Successful entrepreneurs are different from aspiring entrepreneurs, not least because they are successful but because they share a common series of characteristics or perhaps traits of successful entrepreneurs.
Here is a list of 10 things successful people do differently. If you can adapt, maybe you can become a successful entrepreneur too:
1) Do everything themselves
Successful entrepreneurs delegate so they never have to do everything themselves. Becoming an entrepreneur does not mean that you need to do everything yourself, yet many aspiring entrepreneurs attempt to do just that.
The successful understand that their time is better spent on things they are exceptionally good at, so they outsource everything else. It may be to in-house staff or to freelancers on the other side of the world, but they learn to let go and not do everything themselves.
Key Learning: Stick to your core strength, it is where you provide the most value
2) Never stop learning
Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning. Life is a series of never-ending lessons, each one making us more refined, unique and hopefully knowledgable. Business is not different, and those who are successful know full well that they will never know everything. They are open-minded to learning and feel no shame in asking questions.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs believe that asking for help is a sign of weakness whereas successful entrepreneurs understand that asking the right questions now can save them much headache further down the line. You will never know everything and nobody ever expects you to know it all, so embrace good advice and always seek to be learning more.
Key Learning: Accept that asking for help is actually a sign of confidence
3) Do not jump upon every one of them
Successful entrepreneurs keep abreast of the latest trends but do not jump upon every one of them. Entrepreneurs by their very nature are creative and thus love to keep abreast or at least aware of the latest technologies and developments within their industry. But, there is a big distinction between successful entrepreneurs compared to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Successful entrepreneurs do not feel compelled to jump upon everything that is described as ‘the latest trend’. Successful entrepreneurs understand fully that not everything will succeed in the long run and not everything is good for their business. They take time to think and consider the risks involved with adopting new technology before diving in.
Aspiring entrepreneurs, on the other hand, tend to dive in headfirst, often neglecting other aspects of their business simply to appear to be to date with the latest trends.
Key Learning: Do what is best for your business, not simply what everyone else is doing.
4) They are driven to create the next big thing
Successful entrepreneurs are not simply driven to be successful, they are driven to create the next big thing. Aspiring entrepreneurs often have a vision of a successful product and a luxurious lifestyle but fail to consider what will happen when they achieve these things. Their goals are complete and their motivation satisfied, what will urge them to continue to be successful?
Successful entrepreneurs think differently. They do not believe one product makes them successful, they dream much much bigger. They not only want to lead the market but they dream of expanding into multiple markets and industries with an ever-flowing empire. Successful entrepreneurs keep themselves motivated to a bigger goal.
As the saying goes – if you reach for the stars, you may hit the moon, whereas if you aim for the aim, that is about the best you will achieve. Aim bigger and your smaller ambitions will never seem so hard.
Key Learning: Think big, then think even bigger.
5) Be good enough
Successful entrepreneurs understand clearly, that you only ever have to be ‘good enough’. Successful entrepreneurs focus on being better rather than being perfect straight away. Aspiring entrepreneurs often put far too much emphasis on being perfect the first time through, which often leads to things being done over and over again without ever being finished.
Successful entrepreneurs know all too well that a finished product is an initial aim. It does not have to be perfect, it just has to be good enough as you can then spend time on making it better. They concentrate on JUST GETTING IT FINISHED, and then spend their energies and making it better.
Perfection is the root cause of too many failures, the successful eliminate that work from their vocabulary, they start by making something that is good enough and then concentrates on making it better and better. It may never be perfect, but it will always be more than good enough.
Key Learning: Just finish it already
Successful entrepreneurs are solution-focused. Every business has problems, but it is the way you react to problems that define how successful you may be. Successful entrepreneurs acknowledge problems when they arise, but they also formulate solutions and action points to get themselves out of the situation quickly.
They do not wallow in self-pity or wait for things to turn themselves around, they take control and take decisive action. They look to find the root cause of the problem and seek the lessons from the situation in order to formulate an effective exit plan. Successful entrepreneurs always believe there is a way out of every problem because they are solution orientated.
Key Learning: Every problem is an opportunity
7) Set high standards
Successful entrepreneurs set high standards for themselves and those around them. Successful entrepreneurs are never simply happy that a job has been down well, they expect it. They have a very high expectation of both themselves and those surrounding them. If they are paying for a job, they expect to be done well and on time, and if not, you will firmly receive a demand for it to be done again.
Aspiring entrepreneurs tend to be much more forgiving of mistakes, whereas successful entrepreneurs know full well that people only respect others that have boundaries. Successful entrepreneurs know that being too nice is detrimental to your kong term business success so having firm boundaries which you are willing to enforce helps bring the best out of your workers.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often make the mistake of being too nice, thinking that it is better to keep those around you happy in case you might need to work together again. The successful care more about being fair and being treated fairly in return rather than coming across as nice.
Key Learning: Demand the best because you deserve it.
8 ) Know how to say no
Successful entrepreneurs know how to say no. Successful entrepreneurs are very comfortable with who they are and what they want. They are confident enough to stand out on their own in order to pursue their dreams. They do not feel the need to simply follow the crowd.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often neglect the insight that is needed to bring focus and clarity to one’s ambitions. They fail to keep their eyes firmly on their goals and can be easily swayed by the opinions of others. Successful entrepreneurs whilst acknowledging the value of other people’s input put their faith firmly in their goal and are very comfortable saying no to anyone, even if it is against popular opinion.
Key Learning: Believe in your vision and be prepared to say NO to anyone that stands in your way.
9) Seek win/win scenarios.
Successful entrepreneurs seek win/win scenarios. Successful entrepreneurs know that win/win scenarios are the safest guarantee of a long-lasting relationship. It builds trust and loyalty, two of the most sought after characteristics of any business.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often seek to form one way relationships or heavily one-sided relations, which can only sad to bitterness in the long run. The successful entrepreneur understands that any relationship must be mutually beneficial from the start. Aspiring entrepreneurs often make the mistake of forming alliances where they are initially at a disadvantage, all in a hope that it will pay off in the future.
The successful entrepreneur believes in making a mutual win/win deal from the start rather than foolishly relying on it to improve in the future.
Key Learning: Make things good from the start, hoping they improve is gambling.
10) Know that life does not revolve around money
Successful entrepreneurs know that life does not revolve around money. Having money is a by-product of being successful but it does not mean that you have to sacrifice everything until you get there. Successful entrepreneurs make the journey as much fun as finally getting there. They realise that it will take time and a lot of effort, so instead of shutting themselves off from the world they work hard and play even harder. If you hate the journey, you will hate the end results, but the end is simply an accumulation of all the time and effort that got you there.
Aspiring entrepreneurs often make the mistake of cutting themselves off from the rest of the world for far too long, leaving them out of touch and somewhat unsatisfied when they finally reach the successful stage. Successful entrepreneurs understand that enjoying the journey is just as important as enjoying the end result – in fact, it may be even more important as it may just inspire you to work that little bit harder and achieve success faster.
Successful entrepreneurs understand clearly that sacrifices need to be made in order to find success, but unlike aspiring entrepreneurs, they also know that you should never sacrifice everything. Enjoy the journey as much as they enjoy the result.
Key Learning: Find a way to make the journey enjoyable or you will only ever regret the time you lost.
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