Do you want to become a more successful entrepreneur?
I know I do. Even if I don’t always know how.
I wanted to write this post as a reflection on all the interviews we have done on Success Harbor with some successful entrepreneurs. We ask many questions in many different ways.
We ask questions, like.
- How did you get the idea for your business?
- What were the greatest business challenges in the beginning?
- What was the biggest mistake that you made with your business?
- What would you do differently if you could start over?
- What is the most important skill to succeed as an entrepreneur?
We ask questions because our mission at Success Harbor is to help you succeed in business.
“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”
I want to create a list of essentials for business success. Below is a list of what made the people I have interviewed succeed:
Perseverance is one of the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
Perseverance is also one of the most difficult. It is perhaps one of the most difficult to learn if you can even learn it. Perseverance is one of those characteristics you either have or your don’t.
Susan Solovic, the New York Times bestselling author wrote, “Character. Perseverance. Determination. Never giving up. Key characteristics it takes to build a successful life and a successful business.”
Business is super exciting in the planning phase.
During the very early stages when you are just talking about some ideas there is no need for perseverance. I like to call it the honeymoon period in business.
You are dreaming about success. Everything is possible. There are no challenges.
It’s all in your head. Your business is just a figment of your imagination.
There is nothing to test your perseverance.
Most people never go beyond the honeymoon phase. They never take action to start a business.
The small percentage that actually start a business will mostly fail because they lack perseverance.
Perseverance pushes you through the daily challenges of business.
Perseverance teaches you the power of failure and how to recover.
Have you ever achieved something that you thought was impossible?
It enables you to push beyond what you think is possible.
Selling is a universal entrepreneurial quality.
Let me be clear about this. Entrepreneurs are not born salespeople.
Selling is so important to your business that you simply can’t succeed without it.
“Even if you are an introvert you must learn to sell.”
You can sell without selling out. There are many people who sell successfully with integrity.
Before I started selling I was afraid of it. I believed that selling meant behaving like a used car salesman.
You can have your own style of selling. You can be effective without being obnoxious.
Nobody is a born a salesperson.
You develop as a salesperson. You work on it every day.
You listen and learn, make adjustments as you go. You develop your own style.
The fact is if you want to be a successful entrepreneur you have to be good at selling. Before you hire your first salesperson you must have sold a lot of whatever you are selling.
It is not enough to know how to sell.
You have to know when to sell. Many entrepreneurs who fail, sell too late.
Sell before you build.
Before you build your product sell it.
Before you write the first line of code, sell it.
It is a waste of time to try to build anything without selling it first.
There is no validation without selling.
Networking gives you superpowers. It is how you multiply your best efforts.
Don’t confuse meeting with a lot of people networking.
I have met with many people I don’t want anything to do with.
Networking isn’t five thousand LinkedIn connections.
Networking is about building real human connections.
It takes time to grow your network.
How do you grow your network?
Have a specific list of people who you want in your network.
Reach out to them.
Offer to be helpful. The way to build your network is to offer to help.
Many people start out by asking for favors.
I am sure you’ve met some of those people. It is the wrong approach.
The above is an incomplete list of what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.
I hope to hear from you in the comments about what you think makes a successful entrepreneur.
It takes many things to make a successful entrepreneur.
I continue to add and edit this post as I learn from the entrepreneurs we interview on Success Harbor.
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