Winners are made every day. Some get lucky, but most follow a few simple steps to success. After talking with dozens of business owners, I compiled a list of the habits of remarkably successful entrepreneurs. What I found was actually a bit surprising.
1. They Do Actual Work
Truth be told, you are probably competent to do most jobs related to your business. You should be doing all the work you can. Hiring someone else is an easy way to feel in charge and get things done faster… but get a lesser quality job. This is especially important in funded startups (and all startups for that matter) — Founders and managers are quick to hire people to do takeover their work so they can sit back, relax and make “decisions”. This is a quick way to stop the growth of your business. Do the actual work.
2. They Forget about Opposition
People are always going to tell you that you are doing something wrong. Competitors are always going to be “more successful” and other ideas might pan out faster than yours. That being said, letting these things stop you from following through with your goals will ultimately result in a quick demise to your success. Even the most successful business owners are faced with myriads of opposition… but they forget about it. You should too.
3. They Form Great Partnerships
If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ve probably thought this question once or twice: “I wish there were a couple other people as competent as me” — It’s not arrogance, it’s an issue. You can’t run a business by yourself and you can’t hire someone to be a partner. Partnerships are crucial to success. You need a parter to stay up late with you, working on ideas. You need someone to feel the pain when times are bad, and rejoice when you’re both doing good. Stumbling blocks happen. Trying to run a business alone is a quick way to get discouraged and move on to a regular job. Entrepreneurs don’t do that.
4. … But they Don’t Over-Network
Successful entrepreneurs form great partnerships, but they don’t over network. Everyone knows the feeling of networking. You’re talking to another businessman, having a good conversation and suddenly… they ask for something. They want you to do something for them. Next time you go meet people, forget about networking, just meet them. The best business relationships are those that did not form under pressure.
5. They don’t speak or write in “sales-speak”
Lets face it, salesman are a bit sketchy. The moment you start using sales talk, customers will quickly write you off. There is no way to lose someones interest faster than with sales-speak. If you’re business truly is the highest quality, explain exactly why. Let them figure it out for themselves, dont tell them “we are the number one, highest quality vendor”. Stop thinking of pitches, instead think about better ways to communicate your business. Any intelligent person will be able to see the value in your business, you don’t have to “sell it” for them to see it.
6. They Turn Away from “Traditional” Marketing
Buying a billboard, getting time slots on TV, mailing out flyers… This is not how modern businesses become successful. Interruption marketing is a thing of the past. All successful businesses are now investing in “inbound marketing”, search engine optimization, pay per click, internet marketing, etc. You don’t have to be a marketing guru to invest in the search engine presence of your website. Most quality agencies offer free on-site reports, filled with dozens of tips and guides to make your site rank higher in the search engines.
7. They Know Their Limits
I knew I was never going to be the world foremost expert on video production, but I needed a video made. Rather than try to hire a video producer, I simply went with an agency. Picking a good agency will save you time, money and a hassle. They’ve got a system to make sure they deliver high quality work, they’ve already established a team, and they can likely perform a better job for cheaper. Since many entrepreneurs are working on web-based startups, they often think it is in their best interest to learn the ins and outs of the Google algorithm to get better rankings. This is absolutely not the case. Google specifically looks to penalize people that attempt to increase the rankings of their own website. Instead, it is usually a good decision to talk to a professional agency about your site first. Most offer free 60-minute consultations. You would be surprised on how non sales-oriented the consultations are. I’ve tested a few dozen agencies, the vast majority gave actionable, high quality advice.
8. They Sleep
You need more time, I know. Sleep is not the place to withdraw time from. Track your life, there are apps to do it. See what aspects of your life are wasting time, cut them out first. The most important thing for success is sleep. If you’re reading this now, and its past 2am… go to sleep. You’ll thank me in the morning.