Think you’re an entrepreneur? Do you have the passion to go the distance and share that with others? What about the boring stuff, the organization and delivery of a business that creates replicatable, predictable results?
This podcast is inspired by those who say that entrepreneurs are born, not created, which in my experience is missing the boat. Learning I was an entrepreneur 25 years ago, I had no clue what to do, and a ton of passion. That led me in many unusual paths, lacking direction yet always leading me the right way.
After about 4 years I decided to go from winging it to learning how to do it, and mentored under an amazing CEO who taught me how to mix the passion I had, with the intellectual discipline to get in done, the first key habit of an entrepreneur. People called her the Tzadik, a Hebrew word which according to Maimonides means:
“One whose merit surpasses his iniquity is a tzadik“
That to me is the classic definition of a successful entrepreneur, and one that to this day influences my actions and direction as an entrepreneur, growing in personal and business pivots. Let me share the 3 key habits I’ve found, and please tell me the habits you think are key for an entrepreneur below:
Entrepreneur Key 1: Devotion
Devotion is a word usually reserved for spirituality or an athlete’s dedication. Let me suggest you need to be the evangelist for your business and be disciplined about what you do, devoted to the cause of making your business succeed.
- Devotion means the act of binding yourself, both intellectually and emotionally, to a course of action. That course of action is your business which requires your heart and your mind:
- Emotional devotion is what most entrepreneurs start out with, falling into the maze of passion. Passion drives many people and is a fantastic trigger to develop if you haven’t, yet in this world of Secrets and hot air claims, passion is used so frequently that it has almost lost its meaning.
- True passion comes from the heart; passion alone will lead you only so far. Passion is infectious and brings people, your Team, into the dynamic momentum of what you are creating, your business.
- Passion without direction burns out and wanes, because when the going gets tough and the work becomes the basic replication of successful techniques, many people lose their passion. They want that momentary thrill and like all things in life, what you do beyond that first thrill determines your success…in business or in personal relationships.
- Intellectual devotion is the balance to the emotional, measuring what you are doing in specific numbers, metrics, and parameters. Without the mind, the heart races; without the heart, the mind becomes a cold, calculated measurer of success, and is tough to draw others in and get them excited.
- The habit of devotion aims to blend the best of the emotions, the heart and soul that drives you, with the discipline of the intellect, the left brain thinking that measures, adapts, and remeasures what is going on constantly.
- Know why we have a right and left brain? Why we have a heart and mind? So together they become a Team. Find out which of these is your biggest challenge and focus on it, don’t just lay their comfortably assured that you can outthink, outwork, or out passion another business.
Emotional passion, balanced with intellectual dedication to detail, is a powerful formula for success based on the habit of devotion.
Entrepreneur Key 2: Persistence
Giving up too early, or giving up too late, are often the big challenges for entrepreneurs. Quit before you give it a chance to succeed, and you lose; hang on for dear life even though the facts contradict your feelings, and you crash.
Persistence is the habit that helps entrepreneurs avoid both of these pitfalls. Here’s how:
- Persistence is a continuing behavior, a habit developed to closely watch what you are doing. Not only must you be persistent with others, you have to be persistent with yourself, your own habits, your pros and cons, so you can keep the business going in the right direction.
- Persistence also means following up on important contacts, whether that is investors, your audience, and/or your customer base. We are all busy and given a choice to respond or not, many people will not respond at all. That response is not always a “no”, in fact in marketing it’s proven that repeat communication gets you recognized.
- Being persistent is a habit that will allow you to be one of the rare people not to rely on luck, but to create their own luck. Numerous times I’ve read about entrepreneurs keeping in touch and following up with investors, long after the meeting is over, and keeping them updated. Then the investor, like a target customer, notes the persistence, because many entrepreneurs think it’s over with the first no, the first sign of being ignored.
- Forget the games of ego, become persistent by teaching yourself to watch each contact and each important action as something that needs to be revisited regularly. Follow up on your own bad habits and ask for some feedback, and gradually you will learn. You’ll still have weaknesses, and persistence is the key habit to learning how to manage and navigate between your own strengths and your own weaknesses.
Entrepreneur Key 3: Pivot
Pivot is not just a verb, something you do, it’s a habit. Over time you understand that setting long term plans and goals give you a vision of what might become, and the day to day shifts you do in your business determine your success.
- The entrepreneurs I know who do this well know they are only as good as their last pivot, the last action they took to shift, change, and test their business to the best solution. That’s the name of the game, and a habit many have learned…at least those who survive.
- In the recent economic downturn, I’ve seen many so-called Internet entrepreneurs drop by the wayside, even really talented people, because they got stuck doing the same thing. You would think in a business built on change and adapting, they would not act like a 20th century entrepreneur, many of whom learned to keep doing the same thing again and again.
- While that repetition and lack of creativity has led a select few to success, many have been buried by the shift caused by the true growth of the Internet in the past 3 years, social media ,which has created something for people to do besides search and read email, and up and coming is the emerging mobile market.
- Today’s true entrepreneur has indoctrinated the pivot into their habits, not just their actions. Actions are the result of habits, learned behaviors that become the way you do things. Interesting that this habit forces you to constantly try to adapt, change, watch the market, watch your competition, and maybe most of all, watch yourself getting settled into doing things the same way just because you are comfortable doing that…
- Of course if that way is working, no worries, and the pivots you do may be smaller, yet every powerful entrepreneur I know is pivoting learned from experience and ingrained as habit.
Now these are the 3 Key Habits of Success for Entrepreneurs, and there are tons more…what are the key habits you see in entrepreneurs, in yourself? What are the toughest habits you have to break, or even more, to create in this evolving business world?
Share your thoughts below, ask your questions, and start developing the right habits for you.