Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Entrepreneurship is a lot of hard work, and it\’s not easy to get off the ground. But if you keep at it long enough, there are many successes out there for people who simply try.
I owe my success to the lessons I learned along the way — here are five in particular that have continued to take my business to the next level:
1. Act like the boss
To operate as a true CEO, you must first fire yourself as the assistant. Assistants ask for permission, bosses take charge.
Do you want to be the CEO of your life? Then put yourself in a position to take charge.
Related: 6 Timeless Strategies That Drive Successful Entrepreneurship
2. Stop spending so much time to save money and start spending money to save time
Time is our greatest currency. The money you have grants you more time to be productive and create new opportunities for your business to thrive.
3. Redirect your focus to things with the highest ROI
No decision will pay off more than prioritizing your life to give an extreme focus to those things that produce the highest return.
I\’m not telling you what you to do in your personal time, but I am saying the more time you spend focusing on things that will not produce high returns, the longer it will take you to reach your goals.
4. You will face opposition from those close to you — and those who don\’t know you will become your greatest support
Sometimes people just like to hate or dislike you because they see the success that you have now and feel they deserve the same for work they haven’t even put in. This is just one common unavoidable occurrence entrepreneurs experience on their journey. Understand that as transparent as you may try to be, people will try to discredit the hard work you put in because of what they didn’t see.
Just add their hate to your motivation tank and keep it moving.
Related: 11 Quotes on Kindness That Every Entrepreneur Needs to Read
5. Make friends that force you to level up
Networking is the one thing that can get you further, faster — more than hard work, sweat equity, where you’re from, who your parents are or what they did (or didn’t do).
By networking, in just one conversation, you can literally advance yourself two years. Make sure that you are building, nourishing and maintaining relationships that are beneficial to and for you.
On this journey, you will have to trust. While this may not be easy for all, learning to trust other people will benefit you a great deal. However, do it smartly and never get burned twice. You need to make sure that you become unreachable to those who had all access to you and abused it.
Why? Because success is simply a window of opportunity. And more than anything on this list, you don\’t want to waste those opportunities going back and forth with people who don\’t share your vision.
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing