Entrepreneurs come in a lot of different stripes and colors. Some are outgoing, some are introverted, some are detail-oriented and others are big-picture thinkers. While there are vast differences in their individual personalities, successful entrepreneurs tend to share certain characteristics and work habits—which we’ll be discussing today. Keeping these concepts front and center can help you be a better boss, a more engaged leader and best prepared for whatever is coming around the corner.
Think strategically. Great ideas don’t make money. The strategies that implement them do. No matter what your line of work is—it’s the people who lay out the road maps, define roles and conceptualize the questions that get paid the big money—and with good reason. Whether it’s baseball, insurance, banking or engineering—strategic thinking and implementation is crucial to success. So remember, having great ideas is great—but without the strategic thinking to get it off the ground, it’ll remain just a great idea.
Try to avoid failure, but don’t be terrified of it. Sure, no one wants to fail, but the reality is that most business owners willeventually. There will be days where you fail small and there will be others where the sound of your ‘splat’ as you hit the wall and vaporize into oblivion will exceed all definitions of the word ‘spectacular’. Yes, you will fail, but it’s also important to realize that failure isn’t necessarily the end of your branding.
In fact, most successful entrepreneurs are those who can turn failures into educational moments and in some cases—new opportunities. We go to often-ridiculous lengths to avoid failures when sometimes if we just accepted it’s inevitability, we’d save a lot of time and money thanks to the great lessons it teaches. Don’t actively pursue failure, but don’t run from it—especially when there’s something valuable to be learned.
Learn to adapt and evolve. If you talked to a group of successful entrepreneurs who’ve been in business for more than five or six years, most of them would likely tell you that their business today is different in some way from what they started with. People change, markets change, demands change, prices change, marketing consultants move on and your needs will always evolve. You need to be able to go with the flow and make adjustments where appropriate if you’re going to enjoy long-term success.
Maintain discipline. They say the most successful businesses are the ones based on simple, repeatable systems. Sticking to those systems and processes can pay dividends. Having a decision-making process, marketing strategy, vetting the people you allow into it, deciding how you prioritize your day—all these things can mean a lot for a successful entrepreneur and can bring sanity to even the most chaotic, random day.
Persistence. Ask anyone who’s ever been successful at anything and they’ll tell you that the word ‘no’ is the background music of their life. It only takes a few great clients to build a wildly successful business. Many who say ‘no’ today often don’t say ‘no’ tomorrow. As such, getting wrapped up in the naysayers is pointless, deflating and counter-productive. One ‘yes’ a day is another colossal step towards your goal. Stay persistent and focused and you’ll always be close to the light at the end of the tunnel.
Being an entrepreneur can be as challenging as it is rewarding. Stay focused, stay on task and most importantly—stay passionate! Good luck!