Entrepreneurship comes easy to natural born winners. They share that “it” factor, and have the habits of successful entrepreneurs in common. It’s not about vanity. They start a business with a combination of confidence and belief in their self-worth, and they want to learn. Their habits support an ability to succeed in business through a lifelong series of wins. You have that winner mentality inside you, so believe in it and strengthen it.
Who succeeds? Why you? Why not you?
You need to understand what you’re in for as you consider your future and launch your business.
As a business owner, and especially when launching your first business idea or brand, you must know what habits will help lead you to the winner’s circle. Let’s get you accustomed to that “W” word!
Winners, especially in a small business environment, have these 10 factors in common.
- Winners were always winners.
- Winners are humble.
- Winners surround themselves with winners.
- Winners are responsible.
- Winners are consistent.
- Winners have plans and follow schedules.
- Winners are lifelong learners.
- Winners embrace change.
- Winners see failure as opportunity.
- Winners know their ultimate success is comprised of a long-term series of events.
Winners who built a successful, profitable business know it’s much more than achieving a single win. Profitability is the result of a long series of wins.
Winners are all about the long-term. Long-term successes and long-term failures are self-created. So consider what you actually want. For what are you actually willing to work?
What’s required of a young entrepreneur?
Grasp this concept: Winners win in an acceptable manner. A win at an unacceptable expense is not a win.
Success is taking action to achieve long-term survival. It’s getting over or around hurdles, or simply finding another way. It’s how businesses succeed. It’s why you’ll succeed.
People talk about wanting to be successful. That’s great. They may define it differently than you, and there’s nothing wrong with having different goals. Not everyone is willing to act on them though. Many people simply talk a lot.
Talking without action is similar to reading inspirational quotes, doing nothing more… and wondering why nothing changes.
Entrepreneurs want to succeed, but wanting, talking, or thinking that is not backed by a business plan and focused action doesn’t get you far.
Studies show that most businesses fail within the first two years. In fact, only 3 percent make the 5 year mark – and they may not be profitable by that point.
‘And this doesn’t include the massive failure rate of network marketers who believed a product would sell itself or that “signing up” their boyfriend, sister, and mom would lead to the exponential growth of their team, sales, and commission. Don’t fall for that. It doesn’t work that way.
Winners are easily recognizable yet come from all walks of life and industries. Youth entrepreneurship is no different. The entrepreneurial spirit shines bright at nearly every tender age!
These factors make a difference for young entrepreneurs who become successful.
1. Winners were always winners.
It’s a mentality. Winners didn’t need to be captain of a team or have straight A’s, but a positive can-do mentality is there. As adults they don’t need to own the biggest house or a fancy car, but again, that “I got this” mentality and work ethic is unmistakable.
In the world of business, winners share similar habits and thinking.
Our paths are unique, and they bend, rise, and fall, but there are many shared consistencies among those who create a successful business.
Consider what doesn’t work. A losing mentality results in continual strife, pretend disbelief, and often outright disdain for others. A loser’s lack of value for time promotes continuing losses. They blame their losses and unhappiness on “the way it is,” “the way it was supposed to be,” “the way it is” – on “it” being inevitable.
Winners, on the other hand, always had the faith, kept the faith, and still keep the faith. It’s self-confidence. It’s conviction in your abilities. It’s your positive attitude toward life and how much you enjoy it.
On the opposite end, losers retain so many negative habits that their lives become dominated by fear, regret, and aimlessness. Your business model cannot survive if you spend way too much time in this mindset.
Act on this: Know that winning starts with self-projection. Know it’s not victory with a buzzer that separates winners from losers; it’s the story of their life – their past, present, and promise of the future. If they had 5 weeks, 5 years, or 10 decades of life, they have that glow. Start with self-projection.
2. Winners are humble.
Winners focus on doing well, and improving. They are willing to do the work, and they appreciate a job well done. They tip well. They’re nice to others. There is no looking down on those who appear to have less on the outside, or teaching their kids to only talk to the people in the biggest house. Sometimes that big house comes with a lot of escalating debt.
There is pride and self-confidence, and sometimes people boast from a lack of self-confidence. Beware of the actual mean-spirited whose time spent boasting would be better spent on bettering themselves.
Winners can maintain high aspirations and act generously toward others. Losers are more likely to blame others and disdain them as mediocre, creating a culture of finger-pointing and infighting.
A winner thinks, feels, and acts in manners consistent with who they are and what they want. Titles aren’t necessary. Titles are for people who judge their worth externally.
Act on this: Know your value, and know it is not defined by a title or the job you do. Your worth and all that is you, is exemplified in who you are, what they do, and how you do it.
Entrepreneurship is for the strong, the self-sufficient, yet humble brilliant few. Successful young entrepreneurs value their network and support system.
3. Winners surround themselves with winners.
You are very much the company you keep. You know the saying, “Birds of a feather stick together.” Look around you. What do you see?
Here’s what I am not saying: I’m not saying leave your family and walk away from friends who have been true to you.
I don’t agree with the thinking that if you are the smartest in the room – leave.
Winning in life is not about who has the highest title or highest-paying job. That could have been due to pure luck, cheating or by birthright.
Winners in your circle are those that inspire you. You don’t have to sell a similar product or service or create a similar entrepreneurial journey. A winner recognizes work ethic, drive, passion, vision, and a sense of purpose.
Act on this: As a young entrepreneur with great potential, act accordingly, and ensure you are surrounded by those who inspire you. Know who’s on your team and the role they play. Act with grace, and respect your family, elders, and differences. Fellow winners recognize who you are and where you are obviously headed.
4. Winners are responsible.
Winners do not play the blame game. They take ownership.
Owning your actions, your part of the process, and your delivery gives you a huge advantage over the other guy. Being responsible should be a basic expectation. This thinking helps entrepreneurs continually move forward.
Everyone makes mistakes. Winners already know this, so be supportive, and expect support. If you are with someone who can’t, that person doesn’t own a spot on your team. You may have to deal with them – but now you know. When they are ready and behave like a winner, they can reapply…. And you can see if you need them. You follow me, right?
Instead of dwelling or pointing a finger, you demonstrate understanding and mutual respect and develop a solid support system. In that positive world, it’s not about wearing rose-colored glasses. It’s about getting more done because you didn’t waste time and energy. It’s easier to do that with a positive mindset.
Think like an entrepreneur. Positive energy is contagious, and so is self-confidence.
Act on this: Demonstrate responsibility every day. Know your role, follow through, and work on your self-confidence by building others. You show up. You follow through. ‘And when things happen, any tendency to blame is replaced by acting on the solution. Period.
5. Winners are consistent.
Consistent effort is consistent effort. We all have off days & days off. Consistency isn’t perfection, it’s learning and making progress as you step sideways or change course. Consistency isn’t a straight line; it’s focused, yes, but it’s also using your plan as it’s intended. Your plan is fluid, and working toward your objectives, requires changing it up when necessary to ensure results.
As a young entrepreneur, expect to make mistakes, your best judgment will lead to misdirection, and risks you take will lead to more failed ventures than you want. You will be faced with uncertainty, and the doubt of friends and family may create self-doubt. Many times you may find the world of entrepreneurship can be a mighty lonely, self-driven world.
Winners remain consistent throughout.
Act on this: Consistently show up and follow through on your purpose. Every single workday. Aimlessness creates wasted time, which leads to fewer results, which leads to self-doubt, which leads to fear, which leads to regret. It’s easier
6. Winners have plans and follow schedules.
Winners also consistently have a plan, and consistently and responsibly work their plan! Taking action and achieving balance work hand in hand with maximizing your precious time.
You aren’t here just to see what happens next. It won’t be what you want. You need goals. You must expect to change them up, as life unfolds around you, and you must know your self-determination will help craft the ending.
If you do not have a business plan, then make one with SMART goals. Put it on your agenda immediately. It doesn’t need to be a complicated plan or typed into a fancy, detailed presentation. Put it in your phone or on a piece of paper – just have one. Use ours or find one online that resonates with you – just do it.
Consciously make life happen. Winners don’t let life just happen to them.
Act on this: Review your plan the same day every week, schedule your days to actively work toward your goals, then follow through on your schedule. Allow your priorities to guide your time and follow through.
You must WANT to learn.
7. Winners are lifelong learners.
You never know it all. You may know a lot, which is great. Winners ask for help. They are humble enough to know they don’t know it all.
Things change. Things like business conditions, consumer needs, consumer desires and spending habits, and personal situations change, and often unexpectedly. ‘And due to continual changes, you will always need to stay on top of your A game.
There is always more to learn.
There is no stronger realization of having more to learn than when you feel like you are the best, and then someone comes along who is clearly operating at a higher level! Maybe they are using different resources. Maybe they are using the same resources differently. Whatever the situation is though, they upped the ante.
At that point, in terms of money, you are likely missing out on sales, which means you are leaving money on the table. Stop. Give it away if you want to, but don’t leave it there. Get back on top!
Act on this: Maximize your potential and add self-development to your plan. Encourage yourself to truly think outside the box. Learn something new about your business every month, and implement what you know to drive an improved result.
8. Winners embrace change.
Winners do not just acknowledge change or even expect it. Winners embrace and prepare to stay ahead of the curve.
Change could be any number of things. Things you can deal with easily, factors that are totally out of your control, and changes that can shut you down.
You may need to relax and just breathe in order to grasp it and allow yourself an ability to think it through and come up with solutions. There are always solutions, and your business strategy includes finding the way and not giving up. Someone will make money as a result of that change. If not, you, okay, got it, but then what can you do with your skills in order to adapt to the new environment or to take a simple idea and meet a new consumer need? You, too, can create a new bestseller.
A winner welcomes these moments.
Act on this: Consider the most recent change to affect you. What was it and how did you react? What should you have done the same or differently? What can you do now to positively impact your current situation? If you don’t have a situation, reflect upon how restaurants had to adapt to the lockdown. Fair or unfair isn’t up for debate. Some survived some didn’t. Or look at businesses who thrived by selling online. Or manufacturers who repurposed their cloth or their sewing skills to make masks?
9. Winners see failure as opportunity.
We all fall. We fall a lot. The difference is that winners get back up, whereas others may stay down – and some never get back up – sometimes by choice. By just giving up.
You know that saying ‘ get back on the horse.’ Old sayings exist for a reason.
Where a loser may get defensive and may not want to hear about what they could have done differently then or what they could do differently now to rectify a situation, a winner wants to talk about it.
Winners own up and use their circle. They troubleshoot and seek feedback.
Winners are about the win.
To a winner, failure is practice. It’s proof of one way not working and proof that they need to keep on trying. When you remove the negative emotion, it’s trial and error, not a punishment for actually trying. When you don’t even try, there’s no chance of winning – you immediately fail. Acting with the loser mentality equals owning that failure.
Act on this: Identify your biggest business problem, seek feedback from three unique sources and incorporate the feedback into your plan in the form of 1-3 activities to support reaching your goal.
The best entrepreneurial and startup advice would ensure:
10. Winners know their ultimate success is comprised of a long-term series of events.
Give yourself the freedom of time – not procrastination – but the freedom that comes from knowing you are in it for the long haul. Allow yourself to set goals and focus.
Accept many smalls wins and celebrate your steps forward. You earned those celebrations! You know, updating your goals as needed is a positive action that will move you forward.
Eliminate time as a distraction. Keep your eye on the prize.
Act on this: Consider your path and how far you have come. If you started today and reading this was your first step, then you already have a step to celebrate. Be kind to yourself. Be understanding. Be confident. Get used to noticing and celebrating your wins. No matter how small they may seem, a win is a win. What worked for you today? Maybe it didn’t rain. Maybe you had extra time to think on your drive. Maybe you saved some money by making a do-it-yourself decision. Acknowledge the win.
When everything is going your way, verbally acknowledge it. Say it out loud so you hear it loudly and clearly. In these instances it’s okay to talk to yourself. Let these instances become routine!
I repeat this often: Overnight successes do not happen overnight.
In actual fact, nothing great happens overnight. The beauty of a rocket reaching its destination was years in the making. The beauty of a flower opening overnight was many months in the making.
The beauty of your successful launch will result from a series of wins. Your wins.
They’ve just learned the hard way that great things take time. If you are looking for a final destination on the road to success, stop. There is no finish line. The line keeps moving. The path changes. You stop when you want to.
Winners always have a purpose and something they strive for.
As you move on, let’s talk about the bigger picture.
Winners appreciate every moment. The pain, the tears, the falling, crawling, pushing to stand back up – and the cheers. You may have a strong feeling of independence, but you are not actually independent of anything! See the bigger picture and actually feel your part in it.
Winners value time. They don’t squander time. They won’t. All of these skills, habits, and traits… however you define them, define you. Incorporate your weaker links into your self-development instead of stressing. Use your time wisely.
Wherever you are in your journey, appreciate your past, plan for your grand future, but live in the present. Be those people you admire. Be them today.
Have your plan. Own it. Take your next step. You got this.