Are the True Tokens of Successful Entrepreneurs?
probably seen the bumper stickers that say "Lead,
Follow, or Get Out of the Way." While
the bumper sticker may be directed at the dreamer
doing 10 miles less than the speed limit in the
left lane, it also applies to everyone's life.
Most people are followers, but others are leaders.
They want to be at the helm of their own ship,
charting the course that their lives will take.
They are most likely
ENTREPRENEURS - people who have what it
takes to start and succeed at their own businesses.
are the true tokens of successful entrepreneurs?
Thousands of books and articles have been written
on the subject. There is even a Chicken Soup
for the Entrepreneur's Soul and an annual
event called "Entrepalooza" at the University
of Michigan, where successful business owners
relate their secrets. It turns out, though, that
just about everyone who takes on the challenge
of owning their own business has certain qualities.
1. They have
a dream. It can be anything from wanting to
make a living from a hobby to wanting to find
a way to spend more time with their families.
Along with their dreams comes the foresight to
see a need for something or a problem that needs
solving, and finding a way to supply that need
or solve that problem. Instead of saying, "Someone
will probably invent a way to make a profit from
that," the entrepreneur says, "I'M
going to be the one who finds a way to make a
profit from that."
They visualize success. Lots of us have thoughts
and ideas of how we'd like our lives to change.
We say, "If only I could find a decent
job," or "If only I could lose
20 pounds." Entrepreneurs don't just
think about it. They see it. They spend
a great deal of time "seeing success."
If the goal is to spend more time with family,
the entrepreneur sees himself or herself
working at home, hears one of the children
say "Mom, I'm so glad you don't go away
to work anymore," and feels what
reaching the goal is like. This "positive
thinking" technique has been around for a
long time-and it still works. It helps create
faith in yourself, and that is a prerequisite
for anyone even thinking about starting a business.
They never stop using this visualization process:
It keeps goals shining brightly, and for the entrepreneur,
there are always new goals to reach for.
3. They're good
listeners and observers. Aki Morita, who founded
Sony, got the idea for the infamous Sony Walkman
when he got tired of listening to teenagers blasting
music from their boom-boxes. He knew he wasn't
the only one bothered by the noise. By listening
to what people are saying and observing what they're
doing (or not doing), the entrepreneur identifies
what people want. Lots of people.
They also listen
to advice. While it's great to have people cheering
you on, entrepreneurs find a wealth of knowledge
in the doom-and-gloomers. They present the possible
downsides, providing the business owner with some
new ideas to think about as they develop their
business plan. They read books and listen to motivational
CDs. They stay psyched up for success by learning
new skills and staying on top of technology.
They're good organizers. Once a new entrepreneur
develops an idea and begins visualizing a goal,
he or she makes a plan. They know they can't just
plunge in and hope for the best. They do research,
find out what others in similar businesses are
doing, and find mentors who can help them figure
out what steps they need to take to begin reaching
for their goals and dreams. They find out how
much money they need, what kind of equipment is
essential, and if they will need to hire people
or can go it alone. Ultimately, they consider
all of the information and advice they've gathered
and make their own decisions, taking the best
ideas from each source.
5. They're focused.
Once the course is charted, the work begins. There
will be phone calls, e-mails, and paperwork. There
will be days when nothing goes right, and when
obstacles seem insurmountable. But because entrepreneurs
are, above all, problem solvers who love a challenge,
they have the courage and perseverance to keep
going. They bounce back from failure like super-balls
hitting the sidewalk. They keep their organizational
plans in mind, and keep striving to achieve each
step, one at a time.
6. They don't
believe failure is an option. To be successful
in your own business, you must believe 100% that
you will succeed at what you are doing. You must
have faith in your own ability to make things
happen. You must believe that your idea is really
a good one that will help other people or make
the world better in some way. Sometimes, it simply
takes guts-like the quarterback who decides to
run the ball and, against all odds, scrambles
over the pileup and scores a touchdown.
7. They have
self-discipline. Running your own business
doesn't mean that you can mosey down to your home
office at 10 AM, go to lunch at noon, and take
the afternoon off. Just like at a regular job,
entrepreneurs work hard. In fact, many put in
more hours and work harder than they did when
they were someone's employee. But it's easier
to put in the extra hour or two when you have
a passion for what you are doing, a roadmap for
where you're going, and the confidence that you
will achieve success.
Are you tired of working for someone else?
Do YOU have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
If you believe in yourself, fill in the form below
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