What sets apart a successful entrepreneur from folks that are not effective, whether in their own small business, or in a job? Looking externally, the entrepreneur is a normal, everyday person exactly like everyone else - they need to eat, have a roof above their head, they have obligations, to themselves, their families, their communities.
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They have their own idiosyncrasies, anxieties and challenges too, just like everyone. Yet, somehow they have taken their energy, resources and abilities and generated something extraordinary - a company which adds value to society, is rewarding, and with those companies and their lifestyles are leading a life of purpose, gains and fire.
Putting a normal person next to the thriving entrepreneur, at first glance, you would be unable to tell them apart. Yet these two proverbial examples will be doing radically different things which lead them to significantly different outcomes. To find the reason, we will have to examine the main cause of their activities, that's the mindset.
The mindset of a individual encompasses many distinct matters - how he views and defines this life of ours Earth, his purpose, his ego, his beliefs and his values. It is this mindset of this person which defines the way he views or interprets what's going on around him and how he gives them meaning. It is the meaning of these events and his scenarios that will determine his psychological state and so the decisions he or she makes. These decisions will consequently determine his actions, and his results.
It's because the outcomes of the successful entrepreneur and the ordinary man are so different, which we can attribute the root cause of this to be the difference in mindset. What exactly makes the mindset of this thriving entrepreneur distinct?
Owning Your Own Destiny
First and foremost, the successful entrepreneur doesn't blame the reason for his success or failure on fortune, other people, the government, the market. He or she might or might not believe in the presence of a divine being, or even the one-ness of this universe, but regardless lives by the saying 'If it is to be, it is up to me.'
In other words, the first step to being successful is that of owning your own life and fate. Know what is within your control, such as your own emotions, your activities, the people who you connect with, and your attitude. Successful people bulldoze past bad fortune, obstacles, naysayers, fears and dangers through thinking that whatever they envision, they can make happen with the right approach and perseverance.
One common trait found in successful people is that they have a solid vision for what they would like to achieve. By way of instance, Bill Gates' vision when he started Microsoft was that every household would have a personal computer. He believed in the positive life-changing force that computers represented and developed a strong and motivating personal vision for it. It is described that this big vision pulls the entrepreneur towards it, rather than him having to push tiresomely.
Doing Whatever It Takes
The successful entrepreneur also commits to doing whatever it takes to making his vision come true. This is the definition of commitment and truly what makes them succeed, for most people run at the first sight of blood. The moment something goes wrong, they say, "That's it, this isn't the right thing for me personally. I knew it wouldn't work anyway." Successful entrepreneurs know that their success, or at least their next level of success, lies behind the obstacle that lies just behind them.
How many stories of successful entrepreneurs have you heard, where the entrepreneur loses his house, his car, his relationships, in order to see through his business? The lessons from these stories are not proverbial. In your journey as an entrepreneur you will be challenged, and there will be times where you will have to make very difficult choices, to either push on to do whatever it takes, or to give up. In order to succeed, you have to see things through, and that requires doing whatever it takes.
Being Decisive and Taking Action
Richard Branson famously said "I can make any decision within 60 seconds." Being an entrepreneur, time is never on your side. Technology, consumer tastes, competition move fast and if you don't keep up, you may face being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and failing in your venture. In order to move fast and stay ahead of the market, you will have to not only have a keen eye for trends and what is to come, but you will have to be decisive.
Most people balk at the idea of the heavy responsibility of making an important decision. The weight of peoples' expectations - spouses, customers, employees, family and friends, can be unnerving. Successful entrepreneurs take decisions in their stride, one at a time, and do what is best, even if it is difficult.
Continuous Improvement and Humility
One key question entrepreneurs ask themselves all the time is "How can I make this better?" They always ask this about the world around them, the methods they interact with, the services and products they utilize, and first and foremost, their own being, in regards to life and work. A lot of people might feel that being successful, wealthy and famous, a successful entrepreneur would be permitted to say "Well, that's it. I've learnt all I need to learn."
Counter-intuitively, it is really the nature of humility and constant improvement that drives successful entrepreneurs to wherever they are. After Jack Welch, the renown ex-CEO of General Electric, was asked what he looked for in any offender, he said "The first thing I look for is candor." Candor is the attribute of being frank, in providing opinions, feedback, and going about work. That is exactly what the thriving entrepreneur looks for, people who surround him that continually give frank and constructive comments, always challenging him to make matters better.
Last but not least, the successful entrepreneur is driven by a sense of participation. They know that they exist as part of a larger community and as a inhabitant of this world we live in. To be able to make life better for everybody, each one of us has to play a part and donate. It's with this knowledge that successful entrepreneurs analyze the world as it is, and determine exactly what issues exist and how they can make things better.
It is with this particular drive that these entrepreneurs can escape bed with energy to do the extraordinary things they do. If you are driven solely with a selfish reason of monetary reward or the picture of drinking cocktails onto a beach, then it's likely that one day, when you're feeling challenged, exhausted or demotivated, you would tell yourself "I don't need this money. I don't need these challenges. I don't need the cocktails." And just cease. Think about what your participation, your heritage, in this life is.