Successful Entrepreneurs come in many forms, but they do have a number of traits, or habits if you like, that help set them above and apart from failure. So if are you struggling to get your business off the ground, struggling to make sales, or aren’t seeing any success but don’t understand why? Then this article is for you!
Here are the 10 habits of successful entrepreneurs.
1. Successful entrepreneurs question their own thinking.
When you are starting a business you form a mental view of what it is you are going to offer and who would want it. Subconsciously you worry about the ‘what-ifs’ – What if nobody buys my product? What if I’ve got my costs wrong? What if people complain? and so-on. These worries are the biggest blocks to actually starting a business, and are the reason most people don’t really get started. To combat these uncomfortable thoughts, an entrepreneur will generate their own, more comforting thoughts, generally along the theme of ‘my product is brilliant, unique and millions of people will want it. It will make me a millionaire’. This is known as cognitive dissonance – an alteration your attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort caused by your natural negative thoughts, and restore balance.
When you think only negative thoughts, you don’t get started. But when cognitive dissonance kicks in, you are tricked into believing your own hype, your own marketing messages, and any mis-placed confidence you may have.
So you must force yourself to question your own thinking. Test your product with impartial users. Test your marketing messages with consumer groups, social media groups and/or A/B Testing. Continually revise your business plan (see later). Be confident, but not over-confident. Look at what your data is telling you and don’t ignore warning signals.
2. They know their target market – I mean, really know them.
You target market is everything, so learn about them and learn to love them, because without them your new business is doomed.
Who will buy your product? How much will they be willing and able to pay? What are their expectations in terms of quality of performance? What do they expect pin terms of post-sales support? How will you delight them?
Excellent research tools such as Market Samurai and SE Ranking will not only help you understand your market, but will also help you create content that will rank highly in organic search.
3. They write a business plan.
I can hear you groaning! Yes, you really do need a business plan. It helps you formulate your strategy and understand what needs to be done. Now, I’m not talking about a hundred pages of bull crap here. You just need to commit the essentials in a one or two page document:
Product description and how it is produced
Target audience, the problem you are solving for them, how you will reach them and convert them to buyers
Market differentiation, and how you will set yourself above your customers
The real cost of. creating and supplying your product
Pricing and offer strategy (yes, pricing and offer are two different things!)
Profit and loss for 12 or 24 months.
4. They invest in themself
Don’t forget to continually invest in your own learning and development. Soak up knowledge because the more you know, the more you will see money-making ideas and opportunities open up in front of you.
The web is obviously a great source of free learning, so make use of it.
Books such as Traffic Secrets, Expert Secrets and Dotcom Secrets will turbo-charge your understanding of online entrepreneurship.
And courses such as the One Funnel Away Challenge will help you get your thinking straight and go from zero to launch in the space of 30-days!
5. Successful entrepreneurs know what they are good at, and know what they are not
Another classic rookie entrepreneur mistake is to try to do everything yourself. I know that money is tight in the early months, but if you don’t have the skills, find someone that does, or find a tool that will simplify the work and still give a professional finish.
A good example of this is sales funnels. Can you really build your own funnel by tacking together WordPress plus a raft of plugins, or should you be using a funnel builder such as Clickfunnels of Kartra? I see so many ugly funnels I wonder what these entrepreneurs are thinking! They are missing opportunities and losing sales with their unprofessional landing pages and sales copy. Hire someone or take a couple of hours creating a professional funnel with one of the funnel builders!
Video content is another area that amazes me. It is so easy these days to create very professional video intros and outs, video ads and video content using tools such as Viddyoze and Vidnami. So cut the crap and tap into the thousands of done-for-you video clips and premium audio tracks that these tools offer.
6. They are consistent and stay focused – they don’t frog from one idea to the next.
One big difference between wanna-be entrepreneurs and successful entrepreneurs is that the wanna-be relentlessly hops from one idea, one strategy, one tactic to another. If this is you, don’t beat yourself up about it. We have all been there. We start on a great idea and then get distracted by another ‘great’ idea. We start blogging and then quickly drop it for a ‘great’ YouTube traffic strategy we just heard about.
Whilst it is important to be able to recognise when a strategy or tactic really isn’t working, it is more important to give things a chance by giving them time to work! So stick with something until it is definitely failing, and then move on. Internet business success takes time and effort. Overnight success is a myth.
7. They always lead
Don’t forget that you are the leader in the new business of yours. You may not have any other employees, or you may have a small army at your disposal. But either way, you are the leader, you need to get a grip of your business strategy, you need to be the energy that drives things forward.
8. They don’t get comfortable
Business is about performance – the performance of processes, product and people. If any one of these fails, your business as a whole will under-perform and you will likely fail. So always look for ways to improve performance. Can you change your product to make it better? Are you able to build a better sales funnel? How about ways to improve your marketing? Can processes be tightened and made more efficient? Can you get smarter about training yourself and your people?
Keep moving forward, keep improving, and never get comfortable!
9. They plan for the rain
You can’t stop the rain, but you can plan for it. You have just written your plan, now you need to accept that it is wrong. You just don’t know where or by how much!
So you may be asking what’s the point in writing it? That’s a fair question.
Well, as I mentioned hinted point 3, the plan helps you formulate and solidify thinking. But it is just a guess. It may be a good guess, based on firm data, but however you dress it up, it is going to be wrong.
So by all means dream about your success and imagine the great wealth and happiness it will bring you, but plan for the rainy days, plan for the eventualities that could kill your business.
What will you do if your cash starts to run out? What if your website goes down? What if suddenly your key social media platforms ban you? What if your laptop dies? What if a key suppliers increase their prices or goes bust?
Make contingency plans, and hopefully you will never need them.
10. Successful entrepreneurs enjoy it
Seriously, life is too short to stress over the small stuff. If you are having problems, remind yourself that there are many people in this world who would love to have the problems you are having. So take a breath and then deal with them. Enjoy being an entrepreneur because it can lead to the freedom and wealth you always dreamed of!