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Doomed from the start. If you’re an entrepreneur or an entrepreneur-hopeful, it’s probably difficult to keep those four words from causing you to second guess your every move as you plan and run your business. They become especially hard to ignore when you consider the fact that less than 30 percent of businesses last more than 10 years, and most failures happen within the first few years of operation. The truth is, many things could go wrong: an ill-conceived business idea, poor planning, lack of capital, ineffective leadership, and more. In the high stakes world of running a business, those are the facts.

But, says Bill McBean, author of the new book The Facts of Business Life: What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t, there are other important facts about business ownership. Facts that could help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that trip up so many others, and go on to achieve the success you’ve dreamed of. He calls them the Facts of Business Life.

“Of course, there are a variety of skills owners need to know in order to make a business work,” says McBean. “But after many decades of running my own successful businesses, and learning how other successful owners have created success, I have come to the conclusion that these facts are the seven essential concepts needed to create a successful business life.”

If you’re ready to build a strong, lasting foundation for your business, then read on for an overview of McBean’s tried-and-true seven Facts of Business Life:

Fact 1: If you don’t lead, no one will follow. At first, this statement seems mind-numbingly obvious. But often, “leadership” is one of those words that is thrown around by people who haven’t given much thought to what it looks like in action. According to McBean, good business leadership begins with defining the destination and direction of your company and deciding how the business should look and operate when it arrives. But it doesn’t stop there. It also involves developing and continuously improving on a set of skills in order to move your business from where it is today to where you want it to be tomorrow.

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