This week I’m attending several events hosted by Red magazine as part of its ‘Smart Women Week.’ It’s an opportunity to meet some of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs – including Jo Malone and Chrissie Rucker – and gain inspiration from their stories. Plus I get to put my glad rags on! Are You Willing?

The most popular article on my blog, 6 Business Lessons From PANDORA, was inspired by a talk at last year’s ‘Smart Women Week’ given by two executives from the company’s UK marketing team. In this article, I explored how a tiny jewellery shop, in the back streets of Copenhagen, was transformed into an iconic global brand over a 35 year period. Later this week, I’m going to be writing about how Chrissie Rucker started The White Company from her kitchen table with just a simple mail order catalogue. And went on to create a much loved brand with 50 stores and an e-commerce site here in the UK, and a second e-commerce site for the US market.

The success stories of PANDORA and The White Company can be both inspiring and dispiriting. It's easy to make the mistake of thinking that these great brands started life in global form, forgetting that the origins of all great businesses are often very humble. Steve Jobs started Apple from his garage, Phil Knight sold Nike trainers from the back of his car, having borrowed $50 from his dad to start his business.

You get my point? When they first started out, the majority of great business leaders had very limited, if indeed they had any, business experience. Their business ventures started out as a tiny seed of an idea which, over time, were carefully nurtured to germinate and bear fruit.

So why did these seeds grow to fruition while others fail to germinate or shrivel for lack of care?

When it comes to running a successful business, there is no ‘one size fits all’ secret to business success. That said, there are a number of factors which when combined, influence the probability of success.

When I meet with potential new clients, one of the qualities I look for is 'willingness.' That's because I believe one of the factors that increases the likelihood of business success is willingness. How willing is that potential client to do whatever it takes to build a business that will deliver their goals? (I don’t mean doing anything unethical or illegal by the way!)

This is my question for you. How willing are you to do whatever it takes to build a business that meets your goals?

  • If this means working 12-15 hour days, month in, month out, are you willing?
  • If this means missing nights out with friends to complete a project, are you willing?
  • If this means fore-going holidays for the first few years, are you willing?
  • If this means getting to grips with the numbers in your business, are you willing?
  • If this means investing in expert business advice – and then taking it – are you willing?
  • If this means turning off all notifications so that you can get into a state of deep focus, are you willing?

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Willingness is a state of mind. It’s being prepared to do whatever is necessary to make your dream a reality. Yet when I look at business owners who are struggling, I see many who aren’t willing to do what it takes to make their business a success. This doesn't mean they’re not working hard. Many are working incredibly hard. But they lack the willingness to do whatever it takes.

I believe that willingness is proportionate to the rightness of your chosen path. If your chosen path is right, your passion for your business will lift you through the long hours, sacrifice and challenging times that inevitably lie ahead. Building a business is relentless, hard work, combined with sacrifice and set-backs. If you’re not up for that journey, do yourself a favour and get a job!

But before you do, consider what you’re not willing to do to make your business a success, and reflect on why this is. It could be an inner sign that the goals you’ve chosen aren’t right for you. But with a small – or even a major adjustment – you can re- set yourself on the right path.

At the risk of sounding ‘woo woo,’ I believe that willingness is often enough to open doors that have previously been shut to us. Willingness is a state of mind. When we’re willing to do whatever it takes, we’re signalling that we’re open to considering new opportunities. It’s this openness that will help us to overcome any obstructions and discouragement we're experiencing. And it will open us up to greater abundance and success in our business.

Join The Conversation

Question: Are you willing to do whatever it takes to achieve your goals and make your business a success? I love hearing your views so please do share these in the comments box below.

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I’m Denyse Whillier, a London based business coach and consultant. I guide entrepreneurs from across the globe to achieve profitable, scaleable growth and create businesses that are Built To Succeed™. Built To Succeed™ is my proven success system, developed during my 8 years in the trenches as a CEO, 25 years’ experience at senior leadership and managerial level and training at Cranfield School of Management, the UK's leading business school. It's this background that sets me apart and helps my clients to get BIG results.

I’d love to start a conversation. Simply use this link to arrange an informal Skype coffee chat. There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether 1:1 business coaching (or business consultancy) would be a good fit for your business, the results you can expect and how to get started.

To get a copy of my e-book, 'How To Take Control Of Your Business ... And Get Off The Financial Roller Coaster,' click HERE.