What is it about entrepreneurs that make them so successful? First of all, not all entrepreneurs are successful—but those are the only ones you hear about. It’s been said that over 90 percent of startups fail, and many times entrepreneurs will fail over and over again before they figure out what works for them. It’s not just about stumbling across the right idea or building the right team, although those are important aspects. It’s also about becoming the kind of person who has what it takes to be successful in this cutthroat field.
Fortunately, much of what makes an entrepreneur successful can be learned, practiced, and adopted. Nobody was born a natural, perfect entrepreneur. However, a lot of entrepreneurs have things in common, so this intersection is where you want to focus your new habits. You can learn a lot from mistakes made by the entrepreneurs who have come before you.
1. Spend a little time focusing on these six characteristics and you might find yourself enjoying success a lot sooner than you hoped. Even better? They’re a lot easier to claim as your own than it seems!Get up earlier. The vast majority of entrepreneurs are early risers. There are always exceptions, but so many of them get up before dawn that there’s clearly something to this strategy. It also aligns with ayurvedic best practices (if you’re into that), which shows that the most productive hours are right before sunrise. This makes a lot of sense. If you can train yourself to get enough sleep to be productive when you get up early, you’re already at an advantage. There’s something inspiring about knowing you’re already hard at work while the rest of the world sleeps. You can also take advantage of a quiet house if you share your home with others. However, don’t think that you immediately need to start answering emails or diving into your work when you get up—that might backfire. Instead, use these morning hours to do what you need to do in order to succeed. A workout or meditation are both great options and can help set the stage for the rest of the day.
2. Forget about keeping up with the Joneses. You already know that most billionaires and multi-millionaires don’t “look” like it. They’re not driving brand-new BMWs and showing off their sports cars. They’re frugal because they actually value money. However, that doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy the good things in life, especially once they’ve earned it. They’re just smart enough to know that a used BMW is just as good as one that’s right off the dealership lot, and never waste money. They also don’t buy organic “just because,” but they create their own values and morals based on their own research and gut instincts. They don’t just go with the flow, because if they did they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. Define your values for yourself.
3. They know how to say no. Saying no is one of the best things you can learn how to do. Entrepreneurs have time that’s a little more valuable than other people’s. Every second counts because every second is a chance to close a deal, create a new professional relationship, or discover a new avenue of doing something. You can’t manage this when you’re saying yes to every favor or social obligation. Tackling this one challenge will do wonders for your career.
4. They triage their tasks, they don’t multi-task. Studies have shown that virtually no human can actually multi-task, no matter how skilled they think they are at it. Instead, most people are just switching back and forth between tasks, usually at a slower pace than they think. Entrepreneurs know how to prioritize tasks and take care of one thing at a time so every task has their full attention. This leads to the best results. However, learning how to say no also falls into this category. When your tasks aren’t made up of a bunch of useless items, you can spend more quality time on what matters.
5. They leave their work at work. This isn’t true of all successful entrepreneurs, but it’s true of all happy and well-rounded entrepreneurs. Yes, in the early years and well into the success years, you’ll be working longer and harder than non-entrepreneurs. However, it’s critical that you carve out time for yourself and your loved ones. Divorce rates skyrocket for entrepreneurs who can’t manage this separation between professional and personal life. Even if it’s just one hour per day with your partner, make that hour count. Put the phone in airplane mode and be present.
6. Build service and giving into everything you do. Entrepreneurs give for more than the tax write-offs, although those are nice, too. Giving has a snowball effect and creates positive energy around you and your brand. Whether it’s donating a certain percentage of a product, offering pro bono services, or creating a training program that allows under-represented workers access to a sustainable career, figure out how you can give back while also building your empire.
It’s just six strategies that make up the heart of the most successful and happiest entrepreneurs. Surprisingly, they are all free (or can be). They are a values-based system that has been shown to be effective across all fields and industries. Start adopting them today for a brighter, more lucrative future.