Most entrepreneurs spent years working long hours to reach the success they have today. Wonder how you can do that too?Study their best practices, mistakes and key character traits to emulate them and dramatically shorten your own path to success.
Usually,it takes years of trial and error to figure out these secrets. I’vecrushed that excuse of not knowing what to do and am giving them to youright here. But the only real secret is that it’s action, not knowledge, that fosters true accomplishment.
Ready to get started? Here are the ten secrets that I consider vital to any entrepreneur’s success:
- Have a Daily Routine
A daily routine keeps you organized andstructured. I start my mornings early to maximize the day…cup of “Bullet Proof” coffee, a little light reading, make sure the kids haveeverything they need for the day, skim the news, review emails, gothrough the daily to do list and then I actually make my bed, which assilly as that sounds, gets me ready and organized for the day ahead…then off to work or gym with a good head start. As an entrepreneur this is a small habit that makes a big difference.
- Make To-Do Lists and get through them
Every night, I develop a new agenda forthe next day, taking into consideration any new developments that mayshift priorities. This ensures that in the morning and I am ready to get through the critical action items throughout the day, but leavesflexibility for the changing dynamic of the world we live in. The nextmorning, I go through the list and find the quickest items and getthrough them. Tackling the small things first, allows me to accomplish65-70% of the list before the morning’s over so I focus on the larger,more complicated tasks during the day. While to-do lists allow me toprioritize, they can’t be set in stone. Before leaving the office forthe day I make sure everything is checked off. To Do lists are crucialfor success as an entrepreneur, they keep your daily goals, and yourlong term goals in focus. This is key to success.
- Learn From Your History
Learn from your successes and failures and build them into your plan. History has a way of repeating itself so be ready.
- Make the Connections You Need
In any endeavor, you will need toconnect to the people and or resources you will need to knock out thesteps between start and finish as well as to keep growing. One of myfavorite resources to use is LinkedIn because it allows me to connectwith the CEO’s and senior management that are important for me or mycompany to work with and gives us common ground to build off of.Additionally, early dinners near their office as well as finding commoninterest like watching a favorite sports team or other types ofactivities business included, help build a base to talk about how youcan do business together.
- Business is a win-win
In order for a business, a deal or anyother type of relationship to be successful both sides need to be awin-win. When building relationships, partnerships and businesses,focusing on the win-win so all parties will benefit not only begins theconversations but incentivizes all sides to move forward.
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- Make Clear and easy to understand Goals
Make a clear defined goal, this is thestarting point for any entrepreneur. Learn to describe what you do andwhat you’re goals are in one to two sentences. Especially in business,not knowing exactly you want to accomplish and quickly being able toexplain it makes it difficult to focus in on a plan and enticing peopleto work with you. I require everyone at NMG to be able to describe whowe are and what we do in two sentences. Your answer should be quick,simple and concise, so you can easily relay it to people you’re tryingto work with.
- Have an Outlet
No matter what it is, you need an outlet to separate yourself from the business world. Your mind needs a breakfrom the stress and anxiety of day-to-day life, as well as a break fromtechnology. You need to re-boot. I like getting out into nature becauseit helps me disconnect from email and focus on my own thoughts.Kayaking, hiking, fly-fishing, running, the water allows me to put yourmind at rest, not burn out and come back strong.
- Learn to change directions or Pivot
We live in a world where some jobs andsome entire fields didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago, so learning how andknowing when to translate your skills into an emerging market or modifyyour path to take into account current conditions is key in the life ofan entrepreneur. After selling my apparel business, I formed amultimedia and advertising company built around branded entertainment,advertising and mobile application development. At dinner one night, aclose confidant in upper management at Google was discussing thechanging tide in the advertising industry and suggested we look into it. It was clear that if we embraced where the industry was heading andmade the modifications internally and to the network we had alreadybuilt, we could capitalize and ride the momentum of a changing industry. If we had not done so we would have been an also ran in our industryinstead of in a leadership position that we are in today.
- Stay Focused and on Track
So many entrepreneurs have a naturalcuriosity, which can often be a benefit. Of course, it’s critical toknow when to put that curiosity aside and focus on the challengesalready on your plate. I say “always stay focused and sharp” which Ihave learned from experience. “Focus on the end game, the plan to getthere and do not allow distractions or anything else to detour you.”
- Focus on what it takes to make something WORK not why it cannot work.
Why something cannot be accomplishedshould not enter into the equation, only what needs to happen to get“it” accomplished. If you figure that out then the other things do notmatter. Learning to figure out what has to get done and how you have toaccomplish it is key to success. It’s easy to make excuses and blamesituations or limitations for standing in the way of your success, butfiguring out a way to make it work is paramount to being successful.Sometimes that means changing your way of doing or looking at things,hiring new personnel, making a different plan, changing who you dobusiness with or a myriad of other things…but there is always a way tomake it work.