The world is changing, the global economy is evolving and the day of the entrepreneur is here. We are in the digital economy and it is changing the way we work, live and function, so there has never been a better time to become an entrepreneur, especially in the online space. To make your own money, build your own wealth and live your life the way you choose with complete freedom and flexibility is the ultimate dream for most. This is something that you too can achieve and become a successful entrepreneur if you have the passion, the work ethic and determination to get there.
While there is no “cookie-cutter” pattern to success, there is a set of guidelines that I believe successful entrepreneurs follow and characteristics that they possess that makes them successful.
The Traits of a Winner
First of all, you have to have the characteristics of a winner and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. There are many great books on this topic, such as Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which I definitely recommend reading. These all offer some good insight into what make a person a success, but I have identified 5 key traits you must possess to make it as an entrepreneur.
- A Winning Attitude – If you do not have a winning attitude, you simply won’t make it. Entrepreneurs realize their limitations, but at the same time see possibilities in things that many have long given up on. It goes along with “vision” that entrepreneurs also have that allows them to see what is possible in the future, even when the present seems bleak or unsure. But most of all, it requires you to always believe in your concept, your company, and your goals and know that you can reach them. Like a dedicated sports hero, you may lose the ball, but you know you’ll win the ballgame.
- The Winston Churchill Credo – Winston Churchill once said, “Never never never never never give up!” It may not have been proper grammar, but it sure made the statement clear in a big way. If you want to succeed at anything, you can’t take “no” for an answer. Persistence has won the day when nothing else would and ultimately separates those who win from those who lose. The winner of a race is often just the one who didn’t quit.
- Unlimited Resources – You need to learn to tap into your most valuable resources. I’m not just talking about money here. I’m referring to the sources of income that you can generate by doing your research. No matter what field you are in, as an entrepreneur, you should be like a radar that is always seeking out new opportunities. You don’t want to get too far off base from your business niche, but always think of ways to improve your bottom line, your products and services, and yourself. It will pay off in spades and when you have low times, you won’t wonder where the next money is coming from.
- Ability to Look Forward – This statement means more than just looking into the future and hoping for the best. It has to do with fortitude and determination that entrepreneurs must possess. You don’t dwell on your mistakes and see them as failure but you learn from them. You count your losses then figure out how you’ll turn it into a win. And you always look forward in terms of how you can maximize your resources, your strengths, and your ROI.
- Pragmatism – A great entrepreneur is a dreamer but they are also a pragmatist and practical about the important things. It’s great to have a concept of idea but think about whether or not that idea is sound and marketable. Do people want it? Do they need it? Will they buy it? Steve Jobs once said, “There’s a quantum leap between a great idea and a marketable product.” Jobs often said that he never created a product and then hoped to sell it. He noticed what people wanted and created it for them. When you do this, you have a guaranteed success.
5 Tips To Get You Started
Now that we’ve discussed the qualities of a successful entrepreneur, let’s talk about how to get there. Again, how you do this is up to you because the level of success may vary. No two people or businesses or ideas are ever alike. You are uniquely different from every single person in the world. And, while it’s great to emulate some things that others who’ve gone before you have done, you should take these things and apply it in the way you see fit, to better serve your purpose and individual goals.
Top entrepreneurs read books, magazines, newsletters, websites and industry publications on business, marketing and self development, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of business and marketing functions and skills. They join business associations and clubs, and they network with other skilled business people to learn their secrets of success and help define their own goals and objectives. Top entrepreneurs attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses, even if they have already mastered the subject matter of the event. They do this because they know that education is an ongoing process. There are usually ways to do things better, in less time, with less effort. In short, top entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal–themselves. The best investment you can ever make is in yourself.
2. Do what you love
Always follow your heart more than your pocketbook when starting a new business. Get into an industry that you love. Even if you know nothing about it at first, if you are passionate about it, you will learn how to be a master of your game with time. But don’t do something you hate. Your business will fail. If you do what you love, you will be better at it, work harder at it and customers will respond to that and believe in your product. As much as entrepreneurs love to make money, they always have a loftier goal that drives them more. What is yours? How will you change the world?
3. Take what you do seriously
You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in what you’re selling. I’ve seen a lot of home business owners getting sidetracked, losing motivation and failing to take their own businesses seriously enough. If you treat your business like a hobby then expect results of a hobby, you need to treat it like a business to get the kind of results that you want.
4. Surround yourself with the right kind of people
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
Now you’ve made the commitment to your business you need to cultivate a network of supporters. Understand that the people you surround yourself with have an influence on your performance that is critical to your success. Network with others and find mentors, coaches, partners, people to mastermind with and supporters. If someone is bringing down your average or being a negative influence, you have to reduce their involvement in your life. Not doing so may hinder your energy, vision and ultimate success.
5. Sell by creating value
Even though we purchase products and services every day, people don’t want to be “sold.” The number one way to sell right now is by providing others with value. People also like do business with other people, so create good quality content through writing articles and making videos to build relationships with existing and new customers.
Some Final Thoughts
Remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day, but there was never a day that Rome wasn’t being built. Dedicated, persistent work with a no-fail attitude and endurance is your best hope of being successful. No matter what you choose to do, do it with all your might and never give up. These are the seeds that germinate an empire. These are the thoughts that you must possess to take on the challenges that lie before you. There are sacrifices you have to make. It will be hard at times. But think about the freedom and flexibility over your life that you are gaining, the freedom to make as much money as you choose, the freedom to do, and think, and be, and you’ll know you have made the right choice.