When it comes to entrepreneurship and running a business, success rarely happens by accident. Instead, it’s the result of hard work, great skill, and a winning attitude. While each successful entrepreneur has his or her own individual story, just about all successful entrepreneurs practice most (if not all) of the same general habits. It’s these small rituals that help contribute to their overall success — and, by making them your own, you’re likely to boost your own chances of reaching the higher levels of entrepreneurship. With a nod to Stephen Covey, here are seven habits of highly successful entrepreneurs.
- They maintain a positive outlook. Successful entrepreneurs recognize that they often do their most creative thinking when they’re moved out of their comfort zones. They know that opportunity typically arrives disguised as a problem, and they don’t let roadblocks stop them. (They do accept, however, that roadblocks may slow them down a bit.) It’s worth mentioning the often-quoted Zig Ziglar line here: “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.”
- They welcome risk. Just being an entrepreneur is risky, as venturing out on one’s own offers little stability at first. But successful entrepreneurs know that with great risk comes great rewards, and that doing something new and different is how innovation happens.
- They accept (some) failure. In fact, some of the best entrepreneurs build failure into their business plans. For example, Elon Musk’s company SpaceX failed several times in its effort to launch rockets, but these failures did not destroy the company because Musk planned for them. He gave himself room to fail. The company’s successful attempt eventually landed Musk and the SpaceX team a NASA contract worth $1.6 billion.
- They’re always learning. Successful entrepreneurs know that wisdom is not found in reality television. Instead, they read, and they take advantage of educational opportunities. They know that even if they’re a recognized authority on a topic, the world keeps moving ahead, and they’ve got to keep up. There are always new things to learn, and successful entrepreneurs make sure that they learn them.
- They use technology to their advantage. We all carry smartphones, but many of us use them for little more than texting friends, taking selfies, and mindlessly scrolling through social media apps. However, successful entrepreneurs use the power of their devices to help them be more productive, more knowledgeable, and more efficient. Apps like Pocket for saving worthwhile articles to read later, Google Drive for constant access to important files, and Workflow to streamline your tasks are much better on your phone screen than, say, Candy Crush.
- They aim to add value. Sure, financial success often comes with business success, but most entrepreneurs aren’t in it solely for the paycheck. To quote Mr. Bernstein from Citizen Kane, “It’s no trick to make a lot of money if all you want is to make a lot of money.” Instead, successful entrepreneurs think about how they’re going to solve problems and make people’s lives better.
- They’re never satisfied. Through victories small and large, successful entrepreneurs keep moving forward and looking ahead. They understand that even though people want to know what you’ve done, they’re often more interested in what you’re doing. Rest on your laurels, and your relevance quickly diminishes.
Are you practicing these seven habits? While they certainly won’t guarantee success in the business sector, you’ll find the overwhelming majority of great entrepreneurs do these things regularly. Make them part of your own routine, and it’s likely that you’ll see some good results.