What secret made Bill Gates the richest man in the world? Was Aliko Dangote; the richest black man in the word born to be an entrepreneur? How did Oprah Winfrey become a talk show billionaire and richest black woman in the world which other talk show hosts battle with mediocrity?

How come the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are drop out billionaires? What separates the 50 year old individuals who are still struggling to live on a $50,000 salary from the young billionaires who are in their 20s and 30s? This article will provide an answer to all the questions asked above.

Quite a number of times, I have heard the phrase that “entrepreneurship is a calling.” I think there’s an atom of truth in that statement. Entrepreneurship is a call to self actualization; a call to serve and improve the well being of humanity. Now every human being on earth has a calling; a specific purpose why he/she was created but it takes focus and spiritual understanding to discover that purpose.

“Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try.” – Mary Kay Ash

Now what’s the secret of the most successful entrepreneurs? The answer to this question is simple. The most successful entrepreneurs simply discovered their purpose; found their entrepreneurial spirit and stayed true to their calling.

“It was in my life’s darkest moment, when there seem to be no hope that I discovered my entrepreneurial spirit. I thank God for that situation. If not for that single situation, I might have died without giving that entrepreneurial spirit in me a chance to manifest.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

Finding the entrepreneurial spirit made Oprah Winfrey, the richest talk show host. It’s this same entrepreneurial spirit that propelled Christopher Columbus to embark on the voyage that changed the world. It’s this same entrepreneurial spirit that kept Larry Ellison going even after dropping out of college twice; same goes with Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Ingvar Kamprad, Orji Uzor Kalu, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson.

“It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are – not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down the spirit within – that you can begin to take control.” – Oprah Winfrey

The same entrepreneurial spirit was responsible for the tremendous success of Andrew Carnegie, Ray Kroc, Debbi Fields, Mary Kay Ash, Cosmos Maduka, Henry Ford and Li Ka Shing; despite their lack of formal education. General Electric and Wal-Mart remain relevant today because they are still being guided by the entrepreneurial spirit of their founders; Thomas Edison and Sam Walton respectively. This same entrepreneurial spirit kept Ingvar Kamprad and Warren Buffett in the game even in old age.

“I’m not afraid of turning 80 and I have lots of things to do. I don’t have time for dying.” – Ingvar Kamprad

“I get to do what I like to do every single day of the year.” – Warren Buffett

So if the entrepreneurial spirit is vital to success in business; how can you awaken this spirit? Without wasting much of your time, below are seven steps you can take to awaken your entrepreneurial spirit.

How to Awaken Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

1. Develop your Mindset

“I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” – Donald Trump

Awakening your entrepreneurial spirit begins with the development of your mindset. If you are not in the right mindset; if you lack the right perception, your entrepreneurial spirit will remain dormant. The entrepreneurial spirit thrives in a body with the right attitude and you have to be a positive thinker to harness the power of the entrepreneurial spirit.

“Like success, failure is many things to many people. With positive mental attitude, failure is a learning experience, a rung on the ladder, and a plateau at which to get your thoughts in order to prepare to try again.” – W. Clement Stone

You must also develop your mind to see opportunities where others see problems; and above all, you must change your perception towards challenges and failure. You must see problems as a stepping stone, not as a stumbling block.

“Someone asked me, ‘how can I find a good business opportunity? I replied, ‘go and look for adversity.’ If you can handle adversity, you will find opportunity. Adversity and opportunity are two inseparable twins.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

2. Develop your Self Belief

“Some people intertwine self belief and faith but I stand to say they are not the same. Faith is not self belief. While faith says it can be done, self belief says ‘I can do it.’ While faith says there is possibility, Self belief says ‘I am the possibility.’ Faith without self belief is vain.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

The next step to awakening your entrepreneurial spirit is to develop a strong believe in yourself. Without self belief, you entrepreneurial spirit will never manifest.

“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash

3. Follow Your Instinct

“Follow your instincts, that’s where true wisdom manifest itself.” – Oprah Winfrey

I came to realize the power of my instinct after reading Felix Dennis’s book “How to be Rich.” In that book, Felix Dennis explained that your instinct is that goose pimples that form on your body whenever you come across a potential business opportunity; it’s the excitement and the “let’s do it” voice inside your heart.

“Screw it, let’s do it.” – Richard Branson

You must train yourself to understand yourself. You should know when your instinct is giving you a nudge to forge ahead; you should learn to obey your instinct. When Richard Branson was presented with the airline business idea; he followed his instinct and started Virgin Atlantic despite the glaring fact that he would be going head to head against the giant British Airways. Today, VIRGIN is a worldwide recognized brand.

“A business has to be involving, it has to be fun and it has to exercise your creative instincts.” – Richard Branson

Christopher Columbus followed his instinct to embark on the voyage and he discovered America. Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Larry Ellison and Richard Branson all followed their instinct and dropped out of school. Today, they are the world’s celebrated drop out billionaires.

“Experience taught me a few things. One is to listen to your gut no matter how good something sounds on paper. The second is that you are generally better off sticking with what you know and the third is that sometimes, your best investments are the ones you don’t make.” – Donald Trump

4. Learn to take Risk; it is part of the game

From personal observation; it seems risky ventures forces the entrepreneurial spirit into manifestation. I have seen men break barriers where others think the game is over.

“You must take risks, both with your own money or with borrowed money. Risk taking is essential to business growth.” – J. Paul Getty

When everyone had the perception that the world was flat; Christopher Columbus took the risk to sail around the world and bumped into America.  When everyone said it was impossible for humans to fly; the Wright brothers held on to their dreams and took the risk to fly the first airplane. Virgin Atlantic was a risk; Microsoft’s windows was a risk, Oracle was a risk and so also was Dell. As a last note, I want it to sink into your skull that the entrepreneurial spirit thrives on risk.

“I had to give it a go and see what happens.” – Michael Dell

“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” – Bill Gates

5. Embrace Competition

“When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough.” – Donald Trump

Just as the entrepreneurial spirit thrives on risk; so also does it thrive in a competitive environment. Most people shy away from building a business because of the competition involved; they don’t dare to undergo the entrepreneurial process because of the business challenges.

“I have been within the four walls of school and I have been on the street. I can confidently tell you that the street is tougher, challenging, daring, exciting and more rewarding. In school; you play alone. But on the street, you play with the big boys.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

If you must awaken your entrepreneurial spirit; then you must be willing to face competition. In fact, you must be willing to seek it out just like Richard Branson and Larry Ellison.

It’s my job for Oracle, the number two software company in the world; to become the number one software company in the world. My job is to build better than the competition, sell those products in the marketplace and eventually supplant Microsoft and move from being number two to number one.” – Larry Ellison

7. Take action

“You have to act and act now.” – Larry Ellison

All your dreams, aspirations and ambition will be in vain if you don’t take action. The entrepreneurial spirit manifests itself in the doing phase; not the planning or dreaming phase. If you want to awaken your spirit; then start the entrepreneurial process and build a business. The business challenges involved in the entrepreneurial process will force your spirit into action.

“And obviously from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.” – Richard Branson

Sometimes I stay up 20hours a day; I keep forging ahead to make sure I achieve my aim without getting bored or stressed up. What’s driving me forward; what’s the source of this energy. I think the answer is the spirit with which I carry out my business obligations.  As a final note, I leave you with this quote:

“Nothing gives me a sense of fulfillment more than building successful businesses from scratch. Once my goal is achieved in a particular business; I exit and start another business. Building businesses from scratch is where my passion lies and I am not quitting until death.” – Ajaero Tony Martins

“Without passion, you don’t have energy. Without energy, you have nothing.” – Warren Buffett