Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes and industries — differences among them abound. Determination and hard work usually exists in the beginning of all successful endeavors, but there are some other steps along the way – ones that mostly all successful businessmen and women take to give them an edge.
The Master Plan
Having an outline of where you are, where you’re going and where you want to be in 5, 10, 20 years are three things you should always have in hand before starting out. Research the field you are exploring by reading the latest news on the topics, take seminars, network. Many giants of industry are constantly putting out blogs, books, and TED talks. Explore the experts in your field and see if you can learn a few (or many) things.
Make Decisions Slowly
Taking your time to make deliberate decisions in life and business are crucial to success. When you have all the information you need to make a balanced decision, you will be inherently managing your risk. In a new venture, it is wise to take a look at the whole picture, revisit your master plan and make the decisions that will be best for your potential company in the long-term.
Experts weren’t born that way. Those entrepreneurs who are the most successful are those who are lifetime learners. A good mentor is a great way to break into your industry, but keeping yourself sharp with the most current news or advances in your industry will keep you on the ready for whatever changes today’s ever-changing business landscape throws your way.
Always Move, Always Think
In line with being teachable, staying active and curious about your industry is important. Whether it is voraciously reading all the news on your business, attending networking events, never taking vacations, working weekends and late nights, as an owner or entrepreneur, you will most likely have to eat, breathe and live your new (ad)venture if you want it to succeed.
Confidence and a good elevator speech can take any pitch to the next level. The first marketing any company experiences comes from its founder. Spend time learning how to share your vision without coming across as condescendingly or imploringly. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale, but remember: the client is always the focus.
Create An Army
Surround yourself with a likeminded group of employees. Company culture is as important as skillset or an Ivy League education. Make sure you keep the books and your company in balance. When your employees like each other, they tend to work better as a team, which will lead to more productive brainstorming and more innovative ideas. One bad apple can indeed ruin the bunch so hire purposefully and thoughtfully. Consider how each employee’s skills and personality will enable positive, meaningful productivity.
Keep Yourself In Check
Most importantly: give yourself constant attitude adjustments if need be. Though you may be the boss, there is never a need to be an ogre. A successful entrepreneur is one who can command a space for balance. Those who can show a cool head in a demanding, fast-paced company (especially in the beginning) are the ones most likely to evoke the confidence and respect from their employees.
Though most successful entrepreneurs followed some version of this seven-step road, but success isn’t born overnight; it takes passion, dogged determination, and of course, a little bit of luck.