I think sometimes as entrepreneurs who want to achieve great things, we believe that we have to excel at everything we do in order to be considered a success. Set up a website that magnetizes potential clients and has a 75% conversion rate? No problem. Create a marketing strategy that increases our customer base by 50% annually. Sure. Just let me throw on my cape and I’ll be ready to go.
But living this way is draining. When you expect yourself to master everything all of the time—from your clients to your staff to your business’ day to day operations—you don’t have any energy left to actually live your life. You become frustrated and down on yourself, wondering “Why can’t I just get this right?”
Here’s something we all need to remember from time to time: Even Superman couldn’t fight off the effects of kryptonite. In other words, everyone has their weaker areas and that is okay. As long as you keep working on them, you can limit their ability to stop you from reaching your goals. What entrepreneurial qualities are most important to success?
Entrepreneurial Qualities Important to Success
According to a recent Gallup poll conducted on 2,500 entrepreneurs, the top 10 entrepreneurial qualities were:
- Profit-based business focus
- A high level of confidence
- The ability to think creatively
- Delegating specific duties efficiently
- Being determined
- A sense of independence
- Constantly striving for more and better information
- Effectively promoting your business
- Ability to build relationships
- Risk management
Getting better in these areas is a step-by-step process that begins with recognizing the ones where you could use a little work and ends with you being the best entrepreneur that you can be.
Step #1: Identify Areas That Could Use Some Strengthening
Take a minute right now and think about qualities above, highlighting the things that you would like to improve in regards to the way that you handle your work. Maybe you would like to have more confidence when dealing with problems, or perhaps you wish you were better at delegating tasks because you never seem to get your to-do list as short as you’d like.
It doesn’t matter what it is, just make a mental or written list about the things you’d like to change about the way you operate your business, deal with the employees, or anything else relevant to running your company from day to day.
Step #2: Prioritize Your List
Once you have a list of the entrepreneurial qualities that you’d like to work to strengthen, you need to prioritize it. To do this, place the qualities that matter most or that could result in the greatest impact on your business at the top and work down from there.
If you’re unsure which order they should go in, ask yourself which one resonates with you the deepest? In other words, which one do you read and want it so bad that you can physically feel your heart hurt or your head ache? This is the one that belongs at the top of the list.
Step #3: Brainstorm About Your Highest Priority Quality
It is now time to tackle the item you’ve deemed as most important. So, look at it and brainstorm the various ways you could make that particular quality stronger. Don’t think about whether or not something will work; just consider your options for building on it and strengthening it.
For instance, if you wish you had more self-confidence in certain business situations, what could you do to get it? Take a class so that you feel like you have a stronger educational background? Read up on the topic more so you feel better informed? Lose some weight so that you didn’t feel like everyone was looking at you instead of listening to what you had to say? Come up with as many ideas as you can in the next 5 minutes.
Step #4: Pick an Action Item and Do It for 30 Days
With a complete list in hand, go through the options you’ve listed and pick one that you are willing to try. Come up with a plan if you need to, but make a conscious commitment to work on this quality by doing your selected action for the next 30 days. Why 30 days?
In a TED Talk that has over six-million views, Matt Cutts, an engineer for Google, suggests giving yourself at least 30 days because, “It turns out 30 days is just about the right time to add a new habit or subtract a habit…from your life.” By working on making changes in these increments, Cutts says it helps make your time more memorable, increases your self-confidence, and “you can do anything for 30 days.”
Step #5: Reevaluate and Reassess
At the conclusion of the 30 days, take a look at whether what you are doing is actually making an impact on the entrepreneurial quality you seek to improve. If it is, keep doing it. If it isn’t, then it is time to pick another option off your action list and try that one instead.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged if you stumble along the way. It’s only normal to hit a few speed bumps when you’re trying to make changes in your life. But as long as you keep moving forward, you’re going to eventually get where you want to go.
Being the strongest entrepreneur you can be isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. It is something that happens over a lifetime. And it happens 30 days at a time.
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