There are few things that a person can do in their professional life more rewarding than starting and running their own business. A sense of pride comes with building a business from scratch. And the knowledge that your decisions make an impact is what keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive.
But after starting your business, do you know how to be a successful entrepreneur? Many people spend time floundering and waste precious time trying to maintain what they’ve created instead of turning their endeavors into something that can flourish. To keep this from becoming your story, I will share with you the three habits every business owner should adopt for success.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Successful Entrepreneur?
Here’s the truth about entrepreneurship: anyone can start a business, but it takes a special kind of person to make it successful. The beginning stages of getting your company up and running are pretty straightforward. It feels like you have the world at your feet during this honeymoon phase!
But what about the inevitable inertia? (If you’ve experienced it, you know what I’m talking about!) This is when you need to know what it takes to keep your business thriving daily.
A passionate heart
Often people are drawn to entrepreneurship because they are attracted to the freedom of self-employment. While personal perks are a definite plus of owning your own business, that kind of motivation will only get you so far.
True entrepreneurial passion digs deeper. Instead of being focused inward, outward motivation drives lasting success. When starting a business, you need a clear vision of who you serve and what you set out to accomplish. This will reveal your passion that will guide you throughout your journey.
A resourceful mind
Successful entrepreneurs know how to stay one step ahead to avoid unnecessary pitfalls. How do they do this? They are simply proactive planners rather than reactive strugglers. Planners look to the future and know what it will take to achieve their goals and recognize the safety nets they need to get them there.
Of course, there is no way to completely prevent the unexpected from happening in life. Still, by minimizing these events, you can also free up time to train someone you trust to manage problems that arise.
A flexible attitude
Let’s revisit your passionate heart for a moment. When you have a burning passion because you’ve identified your purpose, it’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. So many business owners assume that their drive alone will get them to where they need to be, making them unyielding.
If you want to know how to be a successful entrepreneur, remember to be adaptable. It’s not enough to bring everything you’ve got to the table if you aren’t willing to learn and grow along the way.
A spirit of grit
Sometimes running a business feels like a roller coaster that you will never get off of. I know that on the days when the ride is unrelenting, walking away seems like an attractive option. But for your business to thrive, it’s so vital that you never give up on yourself and your dreams.
When life overwhelms you, take a breath and reconnect to your purpose. Allow it to reignite your passion and reorient you as you move forward. It’s also important to keep track of your successes to motivate and inspire you.
If you are reading this list today and don’t feel connected to these characteristics, don’t worry! These are traits that can be developed in anyone who is committed to making their business succeed. You can foster any of these that don’t yet come naturally with the right coaching, mentorship, and support.
Even if you know you have what it takes to drive a profitable business, you still need the behaviors that will get you there. In my experience as a business owner and coach, these are the top three habits taken up by successful business owners.
1. Understanding The Benefits Of Managing A Calendar
One of the top perks of running a business is being in charge. We get to decide on the creative and strategic direction in everything we do. But of course, with that freedom comes responsibility.
Just because we have adopted an entrepreneurial lifestyle doesn’t mean we don’t need organization and accountability. In fact, if we don’t hold ourselves accountable, no one else will! This is why your calendar is your best friend.
Whether you opt for a digital calendar or paper calendar, documenting all of your happenings will contribute massively to the success of your business.
Are you the kind of person who tries to keep “mental notes,” only to discover later that your memory wasn’t as committed as you were? Our poor minds are overworked, so they struggle to keep up with the demand we place on them. This is why keeping a written record is such a lifesaver. To take full advantage of its benefits, what kinds of things should you keep track of in your calendar?
Whether you have scheduled phone calls, Zoom meetings, in-person meetings, or even personal appointments that will take up part of your day, make sure you write them down. Relying on automated system reminders is unreliable and risky. What if the system fails? What if you double-book yourself by mistake?
Keeping an accurate record of all scheduled appointments is part of being a resourceful entrepreneur. It allows you to use the information to plan and prepare for upcoming events.
Any meetings you have
Besides recording the actual date and time meetings take place, you also want to take detailed notes of what was discussed while you were there. Whether you meet a colleague for coffee, take a potential client out to lunch, or have a meeting with investors, you need an accurate record of what was discussed. You will thank yourself later when trying to remember the details of the conversation.
This is also a great accountability tool when it comes time for negotiations, creating contracts, and closing deals. Since we’ve already established that our memories are unreliable, having these notes at your fingertips can save you from headaches and future disasters.
Sales and milestones
As everyone knows, you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. One great way to track your business’s progress is by recording information about your sales.
When tracking your sales, you have a tangible way to plan for your future. You get information on what works and what doesn’t by seeing what your customers are (or are not) willing to pay for. Using this information, you can decide how to adjust, pivot, and grow your company in ways that will keep you thriving.
One of the best investments you can make if you want to know how to be a successful entrepreneur is an investment in yourself! A mentor will help you grow as a business leader and an individual as you set and reach your goals.
If you want to get everything you can out of a mentorship relationship, make sure you document everything that happens in your sessions. If you feel uncertain about a situation, you will have their insight to guide you.
You may wonder, what’s the point in keeping track of all this stuff? Well, your detailed calendar serves two purposes: to keep you organized and to inspire you. When facing challenging situations, looking back and reviewing the things you have accomplished and overcome is helpful.
2. Hiring The Right Support For Your Business
I know you care about what happens in your business and want to be actively involved in turning it into something special. But please hear me when I tell you this: you are not meant to do everything! The reality is that the longer it takes you to get the support you need, the longer it will take you to expand and grow.
Support comes in many ways. Organizational support, such as your calendar, will keep you on track day to day, and mentorship will help you avoid making costly mistakes. However, at some point, you will need to be willing to delegate tasks that are bogging down your productivity. This is when you need to know how to hire the right people.
Finding a rockstar personal assistant
You know those times you are juggling a lot on your plate and wish you could grow a third arm? Well, hiring a personal assistant is like making that wish come true. A ton of tasks are needed to run smoothly for your business to succeed, but you don’t need to perform all of them.
Assistants can take on the burden of answering phones, scheduling meetings, answering emails, taking meeting notes, running errands, making travel arrangements, and even coordinating speaking engagements. And don’t worry. If you have a digital business, an excellent virtual assistant can still seamlessly perform these tasks for you.
Hiring talented employees
Each business has its own set of unique moving parts. Instead of trying to keep up with all of them yourself, identify which areas you could hire someone to help you with. Do you need a bookkeeper to keep your invoices organized? How are your graphic design skills? Do you struggle to find time to keep up with posting on social media?
Some talented individuals can take on these roles for you, freeing up your time to focus on growing your business instead of maintaining it. As you search for talent, ask potential candidates to provide a portfolio of their work (when applicable) and references from past employers. Also, make sure you get to know them a little. You want to know that anyone you bring in will blend well with your company’s culture.
Letting go of control can feel scary. As our brains try to hold onto whatever we don’t want to let go of, we become masters of creating excuses. The cost factor is one of the most popular excuses for not hiring help. While it’s necessary to budget for hiring, you will see in time that this is the path to sustainable, long-term growth.
3. Continuing To Learn And Grow As An Entrepreneur
One of the biggest mistakes any business owner can make is to assume they know everything. If you find yourself in this position, you may need to go back to connecting with your passion. I’ve learned that one essential habit of being a successful entrepreneur is continually looking for growth opportunities.
Our brains have the incredible capability to learn just about anything as long as we remain willing and flexible. Our learning ability has less to do with talent and more with commitment. Staying committed to yourself and your business will help you find growth opportunities.
Keep a growth mindset
Do you want to know one way those meeting notes can come in handy? They can help you learn from past discussions. Instead of trying to remember what was discussed with a client three months ago, you can go back to your notes for a record of the actual conversation. Access to these conversations will help you find growth opportunities as you discuss your organization’s direction with others.
Learn from others
When you keep an attitude of being willing to learn, you will discover plenty of people you can trust for helpful advice. (And they are happy to provide it!) Networking is one of the best ways to grow as an entrepreneur. It not only gets you exposure but also creates a community of people you can rely on. Just because you run a business doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Lean into your support so you can learn from the wisdom they have to offer.
Find ways to help others
As you connect with people, you should also offer yourself as a trusted advisor for other professionals. Remember, you have plenty of valuable insight to give that will help another entrepreneur along their journey! Can you provide referrals, business-savvy tips, or ideas for long-term growth? If you make yourself available, you will see that there are people in your network who could benefit from your experience and individual perspective.
Don’t sell yourself short by becoming stagnant in your growth. Instead of taking this journey alone, walk alongside people who share your vision or people who respectfully challenge you. Both of you will become better for it in the end.
Setting Yourself Up For Success
One of the best ways to find inspiration is to record your business’s minor and major successes as they happen. This way, you can look back on them to see how far you have come. By keeping a record of your milestones, appointments, and conversations, hiring the proper support, and continuously learning, you will be more successful tomorrow than you are today.