Everyone sells you the idea that becoming a successful entrepreneur is about grit. Non-stop hours, a slave mentality about your work, and having no life. On the other end of the spectrum, people sell books about the four-hour work week and get-rich-quick schemes.
You might think entrepreneurship is as simple as waving a wand. You might also think it has to be a life of misery. The truth is, it’s neither.
In this article, we’re being honest about entrepreneurship. We’re not going to answer technical things like whether you should have an outsourced CFO. But we’re going to be real with you, and that’s more than most of the internet has to offer.
Look for the New Way of Doing Things
Successful entrepreneurs are not concerned with the status quo and they can sense a change in the air. This doesn’t mean you should be a space cadet and run with a crazy idea like planting a chip in someone’s ear to control their sleep. It means you’re looking to solve issues in new ways.
All paradigms are flawed. Entrepreneurs recognize the flaws and listen to those crying for change.
That leads us to our next point: successful entrepreneurs are solution-based. They don’t complain when things don’t go the way they thought. They create a solution to the problem and adapt. They always concern themselves with improvement.
Insatiable Lust for Improvement
Ironically, entrepreneurs’ thirst for improvement can present itself as laziness. They endlessly strive to make things easier. It’s the reason why we have machine learning and AI: humans don’t want things to take forever especially success. Entrepreneurs understand this.
This isn’t a motivational speech. It’s an article. The word grit has been trampled to death by people who don’t possess enough to use a different word. Persistence is no better. The point is, if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you can’t value others’ opinions over your core beliefs.
You should always be open to others’ opinions but entrepreneurs aren’t puppets. They don’t regurgitate the words of others as their own. They have a goal that most people can’t see and they execute it. You don’t need to read thirteen books to tell you the same thing: entrepreneurs don’t complain about their feelings and they don’t rely on others to find what they’re looking for.
While listening skills are almost directly-opposed to the last tip, just listen for a second.
No, you shouldn’t listen to every doubter. But you should listen to people enough to understand when someone is a hater versus when they have a point.
Listening is perhaps the most important skill on this list. It opens your world to possibilities you can’t create. People will tell you what they want. If you can deliver it, they’ll love you. More importantly, they’ll pay you.
Being Comfortable with Loneliness
This doesn’t mean you have to be a recluse. It means you’ll likely be the only one who fully understands what you’re trying to accomplish. At times, even you won’t.
Things won’t work out and you’ll have to make decisions that scare you. You will face most of your failures alone and successes are typically few and far between. You’ll have to do a lot of things by yourself.
Above all, to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be a lifelong student. You shouldn’t be overly concerned with the subject you learn. You should simply love learning. Being an entrepreneur requires a curiosity about the world you inhabit.
There are opportunities everywhere. Entrepreneurs with open, childlike minds devise new ways for how we live.