Certified High-Performance coach, speaker, author, husband, adventurer, former commando-paratrooper, and tsunami survivor.

The Secrets Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must Know About Starting a Business


Imagine this: owning a thriving business, calling the shots, and living life on your terms – no boss breathing down your neck, just the freedom to pursue your passion. It sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, the reality of entrepreneurship is slightly different.

Every year, more and more businesses are registered; just in 2023 alone, about 5 million new businesses were started. Yet, here’s the harsh truth: 40% of businesses fail within the first three years, 50% within five years, 65% within ten years, 70% within fifteen years, and nearly 80% within twenty years.

This is something people need to talk about. Thinking about having your own business is exciting, but entrepreneurship is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. That said, I started my business three and a half years ago, and this was my best decision ever! It’s not easy, though, but the rewards are beyond measure.

I specialize in working with 7 figure young entrepreneurs, and I have been in contact with many people who started their businesses. Some failed, some succeeded. But I noticed something they all have in common, something I also experience myself: a cycle of emotions we go through during our entrepreneurial journey.

If you have already started your business or want to start your journey, keep reading! You will learn the emotional cycle of change, what to pay attention to, and what mindset you need to set yourself up for success. If only I had these insights when I started – it would have been a game-changer, and that’s why I want to share those valuable insights with you.

My goal is to prepare you for what’s ahead and help you make an informed decision about starting your own business.

This article addresses one of the key topics featured in the no-bullshit guide to creating success and fulfillment in life and business, where you’ll uncover the 3-part formula to design and live a more rewarding life. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a system that actually works. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend that you do so now to gain a better understanding of what it takes to reach excellence. Additionally, you can read the 4 steps to reach excellence and learn a methodology you can apply to any subject to speed up your progress.

The Secrets Aspiring Entrepreneurs Must Know About Starting a Business

The Excitement and Myths of Entrepreneurship

Let’s start by debunking a few myths.


Myth: Entrepreneurs work less and enjoy more leisure time.

Entrepreneurship often demands long hours, especially in the early stages. If you think you don’t like your boss, wait to see how it feels to be your own boss! You know how we would never talk to someone the way we sometimes talk to ourselves? You are your most ruthless boss, I tell you that! When I started my own business, I realized that what I wanted to do was not always what I was supposed to do. Yes, I can choose when I work and what I work on, but in the end, success doesn’t just happen, and because you know that your input is directly proportional to your output, you tend to work more than ever. It would be ridiculous if I had to calculate how much per hour I got paid since I started my business!

Here is what is certain: you will not work less, you will probably work more (at least in the first few years), and you will most likely not take more leisure time. However, knowing that you can if you want feels good! Because then working becomes a choice, not an obligation.



Myth: Entrepreneurs work in isolation

While the entrepreneurial journey can be challenging, successful entrepreneurs build networks, seek mentorship, and collaborate with others. Yes, you will spend lonely nights in front of your computer, and your friends, if not entrepreneurs, might not be able to relate to you anymore. People will ask why you work so hard, and there will come a time when you’ll have to create new connections with other entrepreneurs to keep feeling supported. For most, it feels lonely because you are the one with the vision and the responsibilities. I highly recommend you intentionally create a network around you; joining a mastermind is a great way to have support and feel less lonely in your journey.


Myth: Entrepreneurial skills are innate; you’re either born with them or not.

Some people have an employee mindset, and others are visionaries. But in general, entrepreneurial skills can be developed and honed through experience, learning, and a willingness to adapt. What really matters is the mindset, the willingness to deal with uncertainty and discomfort, and the resilience not to stop when things get hard.



Myth: Starting a business guarantees financial success.

Haha, that would be too easy. If you want a guarantee, buy a toaster. Entrepreneurship is a game of uncertainty! Success is not guaranteed. That being said, Unlike a 9-to-5 job, entrepreneurship has no glass ceiling. The potential for unlimited growth is staggering. You’re not confined to predefined limits – you can scale your business to new heights. Sky’s the limit!

I tripled the income I earned in the military ( and as an officer in a special ops unit, I was well paid) in just three years! But I barely earned enough in the first year to cover my basic expenses.

Entrepreneurship is a long-term game; there is no get-rich-quick strategy; some are lucky but usually don’t sustain. Expect a few years before really becoming profitable, if at all. Overnight success is a myth, and that’s the next one we’ll discuss.



Myth: Overnight success

We’ve all heard those stories – the “overnight success.” But here’s the truth: Behind every success story lies a saga of hard work and perseverance. It’s not all glamour; it’s about the grit, the grind, and the determination to keep going, no matter what. Ray Crock said, “I was an overnight success all right, but thirty years is a long, long night.

Success isn’t a quick sprint; it’s a marathon. We’ll talk about the building blocks that contribute to long-term success. It’s about consistency, resilience, and learning from failures – the real stuff that paves the way for lasting success.

Don’t fall for all the gurus online promising you seven figures in 7 days. If it seems too good to be true, it is because it is!

No one ever reached success overnight! Although from the outside, it might look like it. We usually don’t see the hard work and efforts behind success:

  • The best-seller author who’s written 3 books that nobody bought.
  • The successful businessman who had 4 failed companies and went bankrupt twice
  • The famous YouTuber who posted hundreds of videos with 0 views before going viral.

Business is a long-term game.



Myth: Failure is inevitable

No, but when you start doing something, usually you suck at it. Only over time, you’ll get better. So yes, you’ll make mistakes and might fail, but as long as you don’t stop, those are just building blocks for your success. I failed a few ventures but learned a ton and applied those insights to the next one. Decide to be like a toddler who starts walking; they don’t stop after falling a few times and think, well, walking is not for me! They keep going until they succeed!

The last thing I want to talk about is the survivorship bias.

Do you ever come across posts claiming that if you just do A, B, and C, you’ll achieve incredible success? Success stories seem everywhere, showcasing people who have made it big. But what about the failures?

Behind every success, countless individuals faced setbacks and challenges or never succeeded. Even when following the same “success formula.”

We should be aware of the survivorship bias: thinking that by doing what they did, you will automatically be successful, too. No matter what, success isn’t a straight line.

Of course, you should research individuals who have achieved the success you aspire to, study their journeys, and identify their best practices. But remember that just because someone followed a particular path or strategy and achieved success doesn’t mean that the same path will lead to success for everyone else.

Timing and luck play a significant role.

So, it is best to assume that you’ll have no luck and set your goals on the process, not the outcome.

Ok, I hope that I didn’t discourage you from starting your entrepreneurship journey but that I painted a more realistic representation of reality. In the military, we always say to expect the best and prepare for the worst.

It is all about managing expectations, and that will have a direct impact on whether you are going to be successful or not. Let me give you an example: I am a nomad, so I am always on the move; when I have to take a bus from one place to another, and I know it will take 5 hours if it actually takes three hours, I’m happy! If it takes 5, I’m neutral; this is what I expected, but if it takes 8, I am frustrated and annoyed. Now, if they would tell me it takes 8 hours, and it takes 8, I’m neutral. This is all about our expectations. This will change our mindset and behavior. Knowing what entrepreneurship actually looks like will save you tons of frustration and help you push through when it is hard so that, eventually, you will succeed.

As we move forward, keep that excitement alive, stay realistic, and get ready for the mindset shifts needed to ride the entrepreneurial rollercoaster. 

The Success Mindset

Be comfortable with uncertainty

The game of business is that you invest a ton of time, energy, and money, and you are not sure if it will work. Entrepreneurship is a high-risk lifestyle. I say lifestyle because it is not a job but an identity. You will think about your business most of the time, and if you don’t, well, you will probably be outworked by the competition and left behind. The arena is crowded and ruthless, and there is no mercy. If you are not ready to go full in, I’ll save you the trouble; don’t start. Decide to have a hobby, but don’t call it a business. Remember, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”


Business is a long-term game

The question is, are you willing to do something for years without any return? I’m sorry, but if the answer is no, you still expect overnight success. And as you know, this is very unlikely.

Hope for the best, yes, but remember that hope is not a strategy!

I am not saying that the path to success has to be hard and painful. But before starting, you have to be willing to ask yourself: What am I ready to struggle for?

Success doesn’t just happen. And if it would just happen by snapping your fingers, It would not even be nice,.. How would you feel if you were instantly successful in everything you do?

I would be bored as hell! I would miss the thrill of growth, the pride of persistence, and the feeling of accomplishment. So remember that transformation takes time and that hope is not a strategy. Keep doing the work and Honor your struggles; without them, the victory wouldn’t be as sweet!

Going with this, if you need money, get a job. I would never recommend someone who urgently needs money to survive to start a business. Get a job, save some money, create a safety net, work on your business at night and early morning, and then when you start having cash coming in, go part-time, and when you make more in your business than your 9-5, then consider quitting your job. In the paratrooper, we always said, “Don’t jump without a parachute”!

If you need money to survive, you’ll be needy; your emotions will affect your judgment, you think short term, etc. Don’t do it.

Ok, so let’s say that you are willing to make uncertainty your best friend, you are ready to play the long-term game, and you have at least a small financial safety net. Now what?


The question you must answer

-> What do you want? 

This question seems so basic, but most people use other people’s metrics to measure their success. Fame, money, belongings… Your definition of success is yours. Take the time to craft it.

Having worked with many entrepreneurs and business leaders, I can tell you that there is a difference between achievement and alignment.

Achievement typically refers to the attainment of specific goals or milestones. Achievements are tangible markers of success and are usually celebrated as milestones along the entrepreneurial path.

On the other hand, alignment refers to the harmony or congruence between an individual’s values, passions, purpose, and business endeavors. It goes beyond the pursuit of external accomplishments and delves into the internal fulfillment and satisfaction derived from aligning one’s work with one’s personal beliefs and aspirations. When entrepreneurs are aligned, their business ventures become an expression of who they are, their passions, and what they genuinely care about. While achievement focuses on external measures of success, alignment centers on internal fulfillment and purpose. Achieving goals without alignment can lead to a sense of emptiness or lack of satisfaction, even if the external markers of success are present. Alignment, on the other hand, can provide a deeper sense of meaning and purpose, creating a fulfilling entrepreneurial journey.

Successful entrepreneurs often strive to strike a balance between achievement and alignment. They set ambitious goals and work hard to achieve them while ensuring that their ventures align with their values and passions. By finding this balance, entrepreneurs can experience both external success and internal fulfillment.

So start by creating your definition of success. What does success mean to you?

Take a minute now to write that down!


Persistence and Perspective

Here is the thing: You will either reach your goals or stop trying before you do.

Distraction → few actions → no results → discouragement → no actions → failure

Focus on one thing long enough, and eventually, you’ll get there. Remember, you’ve got control over yourself, not the outcome.  So don’t build your self-esteem on success but on the pursuit of it. Make your goal not to win but to stay in the game: if you stay long enough, you will get better and succeed and eventually succeed.

Remember that success is when you enjoy the process. What’s the point of building a billion-dollar company if you hate every step of the way?!

There is a difference between achievement and alignment.

The Emotional Cycle Of Change

The Emotional Cycle of change

The emotional cycle of change is something we all go through in our entrepreneurial journey. Knowing where we are on the cycle can be a tremendous help to stay focused and deal with your emotions so that you keep the course and push through.

We all go through a predictable cycle of emotions when we choose to make a change. When you know what emotions to expect in these situations, it’s much easier to cope with them.

There are five different stages:


Stage 1: Uninformed optimism

The journey begins with the thrill of a new idea and the excitement of possibilities. It’s the inception, the spark of innovation. You think about starting a new business, and you feel excited and optimistic about the possibilities it brings.

Seeing new possibilities, a potential financial reward, a new identity, and a new life is exhilarating! It feels good, and we feel like we are invincible!

The problem is that this optimism is often based on limited information and can be unrealistic. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t fully grasp what it takes and focus on seeing the glass half full.

As you start working on your idea, researching more about the industry, studying people who’ve walked the path before you, and figuring out what it takes, you start feeling overwhelmed. You get lost in the tech, marketing, legal stuff, etc, and the overwhelm turns into pessimism. This is the second stage.


Stage 2: Informed pessimism

Now you have a better picture and understand the reality of what it takes to create that business. This stage is a shift to a negative emotional state. It feels that your idea is being pushed further in time; you can feel that the reward will not be immediate and that you will have to delay gratification. It doesn’t feel so good, and you start doubting. Questioning yourself:

Fear creeps in: the fear of the pain of losing something you have (the sacrifices you’ll have to make), the fear of the pain of doing the work (the necessary effort), and the fear of the pain of the outcome (what if it fails, or if it doesn’t make you happy?)

You start doing the work, but you understand that success is not certain and certainly not immediate. And that’s when you step into the next stage, the valley of despair.


Stage 3: The valley of despair

This is the lowest point of the emotional cycle. And this is where many people throw in the towel. Fears, doubts, discouragement, and pessimism are the main emotions. The easiest way out is to give up. At this point, your past situation might not seem so bad. Your 9-5 seems better than it is, even though you swear to quit and start your business.

This is a crucial point.

If you quit here, you’re back to square one, starting over. You will probably have a new idea, get really excited, and start the cycle again, never really achieving anything.

Now, with a clear why and a compelling vision of the future you want to create, you can decide to push through. This is when you deconstruct the complex mountain you are trying to climb in simple steps and achievable milestones. This is when you commit to getting better and keep doing the work. By taking action, you start seeing progress. And you leave the valley of despair towards a positive emotional space: the informed optimism stage.


Stage 4: Informed optimism

The chance of success is on the rise. The results of your efforts are beginning to show, and the sacrifices made for change start feeling worthwhile. You know what it takes, you do what you should be doing, and you play the long-term game. 

The most important thing now is to keep moving forward and focusing on the progress. Because the summit might still be far away, and sometimes, you will have setbacks and take a little stroll in the valley of despair again. It is all about learning to enjoy the process and following your plan while coming up with new iterations as needed until you reach the final stage: success and fulfillment.


Stage 5: Success & fulfillment

That’s it! You made it! You pushed through the hardship; you didn’t give up, and you delayed gratification. And now you have a thriving business and feel proud and fulfilled.

Most people give up in the valley of despair and never reach success. They look for something easy, effortless, and certain. But they will never find it.

It might take years to get to the last stage. That’s why it is so important to focus on the process of getting there, on the meaningful pursuit rather than the outcome.

This is the reality of entrepreneurship; it is a wild ride. There will be ups and downs, but if you play the game long enough, you’ll create the success you desire.

In a nutshell

My intention was not to discourage you from starting your own business but to give you tools to navigate the entrepreneurship journey. And if you feel it is not for you, that’s okay; it is not for everyone! It’s better to realize that now than a few months later when you are burned out and have already invested money and energy.

Now, if you decide to go forth, commit, jump! You will doubt at times, and worse, you will compare yourself with others. Comparison is not unhealthy, but the problem is how we judge ourselves when we compare. You see people being fearless and going full in, and you compare that with your insecurities. But Fearless is how you look from the outside when you are being courageous. How we show up doesn’t always match how we feel inside.

Stop comparing your inner struggles with others’ outward confidence and thinking, “If I felt like them, I’d be doing what they do.”

No. You wouldn’t. This is the “yes, but for me, it is different” mentality. This is how you give your power away and make excuses for not doing what you know you should.

Just do it; that’s the key. Through actions, you will get better. Fail, but fail fast and quickly bounce back. New iterations of your plan will eventually lead you to success.


There are no shortcuts

Remember that success is a long-term game. To truly succeed, you must be willing to put in the effort. Those who work harder will surpass you if you don’t keep up. This requires making sacrifices to stay ahead. While it might seem like you can have it all, I’ve learned that going all-in is the key. If you only give half, your competition will outperform you. I was naive and thought for a long time that you don’t have to make sacrifices; well, I was wrong. You’ll have to invest the time necessary to build a business, and this time has to come from somewhere.

Yes, some people manage to raise three kids, keep their 9-5 jobs, and build a business at the same time; well, let me tell you that it is not the majority.

That being said, success in business shouldn’t come at the expense of your relationships, health, or overall well-being. It shouldn’t justify a crumbling personal life. So, identify what’s necessary to maintain your relationships, health, and more, and then channel the rest of your focus into your business. That’s how you win.

Now, it’s not just about working hard; You can work 20 hours and have no results. it’s about working smart, too. Efficiency matters. Two of the best ways to make sure you keep the main thing is to hire a coach or join a mastermind. It works. And if you are afraid to invest in that, sorry, but don’t even bother with a business.

Alright, that’s all I had to share! Entrepreneurship is a wonderful journey. But you need to be ready to adapt, to never stop learning, and to put in the work.

I hope you come up with a fantastic idea that you can turn into an excellent business and create financial freedom while making a real difference in people’s lives. I wish you success!

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Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

Download Chapter 1 of my new book: "The Illusion of Time"

After nearly dying in a tsunami, I dove deep into personal growth, trying to find answers to my questions. I promised myself to live every single day to the fullest and inspire others to do the same. But for that, I had to get better at life. In my book “The Illusion of Time,” I put together 11 lessons to not suck at life and make the most out of it.

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