If 2013 is going to be the year you start your own business, make sure you do it right. Below are ideas and articles I've found helpful. Perhaps you will too, as you aim to make next year the year you finally got it all started.
The foundation of entrepreneurship is sacrifice, not wealth
If you want your idea to succeed, it will require sacrifice. And if you're not willing to lay something on the altar of entrepreneurship, then you may consider a different path. While you don't have to sacrifice everything, you will have to sacrifice something. Be prepared.
Successful entrepreneurs stay balanced
The stories of people giving up everything, staying up late every night, ignoring their family, living in a car, eating beans out of a can, tweeting until their fingers bleed - these have all got to go. The best entrepreneurs that I know have lives outside of their companies. Their idea or company may largely define them, but it is not all they are.
Being a great wife, friend, brother, mother, cousin, and citizen are also hallmarks of success. You can define your own success by your business's bottom line, but please expand that definition to whether or not you're happy.
Linds expands on this notion in this fantastic read (one of the best things I've read online all year).
Entrepreneurs solve problems that exist at the edges
If you're looking for a path toward success, look for the problems that exist out past the edges of work and life. Challenge something. Be a dissident. Go against the grain and the flow and come up with a solution or idea that is so innovative, novel, and wonderful that everyone takes notice.
Entrepreneurs are creative artists
What all three of the above links will remind you of is that entrepreneurs are artists, full of thick and viscous creativity. We're not talking about painting or sculpting here. We're talking about coming up with an idea and putting it into action.
There may be no more creative act than taking that which only exists in the mind (an idea) and bringing it to life in the world. Whether it's paint on a canvas or a company into the marketplace, entrepreneurs must do what it takes in order to make something real.
Now - go be great next year. The world needs it.