Entrepreneurs are changing the world as we know it. Every product around you was made by someone who thought about making a process better, changing how things work or improving how we get things done. They create jobs, invent new technologies to change how things work and create new products to make things better and faster. And they pay taxes to the government to provide social amenities.
And you can also change, influence and add to it. World changers have a different mindset but they are no smarter than you.
Successful entrepreneurs have the mentality that says ‘here is a problem; this is a solution, I’ll form a team and serve the market.’ Whether it’s to sell a much needed product, solve a social problem, or change a country, this mentality is a basic requirement for influencing the world in your own way. These are a lot more habits of people who are providing solutions to the world’s problems; no matter how small they are.
1. Fascinated with problems. World changers have the habit of “Identifying a problem” and coming up with a quick and better solution to that problem. Entrepreneurs explore every opportunity in their industry and sometimes even outside their comfort zones to create a business out of it.
They are always looking out for a better, faster and smarter way to solve human problems. And the most successful ones solve big problems that affect millions and even billions of people. Think Elon Musk and his quest to provide clean energy and cars. You can’t be Elon Musk but you can solve other problems in your own way and scale as you grow.
2. Avid learners. Entrepreneurs are evergreen learners. They never stop learning to improve themselves and their businesses. Every successful entrepreneur feels responsible for the success of his or her own life and business. They are on constant lookout for learning and implementing things that help them grow.
3. Practice curiosity. The desire for knowledge is an abiding facet of human experience and cultural development. Most entrepreneurs have developed this habit and are great at it. Curiosity is a skill to master. It develops relationships and rapor, an invaluable means of building business. Curiosity is the basis of all true learning, so it makes sense that you need it to be successful in life. Einstein was a master of curiosity. He thought curiosity is an essential part of a fulfilling life.
Einstein is quoted as saying: ‘The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.
“Entrepreneurs are people who have a naturally quizzical mind and are constantly questioning how things can be fixed or improved. For these kinds of people, that “a-ha” moment comes with a pain point they think they can solve or improve – one which (crucially, from a commercial perspective) they believe hasn’t been identified by someone else.” says Peter Bauer, CEO of Mimecast.
4. Initiate, create and build. Successful entrepreneurs don’t just wish and plan, they take action. They think about solutions to problems and take the necessary steps to create and build the solutions. Enough frustration will lead you to what you need to change. Enough motivation will lead you to act.
They give themselves time in life to wonder what is possible and to make even the slightest moves in that direction. Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.
5. Ability to bounce back quickly. Successful entrepreneurs are not immune from life’s troubles. But they know they cannot check out for too long. There are people counting on you and decisions that must be made.
If you have a tendency to get down and stay there, you must remember that you have started something that is now bigger than yourself. So even when you do not feel like it, you have to be resilient and bounce back.
6. They spend their money to make the most money. This one habit pretty much accounts for everything, and it’s a big reason why the rich get richer, and the poor stay poor. All money is a means of making more.
As a sophomore Warren Buffett and a friend bought a used pinball machine for $25; within months they had expanded several-fold into a regular income. How many kids think like that?
7. Financial restraint. The budding entrepreneur delays their own gratification to maximise return. If you want to see a failed wannabe entrepreneur, look for one who’s spending frivolously (my own co-founder famously wanted to buy us both company cars in our first month of business; I declined).
Well after they’ve made a fortune, most self-made wealthy people remain comparatively frugal; their lifestyles may be lavish, but they’re almost always spending much less than they earn.
8. Develop skills that compound. Entrepreneurs even think of their own skills as an investment; whatever time they put in should have the greatest possible return.
For example: creating software, leading others, spotting future trends. They are typically self-taught, and diligently so. They work to make themselves the type of person who would be wealthy.
9. Own assets that compound. The sweat of your own brow will rarely make you rich. As entrepreneurs soon realise, the most efficient vehicle is generally ownership of a company; your own efforts combine with others.
Bill Gates may be a smart kid, but he was never going to earn $50 billion from freelance programming. For this reason smart entrepreneurs hang on to every precious percent of ownership as if it were their last breath.
10. Time and attention conscious. Time and our attention are the only truly finite constraints – incalculably precious and easily squandered. Successful entrepreneurs are absurdly conscious of the fact, and tend to become highly organised, intolerant of inefficiency and laser focused.
Many famous figures famously wear the same outfit every day (Zuckerberg, Jobs) claiming that anything else is an unnecessary waste of their attention.
11. Positive realists. To make smart gambles – and that’s what becoming rich entails – you need an honest appreciation of odds that few possess.
Many of life’s truths are uncomfortable, complicated, or counter-intuitive, and it takes real effort to discern otherwise. But in the absence of perfect information, it helps to see the world in a positive light. Pessimists make poor entrepreneurs.