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We lionize successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They inspire and motivate us to pursue greatness. We study them in order to learn their secrets to success.
When we peel the onion to their success, common factors such as finding the courage to pursue a dream, having a clear vision, working long hours, persistence, passion and focus often reveal themselves.
Most entrepreneurs put everything on the line: lifetime savings, the equity in their homes, retirement assets, time spent with family and friends. They take courageous risks, often going into debt, in the pursuit of their dreams.
The number of balls Entrepreneurs have in the air is overwhelming.
- Entrepreneurs have to figure out a way to fund their business in order to get it off the ground
- Entrepreneurs have to figure out a way to grow their business with limited funds
- Entrepreneurs have to simultaneously manage employees, contractors, vendors, business partners, business relationships and customers.
- Entrepreneurs have to create processes that work. This is a trial and error process that takes many years to complete.
- Entrepreneurs have to manage limited cash flow, deal with cash flow shortfalls and make payroll, particularly in the stages of their entrepreneurial journey.
- Entrepreneurs are often being pulled in ten directions at one time, which causes enormous stress and saps them of their energy
- Entrepreneurs often have to deal with marital problems caused by their absence or financial struggles.
- And, if they are a parent, Entrepreneurs have the most important responsibility – being a mom or dad to their children, while starting, growing and running their business.
It’s a wonder anyone would choose to become an Entrepreneur.
From my Rich Habits research, I’ve identified four Rich Habits every successful Entrepreneur must forge in order to succeed:
#1 SURVIVE UNTIL YOU THRIVE
When things go wrong and life throws the Entrepreneur a gut punch, successful Entrepreneurs do whatever it takes to Survive. They will work around the clock for many days, weeks or months to fix what went wrong. They will somehow find the money they need to buy time in order to solve a seemingly intractable problem. They willingly sacrafice time with family and friends, prioritizing finding a solution, to everything else in their life.
#2 LEARN TO PIVOT
When Entrepreneurs are in Survival Mode, the successful ones are able to figure out, very quickly, what works and what doesn’t work and then pivot from doing what doesn’t work to what does work. Successful Entrepreneur are master pivoters. They learn how to shift gears, change direction and alter their course or the path they take in order to keep moving forward towards the realization of their dream.
This may be the real secret to their success.
A typical airplane flight is off course 90% of the time during its flight. Pilots and the onboard computer systems continuously focus on the end, the destination, and make constant course corrections during the flight in order to arrive at the destination.
Successful entrepreneurs are no different. They make constant course corrections during their entrepreneurial journey in the pursuit of their dreams and goals. When their actions do not produce the results they desire, they pivot. When the people they work with are unable to help move them forward, they find other people. When a product or service fails to deliver, they tweak that product or service until it sells. They constantly alter what they are doing, find another route and then take that route. They do this over and over again until they achieve their goals and realize their dreams.
#3 CONTROL OVER THEIR EMOTIONS
Emotional control is the Superpower of every sucessful entrepreneur. One of the Entrepreneurs in my Rich Habits Study told me that when they are faced with an emotional situation, they repeat to themselves over and over – Be Like Spok. Spok is a Vulcan character in the Star Trek series who has mastered his emotions and is therefore able to make decisions based solely on logic.
Controlling your emotions is important because when the emotional part of your brain takes control, it partially shuts down the pre-frontal cortex, which is the logic center of the brain. Decisions made in an emotional state are almost always bad decisions. By mastering their emotions, successful Entrepreneurs are able to make logical decisions, which are almost always they best decisions.
#4 STAY POSITIVE
It virtually impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur with a negative mindset. Negativity puts the emotional centers of the brain in control, while shutting down the logical/analytical centers of the brain, as mentioned above.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”