*Thank you for your tolerance. English is not my first language, but I’m improving.*
Creating a successful business is something really challenging. Well, the way the actual educational system is designed makes the concept of entrepreneurship even more difficult to grasp. Why is that? Our educational system focuses on repetition. You have to learn something, prove that you’ve understood it during exams, and that’s it. During an exam, you will get questions related to what you’ve studied. If you paid attention in class, and if you are a hard worker, there is a high probability for you to get good grades. But when you run a business, you will face issues that you didn’t think were even possible. You will experience situations you weren’t prepared (or let’s say prepared enough) to endure. How do you react? Where do you ask for help? How do you self-correct? And more importantly, what drives you at the first place? I don’t know about you, but personally, these are things that school didn’t teach me. Fortunately, it’s never too late. The question is, what does it take to become a successful entrepreneur then? What can we learn from the best?
1- They surround themselves with supporting / inspiring people
The people you mostly spend your time with will play a major role in your life. Therefore it is important to hang out with people who can give you valuable insights, with people who respect your work and are willing to support you on your entrepreneurial journey. Avoid giving your time and energy to naysayers and to those who constantly pull you down.
2- They know how to create connections
Entrepreneurship is not just about creating a product or a service, but also about creating and nourishing the right connections. The opportunities you get are very often the results of the connections you have. I’m not talking about faking in order to connect with others. I’m talking about being yourself, and being open to enlarging your social network.
3- They have a purpose
Why do you do this business? What drives you? You see, the most successful entrepreneurs are driven by a deep desire to bring something to the world. This is what makes them unstoppable. They have a vision. It becomes part of who they are. It’s essential to have a clear purpose, because in periods of doubts and troubles, remembering why you started your business at the first place, could be your principal motivator to keep moving, and go beyond your limits.
4- They have great listening skills
Great entrepreneurs listen to un-der-stand, not necessarily to reply. When I think of listening skills, I see two major aspects. First, it’s about listening to yourself. Clear your mind. Acknowledge your core values and act according to them. Second, listen to others. You can replace “others” in the previous sentence by the needs of your target market, by your partners, or even by your friends. Don’t get me wrong. Listening to them doesn’t mean you have to agree. The aim is to have another perspective on your work. However it’s up to you to decide what to do with that.
5- They act
It might sound obvious, but it isn’t. Many aspiring entrepreneurs don’t act, with the excuse of waiting for the right moment, waiting to have enough money, waiting for the market conditions to change, etc. Most of the time, this is linked to the fear of being seen, to the fear of failure. Soon or later you’ll have to take actions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’ll learn by doing.
6- They manage their time wisely
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. The way we manage this time is what makes the entire difference. Successful people use this time to read, to exercise, to learn new things. They are focused, and do their best to make each day a productive one.
7- They are flexible
Everything goes so fast nowadays, that without flexibility, you decrease your chances to succeed in business. How do you adapt your strategy to new technology? How do you respond to the evolving demand of your target market? Well, in order to answer these questions, you definitely have to be open minded and flexible.
We all have to start somewhere. We’ll certainly fall sometimes, but this is how we learn and grow. Come on, were you able to swim (or drive) the first day you’ve tried it? Don’t let fear dictates your actions. Let your passion guide you and share your talent with the world. The right time is, right now.
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