An entrepreneur is a person who takes on the financial risk of setting up a business, in the hope of making a profit. An entrepreneur is like a farmer, who understands that before you can harvest corn from your farm, you must first plant the seeds, nurture them and wait for a period of maturing, before you can look forward to harvest time.

A wise entrepreneur knows that, just as the farmer must ripen his fruits by degrees and cannot sow and reap at once, he or she cannot start a business today, and start making money tomorrow.

Whether on the farm or in the marketplace, every enterprise is subject to the laws of nature. In the same way that it takes time for a seed to germinate and produce fruits, it also takes time for a business to gain traction before it begins to make money, and profits. Every Small Business Owner needs, and ought to, understand this entrepreneurial patience, and leverage it for business success.

Strangely, however, this is not always the case. As a Small Business Owner, when you are struggling to build a business, life can be hard. This is one big reason you may lose patience, wish to give up on your dream and be tempted to quit, especially when you erroneously believe that your business will be an overnight success.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. A critical lesson in entrepreneurship is that it takes time to build a business. Despite your investments of effort, money and time, it can take a long time before you start to see results. It takes time to deliver your first product or service. It takes time to assemble your team and get them to sing from the same hymn book. It takes time to get customers.

Why is your business taking forever to take off and what can you do to make it look like the proverbial overnight success? You will do well to try this Holy Grail of Business Success:

  1. Vision of Success. Clarify your vision of success. It’s easy to see success in terms of the home you live in, the foreign travel you embark on, the luxury cars you drive, etc. You can see achievement and possession of these things as evidence you are a successful person.

Nothing wrong with these measures of success, except that you are measuring yourself against the things of the world and the successes of others. While you are entitled to these symbols of success, you can never get enough of them when your goals shift with each shiny toy that appears on the horizon.

What, then, is your vision of success? Define and achieve your own success. Understand and define what success feels like for you, the one that is right for you, and stay with it. You need to commit to, and focus on, your personal vision of success.

In the words of Shakespeare, in the famous play, Hamlet, to thine own self be true!

  1. Success Takes Time. Overnight success is a myth. As a Small Business Owner, a key part of your work is to figure out who you are, what you want and how to achieve it.

One obstacle on your road to success is the unconscious hope for instant success. This wish will make you impatient and make you look for short cuts, in the hope of achieving success right now. Impossible. Lasting success takes time. It’s like building a house, little by little, one block at a time. It’s a process of creating. A small idea, a passion, an interest. It goes through weeks, months, years, and you hang in there. You remain interested, and passionate.

How would you and your business look like five to 10 years from today? Let this version of yourself and your business give you a vision to aspire to. Let it help you see what you must do now for your future self and your future business to look and feel like what you truly want. Let it give you the goals to chase. Let time make your vision come true.

  1. Master Your Trade. Learn your business. Develop a level of skill that will take you beyond mere intellectual knowledge and into a practical mastery of your line of business.

Practice, as they say, makes perfect. Day by day, become better at your business. Sooner than later, your small efforts will begin to produce big results.

  1. Small Actions, Big Returns: Take small, consistent steps, each day. Make little forward actions. These steps build momentum, assume a life of their own and move you towards your goal. They add up over time and move you nearer the tipping point of success.

Yes. Business success takes time. You need a large dose of patience to succeed as an entrepreneur. Overnight success only happens in fable books.