“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” ~ Aristotle
How do people become successful entrepreneurs? Some may say that they’re lucky, but it isn’t just luck. Although sometimes luck or “coincidents” may play a role, eventually, it’s the array of hidden qualities that make entrepreneurs successful.
Besides, what’s luck? The wise ones say that luck is “when opportunity meets preparation”. This means even luck won’t help you if you are not prepared to take the advantage of your “lucky” moment.
So if it isn’t plain luck, what makes some entrepreneurs successful? The successful entrepreneurs have these 10 habits or traits.
1. Successful entrepreneurs value their time
“Time is money” may sound like a cliché, but what it actually means is, that your time is valuable. Successful entrepreneurs know how to value their time. They don’t waste their time in unfruitful activities. When people are having casual conversations around the water cooler or checking Facebook updates, successful entrepreneurs are strenuously working on their business ideas or laying the building blocks of their success.
2. Successful entrepreneurs know how to prioritize
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, it is very important that you learn to prioritize your activities. Do you want to attend a party or attend a business call? Do you want to work on your business project or do you want to complete the 6th season of The Game of Thrones?
You can set priorities when you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and whether the current task helps you achieve that or not. If it doesn’t, the current task does not belong to your priority list.
3. Successful entrepreneurs take responsibility of their actions
When you take responsibility of your actions you feel empowered. If you take the responsibility, you know that whatever happens in your life, another individual or some outer circumstance isn’t responsible (of course you can’t be responsible for an earthquake or an asteroid hitting the Earth) and it is simply cause and effect. Bhagvat Gita says it’s karma: what you send out to the universe comes back to you. Successful entrepreneurs never blame others.
4. Successful entrepreneurs readily take risks
Normally, what does a risk mean? Taking a risk means doing something that is unknown, something that is new, something of which the outcome is not known. But this is how new business ideas take shape – you do something that no one else has done before. When you do something new, you don’t know whether it is going to work or not; this is what taking a risk is. Things don’t always work, and that is fine. Successful entrepreneurs take risks and are ready to face the consequences because they know that if they succeed, they’re going to get great rewards.
5. Successful entrepreneurs know when to delegate
If you are constantly being bogged down by day-to-day business operations you are not going to get time to expand your business. Successful entrepreneurs know when to delegate. A single person is not supposed to do everything even if he CAN do everything. Just because you can handle phone calls from your customers doesn’t mean that you spend all your time handling phone calls because this is something that can easily be delegated to someone else while you focus on growing your business. If the work you’re doing right now can be done by someone else, let it be done by someone else.
6. Successful entrepreneurs know when to move on
It isn’t necessary that everything works. Sometimes no matter how hard you work, no matter how innovative your idea is, it just doesn’t work. Either its time hasn’t come yet or there is simply no need for it. Successful entrepreneurs know when to move on when things don’t work. They don’t get stuck. They understand that failure is as integral a part of growing as an entrepreneur as success. Faced with failure, successful entrepreneurs know when to persist and when to move on.
7. Successful entrepreneurs invest in themselves
Successful entrepreneurs constantly evolve. They are always learning. They are always reading books, articles, attending seminars and interacting with learned people. No matter at what stage they are, they know that their knowledge and wisdom is going to grow obsolete with time and they need to update themselves.
Investing in oneself doesn’t just mean acquiring new intellectual skills. It also means investing in good health. It also means investing in your family, in relationships, in the society, in building a network, and in other good things in life.
8. Successful entrepreneurs are good networkers
Business success doesn’t manifest in isolation. You have to work with people. Whether you work freelance or you have a complete enterprise under you, you’re going to need people, you’re going to need resource persons, and you’re going to need evangelists – people who can help you grow your business by word of mouth.
Successful entrepreneurs are good at networking. They are good with people. They are good with people to people contacts.
Networking doesn’t just mean getting to know people that can get you business. Networking also means creating a goodwill among the people who know you.
9. Successful entrepreneurs develop strong habits
One of the most important traits of successful entrepreneurs is that they develop very strong habits. Whether it is getting up very early in the morning, doing regular reading and studying, doing exercise, eating and avoiding certain foods or wearing certain clothes, all successful entrepreneurs develop habits that keep them focused and charged up. And they tenaciously cling onto their habits because I know that once they begin to get lenient with them, it is a sure shot way downwards.
10. Successful entrepreneurs keep negativity away
Negativity is a big energy drainer. Negativity fills you with pacifism and blocks your creativity. You must have experienced yourself that when you are full of negative thoughts (envy, anger, dejection, frustration) your spirits are sapped of energy. Sometimes you don’t even feel like moving forget about building your business. The problem with negativity is once you allow it to settle down within your subconscious mind, you don’t realise when it becomes a permanent resident.
It’s not that successful entrepreneurs are immune to negativity. It’s just that they know how to handle it and how to get rid of it. You can develop certain rituals that give you a better perspective the moment you feel that the dark clouds of negativity are beginning to hover above you.
“Genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration.” ~ Thomas Alva Edison.
In the end, successful entrepreneurs are hard-working. They know the importance of hard work and persistence. They don’t give up easily no matter how hard a situation is. Thomas Edison also said “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
In order to be able to find 10,000 ways that won’t work, he must had tried 10,000 times. Do you know that GE was founded by Thomas Edison and it is one of the oldest and the biggest enterprises in the world?