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Becoming a productive and successful entrepreneur - the essentials

By Bless

There was a time when people around the world felt very comfortable working under some other person or for the government. Now it is a different dance style in the job market, where many more people are interested on taking the lead. Entrepreneurship has clearly become a very appealing aspect of business, but succeeding as one is not as easy as it is to develop an interest or even start. Becoming an entrepreneur is far more challenging than simply serving under some other person, but the benefits too, if you make it are much more appealing. Basically everyone who looks forward to becoming a successful entrepreneur should have their focus on the benefits of success as they prepare to face the challenges they will definitely meet along the way.

Most successful entrepreneurs have a record of more failed attempts and rejections than they can recount. It is a fact of life that what makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is not the absence of challenges or more challenges for the latter but the persistence and attitude of the former towards those challenges. To be successful at entrepreneurship, you will have to understand and develop the qualities of an entrepreneur. If you are just starting out as an entrepreneur, you need to understand that it is going to take time to develop the necessary skill sets discussed herein. Consequently, you are going to need a lot of perseverance and persistence.

 Be clear on the vision of your business

As an entrepreneur, one of the best things you can do for yourself to guarantee success and your move to the next level is clarity of vision. When you are clear on what your career and business mean to you as well as where you are going, it will be easier for you to commit yourself to whatever will be demanded along the way. It is also a great way to avoid distractions. There is no such thing as a successful entrepreneur without a clear and concise vison.

There are going to be opportunities which will seem attractive and beneficial for you and the business you are running. Sometimes, such opportunities are only impending danger in disguise. Entrepreneurs who are not clear about what their business is about or where they are headed are more prone to falling prey to such traps. Clarity of vison determines so many things that have a lot to do with your vison and mission as an entrepreneur. It determines who you hire, what you invest in, how you spend your time and even how productive and effective your workers are going to be. Whether you are just starting out as an entrepreneur or you have been in the game for some time now, you need to get your vision for yourself and the business straight before moving on.

Let passion be the foundation

Clarity of vision is one way to build passion for what you do and without passion, believe me, you will barely make. Most successful entrepreneurs are where they are today because they found a way to market their passion. Passion makes a man willing and able to go through what other people will not survive. The disappointments, the failures and heartbreaks, the rejections and mistakes are all setbacks you will meet on your up the entrepreneurial ladder. What is going to keep you on track when all these things come at you? Why would you go on when nothing seems to be working well? Passion. Passion is what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the midst of these challenges.

If you are going to be an entrepreneur, find a business or something you will be willing to do for free. Something you really like doing. Then market that passion as an entrepreneur. It is a wise saying that if you can find a way to monetize your passion, you will eventually become a billionaire. Passionate people also have a unique attitude of seeing the bright side of every challenge. They are almost always able to make an opportunity out of disappointments because to them getting satisfaction from what they do is more important than monetary reward. Therefore, if you are looking forward to becoming an entrepreneur, you have to focus on what you are passionate about. One of the qualities of an entrepreneur is their ability to make decisions based on their passion. Build on that passion and you will doubtlessly become one of the most successful entrepreneurs.

Develop leadership skills

Entrepreneurs are business leaders at best. Becoming an entrepreneur requires that you think and act as a leader. No matter how small your business is at the moment, you are a leader, every entrepreneur is. Consequently, it is necessary that you develop certain leadership skills that are able to guarantee success. Entrepreneurs work with people and every one of those people look up to you first as a leader, not a business man. They expect you to lead them to accomplish the vision of the business through some important leadership skill.

  • Take initiatives. As the leader, you must learn to take initiatives with an understanding that until you lead in a particular direction, no one is going to follow and no progress is going to be made. Sometimes, quick decisions have to be made and there is no time to consult anyone. You must trust your guts to make the right decisions when such a time comes. The initiative to start new projects, to create new opportunities and develop new ideas all have to be taken by the entrepreneur. This requires that you are strong willed and courageous.
  • Get as much knowledge as possible. Successful entrepreneurs do not relate well with ignorance. Knowledge is what puts things over and keeps them ahead of competitors. Knowledge is an important asset for any true leader or entrepreneur. You cannot lead a team of people who are more informed than you are. The best way to stay relevant as a leader is to ensure that with each passing day you learn some new thing that is relevant to your development as well as the development of your team and business. There are many sources from which you can get information as an entrepreneur. Books, online articles and business magazines. One very important source of knowledge and information for an entrepreneur is mentorship. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who know exactly what they are doing and are willing to keep knowledge up to date by interacting with and learning from a mentor.

No matter what type of business you are into as an entrepreneur, surely you have people you admire and aspire to be like. These people are potential mentors for you. All you need is a connection to them. To begin with, you could take out some time to work for such a person so that you are able to get firsthand what they know through studies and experience. This is also an advantageous way to get information because it will not only help you figure out what works, but also what doesn’t. Hence you have a better chance of recognizing and avoiding landmines. Such knowledge will spare you the costs in terms of time and money of making errors as you make your way to success. Look up to someone who is where you aspire to be and you stand a better chance of getting there with less difficulty and even becoming better than they themselves ever were.

  • Be an inspiration. You need to learn what it takes to inspire others, especially those who are directly under you. Entrepreneurs are builders of businesses but their success in this is only as good as their success in building people. One of the most effective tips when it comes to building people is inspiring them to action rather than giving instructions. As an entrepreneur and one who looks forward to becoming successful, you should always inspire yourself by looking at those who are better and inspire your team by your actions and words. Don’t just make demands, inspire. Don’t just give instructions, inspire people to follow through on those instructions. Be what you expect to see in those you lead. Leading by inspiring is one of the most effective qualities of an entrepreneur, especially when it comes to encouraging those under you to put in their best.

Build and make use of a team

Becoming an entrepreneur, and a successful one at that, is largely a function of an effective team. To say the least, an effective team is part of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. An entrepreneur should be a master team builder with a keen interest in bringing the best out of those who make up his team. Bring together a team of people who have the skill sets that are required to push forward the vison of the business. These should be specific skill sets which are necessary for the attainment of goals and development of the business. Start by determining what those skill sets are, then let them guide you into choosing those who are going to make up your team.

Once you are able to put the team together, you need to make available resources and whatever else it will take for the team to be productive.  That is the stage of developing your team. To every successful entrepreneur, building your team and preparing them for every face of the work is just as important as preparing yourself for the same. Put in the effort and resources required for team building then you can look forward to making use of a prepared team.

Making use of the team will constitute relegating responsibilities and power where and when necessary. One mistake some entrepreneurs make is to put together and build a team then limit their scope of performance. You need to show those you employ that you trust them to handle certain tasks and responsibilities by delegating authority and giving responsibility.

Don’t let your attitude limit your altitude

An entrepreneur’s attitude towards his or her work, towards successes, failures, challenges and difficulties go a long way to determine how successful he or she will be. Things are certainly going to get tough some times. They may get so tough that keeping a good attitude towards your work and towards people will become a challenge. In order to keep a good attitude, you need to understand how important it is that you do.

If care is not taken, even success could change an entrepreneur’s attitude towards his work and other things. That is why people, especially entrepreneurs have to be patient enough to grow into success. Stop looking for short cuts and an easy way to the top of your career. There are no elevators to success, you have to take the stairs. When it comes to the challenges and opportunities an entrepreneur is sometimes presented with, one thing is needed to overcome and make the most out of every opportunity and that is right attitude. If your attitude fails at any point, you might not be able to go further than that, and if perhaps you do go further, you will hardly be able to make it at that level. Attitudes have to be developed. Bad ones dropped and the good ones taken upon. You can get anywhere no matter what challenges you face on your way there as long as you keep the right attitude.

Be flexible

Flexibility is what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. It is necessary for the sake of decision making that you are flexible. You may have to switch between choices and ideas and these require that the entrepreneur is flexible enough to accept and encourage such changes. Inflexible entrepreneurs find it difficult to go past certain levels, not because of inability to lead or manage their team but because they were not smart enough to make necessary changes for better results when the time came.

The world around us is evolving by the minute and things are changing for the better. Customer demands, changes in taste and fashion, more advanced systems and methods for running businesses and so on. You cannot become a leading or successful entrepreneur if you are not able to make such changes. Yes, there is a way you have done things for some time now, and probably you have fallen in love with that particular style. But you need to ask yourself which you prefer. Are you more interested in keeping your routine or reaching out to success? Progressive success as an entrepreneur is tied to flexibility.

Set goals

If you have figured out where you want to be in about ten or twenty years from today, you need to break the large picture down to assessable and attainable objectives or goals. Doing this ensures that you are making progress every step of the way and that you can actually make it to your envisioned place of success and on time too. Without goals, what should have taken you ten years to accomplish may only be done in fifteen years. Proper goal setting may not be your area of expertise but it remains a necessary part of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

Determine what your monthly goals are and what your yearly goals are. This will also ensure that no task is left undone and success at one level will encourage success in the next. There should be short term and long term goals put in place. There you should have personal and business goals. In the same light, encourage your team of workers to come up with goals for the team and then personal goals that will ease the attainment of the team goals.

Have a business plan

Plans are vital for reaching your specific goals. Plans serve as a road map that links where you are to where you need to be. Most successful entrepreneurs have plans that cover decades of the business’ life. Others have plans that even include generations to come. This shows a certain level of seriousness and commitment to progress that is rare and it is one reason why we have very few people at the top.

Draw a concise plan for your business and if you do not trust your competence to do it, then seek the help of a professional. The business plan needs not be a whole book. It could be few pages with clear ideas that make vision fulfilment and goal attainment simpler.

Focus and commitment

Success, even for entrepreneurs is a result of focus and commitment. Focus is an absolute necessity for goal achievement and vision realization. One has to also be very committed to maintain focus. Be committed to yourself, to the business, and to your workers. It takes focus and commitment to persist with something and make consistent progress. Distracted entrepreneurs hardly make it to the top. You cannot be the entrepreneur who is into every line of business. efforts will be maximal but progress minimal. Keep your business efforts and investments within certain areas and concentrate on those areas. Someone once said success is the result of commitment to the same thing over time.  

Understand the value of a customer

It is sad to say that some entrepreneurs do not understand the value of their customers. At the beginning, when an entrepreneur needs many customers to at least break even, he knows he can’t help but treat them specially and go the extra mile to ensure that his goods or services satisfy their tastes and meet their demands. That is good, but that entrepreneur need to figure out why those actions are important and why he needs to keep doing them whether or not the business has a large customer base. A single customer has the power to either promote or hinder sales.

It is one of the most important qualities of an entrepreneur to understand how valuable the people they serve are. Seek out ways to please those who have trusted and chosen your products or services, knowing that there are many others they could have chosen from. Never put your customers in a position where they regret using your services or purchasing your goods. Make it your business to ensure they constantly have the best possible impression about your business and ensure that your workers strive towards the same objective.

Value and build a reputation

The bible calls it a good name and says it is more important than great wealth. When you think of the brand names Apple and Samsung, what first comes to your mind? Of course, quality and style. Apple for example has built a reputation that makes the name almost synonymous to quality and uniqueness. Today they proudly say “we are an expensive brand” and yes they are. Yet they can still boast of featuring within the first three most demanded telephone brands. The point is, the company from the onset made it their duty to secure and keep a good name and they have done so for years now. No doubt people around the world are willing to spend a fortune to get an Apple gadget. What is your business name famous for? What do customers say about your products or services?

 Develop long standing relationships

 To succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need to develop long standing relationships. Relationships that have the potential easing attainment of goals and objectives. Such relationships include those you have with mentors, with workers or employees as well as other businesses that are either directly or indirectly linked to your business. Understanding the value and importance of relationships is a necessary part of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. One of the most fundamental qualities of an entrepreneur is the ability to start, develop and keep important relationships.

Remember these three; passion, perseverance and a positive attitude

These are the three powerful “P”s necessary for becoming an entrepreneur. Through it all, you must have the passion to put in your best, the perseverance to stay the course and a positive attitude that brings out the best from the worse situations.

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