin to yearn for something more. We discover that when you have a boss you all too often get someone who treats you poorly and doesn't care about you at all. Endless hours of meaningless work leave us longing for a life with true meaning and yearning for an opportunity to make a real contribution in the world. With this realization, we begin to walk the entrepreneurial path.

Make Sure You Get the Education You Need

If you are going to be a successful entrepreneur, you'll need a great education. As the owner of a startup you'll wear many hats and have to be well-versed in multiple disciplines, from sales and marketing to business strategy to finance and human resources. Before you launch your business, you'll want to get the education you need so you can do things the right way.

A top-notch university degree program can be costly. One of the best ways to pay for your education is to apply for and take out private student loans. These student loans, which are available from financial companies, banks and credit unions, allow you to get all of the training you need now and then pay for your education over time.

Surround Yourself with Great Mentors and Advisors

A single idea you learn from a mentor could make your new startup a success. One new entrepreneur made sure to sit next to a highly regarded software and consulting services entrepreneur at a dinner meeting for new software resellers. He asked the successful owner what key things had made his business a success. The new owner implemented these ideas immediately in his home market.

One idea alone led the new startup to a five-year professional services engagement for multiple consultants with the area’s biggest company and millions of dollars in software sales. When you start your business, you should put together a group of advisors who can help you along the way. By tapping the wisdom and advice of proven entrepreneurs you can leverage their knowledge and insights and grow your own venture by leaps and bounds.

Perfect Your Elevator Speech

When you are an entrepreneur, life is full of business possibilities. There are many intriguing ways to make money and a lot of different opportunities to pursue. To be successful, though, you will need to focus on the market niche and offerings that are just right for you. You want your potential prospects and future customers to know exactly what you do.

One of the best ways to fine tune your business focus and narrow down your niche is to practice your elevator speech. Think of the elevator speech as your 90 second informercial introducing a prospective customer to you, your business and the reason they should buy from you. It takes real work to master your elevator pitch and if you are off-target with your offering you'll know it because you won't even be able to finish the pitch. When you have the perfect idea, though, you'll deliver your speech without missing a beat.