Have you dreamed of starting your own business and how that might change the world? Are you looking for a faster and more consistent road to success on your current entrepreneurial journey?
Perhaps you are already on your way and looking for the best ways to scale your current business, while you still maintain control over your time and continue your pursuit of joy and happiness in your life.
Whether you are already an entrepreneur or aspiring to be one, there are time-tested tools, tips, and techniques that you can employ to succeed in your endeavor. There are certain traits and characteristics of entrepreneurship that successful people make use of.
2 Basic Rules for Being an Entrepreneur
Rule #1 – Mindset Is Your Fundamental Success Tool
As an entrepreneur, developing a positive and productive mindset should be your first goal and a fundamental characteristic that you work on daily to develop.
Mindset is the cornerstone of success. Starting with a positive mindset will always be your best defense when you run into the inevitable challenges on the road to entrepreneurial success.
According to Stanford psychology professor and author, Dr. Carol Dweck, one of the world’s leading authorities on mindset, there are two types of mindset: fixed mindset and growth mindset.
The fixed mindset is a belief that you are born with certain traits and they are immutable or unchangeable.
However, Dr. Dweck’s primary focus surrounding mindset is on developing the growth mindset: a belief that learning new skills and abilities can be strengthened through commitment, persistence, and work.((Verywell Mind: Why Mindset Matters for Your Success, by Kendra Cherry))
With a commitment to the growth mindset, you become an unstoppable force with access to unlimited mental resources that you will need for long-term success.
Rule #2 – Mindset + Strategy = Your Success Formula
With your positive and productive mindset in place, you can more easily implement your chosen and necessary strategies to start, grow or scale your business.
A mentor once shared with me something that has always stuck with me:
“The most positive mindset is only valuable when you take action on the right strategies…and in turn, the right strategies are only temporary if you don’t have the right mindset. Mindset + Strategy = Success.”
Depending on your business, you will have multiple strategies at your disposal. It is not the purpose of this article to give you specific strategies for your market or industry.
What you will learn here are universal strategies that apply to any entrepreneur, for any business, at any time in history.
Here are 8 characteristics of entrepreneurship essential to success:
8 Characteristics of Entrepreneurship That Lead to Success
1. Be a Little Obsessed (okay, maybe more than a little).
Entrepreneurs start a business for one of two primary reasons.
The first is that entrepreneurs are passionate. We want to change the world with our visions, and we are obsessed with being a catalyst and driver for change.
The other is that we see a solution to a problem and a way to capitalize (read: make money) on that idea.
Typically, entrepreneurs share both of these reasons, but the most successful ones are driven by the passion for change. We have a very big “WHY” for doing what we do.
Having a clear vision will help motivate you to get out of bed every morning and make your mark on the world. So, get very clear about why you are on this journey. Then go ahead and be a little obsessed and reap the rewards of your passion.
2. Show Up Every Day With Everything You Have.
Jim Rohn once uttered this powerful quote:
“What is easy to do is also easy not to do.”
It takes self-discipline and a strong drive to achieve your goals as an entrepreneur. One of the greatest gifts of entrepreneurship is the ability to control your destiny. If you make good choices about where you direct your time, you can get a lot done quickly and efficiently, giving you time for self-care, family, recreation and the other things in life that are more important than a successful business.
The hidden landmine of being in control of your destiny is that it is also very easy for us to procrastinate, especially without some accountability. Procrastination can be the bane of our existence.
One of the most important characteristics of success in entrepreneurship is discipline. It is also one of the most challenging for many of us to master.
Let’s face it, there will be days when you just don’t “feel like it”. But the show must go on. Those moments require you to pull out your strongest mindset and discipline practices like your morning routine.
3. Practice a Solid, Productive And “Non-negotiable” Set of Morning Routines.
One of the most important elements of productivity is to “master your morning.” If you master your morning, you will master your day. If you master your day, you will master your life.
This varies from person-to-person, but here are some activities that you will want to include in your morning routine:
- taking some time for silence or meditation
- visualizing your ideal outcomes
- reviewing your goals
- reading and training
- generating new ideas.
Practicing an effective morning routine will make you more productive, help hone your self-discipline skills, and chip away at your bigger goals, one small task at a time.
Developing an uninterruptible and non-negotiable morning routine protects your most valuable and creative resource: your time.
4. Persistence Prevails When All Else Fails.
One harsh reality that every entrepreneur will face is what I call “hitting the wall.”
Hitting the wall can take many forms, including creative blocks, feeling like you are running out of ideas, a business or financial obstacle, or a personal challenge that tries to steal your focus. I would love to tell you that you can avoid hitting the wall, but realistically, you cannot.
So, what do you do about it?
This is where the previous attributes and characteristics of entrepreneurship come into play. The discipline of simply showing up every day with everything you have is powerful.
In his inspiring and down-to-earth guidebook for anyone in the creative space, which includes entrepreneurs, The War of Art, Stephen Pressfield powerfully and eloquently addresses this idea. Pressfield refers to the problem as “resistance”, and the solution is simply being persistent, or as he puts it: “doing the work.”((Huffington Post: Steven Pressfield: What’s Keeping You From Doing The Work You Love))
5. Be a Perpetual Learner.
Stay hungry. Stay on the top of your game.
In today’s information-based society, tactics and strategies change in a heartbeat. Therefore, it is vital to your success that you stay up-to-date and on the cutting-edge of the latest developments in your field.
Equally important is reading (or listening to) books that inspire you and help keep new ideas flowing in your mind. Listening to audiobooks through platforms like Audible is a great way to “multitask” your daily “reading” with other activities, like working out or driving.
When you study successful entrepreneurs, you will find that daily learning and reading is a non-negotiable part of their success formula.((Entrepreneur Magazine: The 5-Hour Rule Used by Bill Gates, Jack Ma and Elon Musk))
6. Sharpen Your People Skills.
Sometimes running a business can feel like trying to herd cats. Customers, clients, and team members all require a slice of your time in some form. While having the right team in place can bring order to your chaos, it will also take some effort and patience on your part to learn to manage that team.
No man (or woman) is an island. It takes a team; a community; a movement to build your tribe and create the ultimate satisfaction, success, and freedom you desire as an entrepreneur. To truly create a significant impact in the world, you will need more than just you.
Because everything in successful entrepreneurship requires human interaction, it is important that you sharpen your communication and leadership skills. This allows you to accommodate the various cultures and personality types that you will encounter on your path.
There are tremendous resources available to help you hone your leadership skills. If managing your team feels like you are herding cats, then take a cue from #5. Tap into the communication and leadership training you need to master your herding skills.
7. Acknowledge the Little Wins Along the Way for Both You and Your Team.
When you are striving to achieve big goals, it is easy to lose sight of the smaller successes that happen along the way.
Entrepreneurs tend to base their successes on hitting those bigger goals. But it is the little steps that you take that will ultimately make all the difference.
Take a little time at the end of every day (or during your morning routine) to acknowledge your wins from the previous day. This is important to do for yourself, as well as for your team members.
Everyone loves to be appreciated. Your team and company morale will soar when you take time to acknowledge both the big and small successes accomplished by your team members. Have fun with this! It makes a huge difference in overall performance, productivity and even the health of your team.((Forbes: 6 Ways to Increase Employee Morale and Performance (Without Giving A Raise) by Cheryl Conner))
8. Remember to Take care of Yourself in the Process.
Entrepreneurs are notorious for falling into one of two categories when it comes to self-care.
The first is always taking care of everything and everyone around them while neglecting to give themselves the same level of attention and care.
The second alternative is becoming so obsessive about their work and life mission that other important parts of their lives get out of balance.
If you are an entrepreneur (or an aspiring one), chances are that you have or will run into one of these two situations at some point. Neither one is particularly healthy. And neither one will provide high levels of sustained productivity over time.
Take the time to care for yourself while you pursue your dreams and your life purpose in the form of your entrepreneurial journey. That means eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, taking breaks throughout the day, getting regular, consistent exercise and plenty of sleep, and spending time with family and friends.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Regardless of whether you are embarking on the exciting and fulfilling journey of entrepreneurship for the first time, or if you are already a seasoned entrepreneur, or even if you fall somewhere in between, take a little time to assess where you are with each of these areas.
Give yourself the gift of a quiet moment to review your current situation and perform an honest evaluation. If you have trouble with clarity in any of these areas, consider asking friends, family members, and team members how you are stacking up. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself.
What other areas are important in your life and business?
Remember that successful navigation through the world of entrepreneurship requires reevaluation. There is no such thing as your life and business being separate. The two are intimately connected.
When you find the balance that works for you, the results can be inspiring and rewarding at levels you may not have imagined yet.