To be a successful entrepreneur, you consistently have to give your best. That’s why so many are drawn to become one in the first place. However, when your success feels like it is at the mercy of your customers, competitors, and the markets, it can feel at times like your best doesn’t make a difference.
The reality, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. While outside influences need to be addressed, if you fixate on them, you’ll undermine your effectiveness.
As a Coach, I’ve found that when my clients put their energy on what they can control, they increase not only their capacity for being focused and optimistic, but develop their ability for creating success.
Here are five practices that consistently make a difference.
1. Practice persistence.
One of the most common mistakes people make is taking “no” to mean “never.”
As an entrepreneur, if you want to achieve your goals, you need to practice persistence until those “no’s” become a “yes.” This doesn’t mean being a nuisance and wearing people down until they give you what you want, but believing in your vision. It means a willingness to put forth the effort and energy necessary to implement your ideal.
However, when it comes to making your vision a reality, keep in mind this rule of thumb…“the confused mind always says no.” If your efforts are met with a slew of rejections, consider how clear your request or presentation really is. A good idea is a good idea no matter how you slice it, but if yours is bogged down with unnecessary details or confusing in the least, then you won’t get the response you want.
2. Make your own luck.
While practicing persistence is a deliberate focus on a desired outcome, making your own luck is the other side of the equation. It is casting a wide net with the intent of achieving that same outcome.
Making your own luck is a numbers game. The more opportunities you can create the more entries you have in the entrepreneurial lottery. This could be as simple as striking up a conversation with the person in line at the coffee shop, taking another route to work, or networking at an industry event.
More than one path leads to success. By putting yourself and your business on multiple paths, you’ll find a connection that will lead you to where you want to be.
3. Do what others won't.
In the “Common Denominator of Success,” Albert E.N. Grey stated that a willingness to do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do was the key to success. Now before you think this means going the extra mile in everything you do, realize it is more about doing the right things—not everything—which makes all the difference. For instance, while this could mean working an 18-hour day, it could just as easily mean closing shop early to spend time with your family. The latter being a way to recharge your batteries and give you the inspiration necessary upon your return to work.
4. Don't be afraid to fail.
For the most part, entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to fail. Otherwise, they’d still be working for someone else and chasing a regular and consistent paycheck. But when the success or failure of the business seems to hang in the balance with every decision you make, it can lead you to play more conservatively.
Your willingness to fail along with your ability to embrace failure will allow you to keep going as an entrepreneur and eventually be successful. Shark Tank star, Robert Herjavec said, “Success is not measured on the days when the sun shines. Success is measured on dark, stormy, cloudy days. And if you can’t absorb failure, you’re never gonna meet success.”
To that end, I always encourage clients in our sessions to look for the lesson—good or bad—that will help them become a better entrepreneur than they were the week before.
5. Pay it forward.
Finally, sometimes the best way to keep your head up is to give others a hand.
As an entrepreneur, it is easy to feel that your time is at a premium and there is little to spare. However, giving your time freely to others can pay you back exponentially.
Mentoring a new entrepreneur or speaking to a youth group about owning your own business can remind you why you decided to become an entrepreneur in the first place. Add to the list the numerous community outreach programs your company can become involved in and you and your employees might find and increase sense of pride in your company.