In this day and age, fantasizing about starting a business and letting it blossom into its full potential is an ambition most entrepreneurs hold. However, reaching the top and maintaining prosperity is almost always a constant challenge. There are a lot of winning ideas out there but it is the right execution and managerial leadership that bring in the investors, cultivate the right team and bring brilliant ideas into fruition.

My vision on achieving success both financially and professionally during this crucial economic time is straightforward. I’ve faced enormous trials over the years and defied the odds to ensure my ambitions turn into reality. After being mentored by Donald Trump as a finalist on The Apprentice and a constantly evolving entrepreneur, here are some significant lessons I’ve acquired over the years:

1. Allow your Start-up the Freedom to Fail. It is important to consider all the possibilities and be realistic about what areas in your business are weak. Being a leader means constantly carving out new paths. When your business has a few losses, quickly adapt to the changes and move on.

2. Stay Cool and Lean In. Accept that start-ups are going to have ups and downs. Even when the ship is rocking, keep a level head. Continue to instill confidence your employees and more importantly your investors. With any sort of challenges, your team needs to lean in for the next step.

3. Stand out with Distinction. Being on The Apprentice, I observed Donald Trump chooses people and ideas with unique angles. Be different because it keeps people engaged in what you plan to offer.

4. Surround Yourself with Influential People. Make sure there are key players involved in your business that hold experience from established companies. Having someone from Microsoft or Google will make a difference to investors.

5. Start the Talent-Search. Pay attention to your employees and foster their strengths. See the potential in some of your employees. Be assertive and transfer them, teach them or switch up their responsibilities to better suit what you see in them. This kind of mentorship builds future leaders for your company.

6. Go with the Numbers. Constantly be crunching numbers and quantifying results. It is basic but a lot of entrepreneurs forget that making small changes and measuring the results will lead to long-term improvements. Taking small risks and seeing how they pan out is more effective than drafting visionary plans.