There’s something special about successful entrepreneurs–they have a way of thinking and acting that is different than most people. The good news is that anyone can learn to think like an entrepreneur, and to put these powerful secrets to work in their own lives, no matter what they do.
In his book, Shift Your Thinking: Win Where You Stand, entrepreneur and author Clifton Taulbert explores exactly what it is that makes successful businesspeople successful. Says Taulbert, “When embraced, these strategies are designed to maximize your potential, starting where you stand, and to bring about the creativity, agility, flexibility, tenacity, and resolve needed to succeed wherever your personal, professional, and inventive journey takes you.”
1. Choose your mind-set
You’re the one who decides the attitudes and assumptions you will carry with you through your life, and you’re the one who can change them. If your mind-set–and the work you’re doing–isn’t taking you where you want to go, then change it. Refuse to just settle for life and circumstances as they are, when you know you want better. As Steve Jobs once said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
2. Be determined
Being determined isn’t just having the strength, fortitude, and persistence to move forward against the odds, but it’s also being strategically prepared for the battle. When you are determined, you are positioned to be firm in your decisions and you are ready to do the hard work required to win in whatever you do. As venture capitalist Paul Graham pointed out, “The most important quality in an entrepreneur [is] not intelligence but determination.”
3. Build a solid relationship bridge
Business is all about relationships, and building strong relationships is a pathway to success in both business and life. Says Taulbert, “The ability to build strong relationships is crucial for survival and growth. Successful entrepreneurs are adept at building relationships.” And, they are skilled at keeping and growing them over the long run.
4. Slow down to lead
Business is moving faster than ever, but great leadership means slowing down to take time to focus on doing the things that are most important to your success. Specifically, it means recognizing and valuing the people who you will encounter in your business and personal life, and bringing them along with you on your journey. You have much to learn from others, just as they can learn a lot from you. As Richard Branson put it, “Other people have ideas also.”
5. Know your business “health” metrics
Despite the popular image the entrepreneur who achieves great things simply through the force of their charisma, or who win flying by the seat of their pants, this is picture is not accurate at all. The most successful businesspeople know exactly what makes their organizations tick, and they keep a very close eye on the metrics–making fast corrections when necessary.
6. Be prepared to swim upstream
No one ever said that finding success in business and life was going to be easy, and frankly, it’s not. There may be times when you can go with the flow, but often you’ll find that you’ve got to swim upstream–against the current–to make great things happen. Not only that, but you may have to change direction many times throughout your life–changing strategies, jobs, and even lives. Never quit, keep fighting. As Nelson Mandela said, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
7. Resolve to succeed
Know that you can succeed (you can!), and then put all of your energy into it. Once we resolve ourselves–truly resolve ourselves–to achieving something, then nothing can stop us. Understand this secret, and you will find the success you seek.
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