Becoming a successful entrepreneur starts with having a very strong work ethic and being very disciplined; which are probably the main reasons why many people give up midway through the journey. Regaining momentum and getting the economy back on track will certainly be an uphill battle.
According to one of the world’s most well-known entrepreneurs Bill Gates, “Success is a lousy teacher that has seduced many smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” He knows that to be successful, you need to be more than just smart because even smart people can be prone to one of the oldest mistakes – complacency!
Simply put, entrepreneurship is in the mind. And successful entrepreneurship is being able to bring out what is in the mind and nurture it using the two most valuable tools; original thinking and relentless research. For most, success is defined by the impact one has had on the community. For those successful entrepreneurs, like Bill Gates, that success has been defined by being able to follow these simple best practices:
1. Create Value
The difference between business and entrepreneurship is that one creates value while the other doesn’t. Entrepreneurs don’t just sell any shoes; they want to sell only shoes that their customers are looking for. You need ask yourself questions such as: How are the products I’m selling adding value to my customers? That’s how you will come up with new marketing strategies.
2. Be Innovative
With all of the technology that is available to us today, it’s impossible to succeed as business owners without adopting new ways of doing things. From marketing automation and strategy to working remotely, how we run our businesses defines who we are to our clients and customers.
3. Set Goals and Evaluate Progress
Goals are to entrepreneurs what a stairway is to a 10 story building. Without them you’re never getting to your top destination. You need goals for every activity you start on and for every single day of the business. Create daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and long term (10 or more) year goals. You will realize that it becomes much easier to introduce new targets. When evaluating progress, critically analyze strategies that are working and those that aren’t working and seek ways to replace what is not working with what’s working and what’s working with what works even better.
Give yourself time to explore and pick a business you’re truly interested in. Marketing Professor Stephen Atlas of URI has found his niche in Virtual Worlds Research. His specialization has led to the development of several publications and papers on the subject. Like Professor Atlas, be sure to consider the different facets of yourself; your social life, age, personality and so forth. A good way is to package your skills and abilities from past projects and experiences and use these ideas to find your passion. And once you’re there, do the only one thing every successful entrepreneur does – focus on what you know.
5. Communicate Clearly
Communication is your magic wand to happy suppliers and raring customers. Do not fear judgment and shame, instead, speak out as this kind of transparency is what builds trust, enhances relationships, and humanizes your personal brand. Communication will often also reward you with a trustworthy, reliable support network.
6. Always Learn
Entrepreneurial success takes time and even with the tips listed above, you’ll need to be very patient and learn to get comfortable with failure.
Every successful entrepreneur learns, and that’s what sets them apart. They love to think, they read a lot, and they also listen a lot. Whatever they didn’t know beforehand will quickly be changed once a new idea or resource is brought to their attention. This thirst of knowledge and constant need for improvement is what shapes a strong leader in my opinion. As Tom Scott, co-founder of Nantucket Nectars puts it, “reading about other people’s stories helps [you] understand your own story.”