You can’t succeed in business without an operational model that delivers value to customers at a reasonable price, with an underlying cost that allows you to make a profit. There are no “overrides” – for example, businesses don’t thrive just because they offer the latest technology, or because everyone wants to be “green, or because their goal is to reduce world hunger.

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I expect that should seem intuitive to all entrepreneurs, but every investor I know has many stories about startup funding requests with major business model elements missing. The most common failures are solutions looking for a problem, lack of a defined market, and giving away the product

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Time, not money, is the key resource. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle, not a job. Be prepared to play the game for life. There are no quick fixes, or quick get-rich solutions. Learn to manage and balance your time; it’s the one thing that belongs to you alone. Great entrepreneurs have a life outside of work, and find time to give back.

Test Your Business Model Against These 10 Elements

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