[quote style=”boxed”]Which habits will you add to your entrepreneurial process?[/quote]
We’ve all heard of the “7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, but what are the habits of successful entrepreneurs? IdeaMensch routinely asks its interviewees the question: “As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else to do?”
This post features nine tips from 11 of the most recent IdeaMensch interviews. I expected the advice to stack up into a few common groupings, but instead I found a really solid list of inspiring and unique insights which make me want to get out my “To Do” list and apply the suggestions.
Which habits will you add to your entrepreneurial process?
Do the Hardest Thing First
“Do the hardest thing first and get it out of the way,” states Carmen Ciricillo, Creator of Construction Comedy. “When I first started, I relied on making phone calls to drum up business. That was the toughest part of my business so I would do it early in the day and get it done.”
Co-Active Coach David Frank Gomes regularly makes a conscious effort to enjoy what he’s doing. Says David, “Enjoy the journey. Enjoy the process…. and stop believing in the finish line… there isn’t one, and while we are at it, I have abolished the word goal from my vocabulary and replaced it with vision.”
“Fail. The more ambitious a project, the less sure you can be that it will succeed. Being okay with failure lets me try all sorts of things I might not have attempted otherwise. Almost all of my best successes came out of this process,” explains Joshua Siler, Founder and CTO of HiringThing. HiringThing is a SaaS provider that helps companies post jobs online, manage applicants and hire great employees that was built at Joshua’s former employer during efforts to find a better way to hire new talent. Said another way, the failure of existing systems to help Joshua’s previous employer find needed talent spurred the creation of new software which is now HiringThing.
“Learn as much as you can,” says Jordan Ruden, Founder of One Eyed Acres. “I am always teaching myself new skills and reading as much as possible.” This constant learning has been especially important for Jordan as he has worked to recover from developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and spending approximately 18 months rebuilding his life.
Josh Cramer agrees that regular learning is a key habit to have as an entrepreneur. He says, “I regularly seek opportunities to put myself in situations where I’m not the smartest guy in the room. Once you master your craft, it’s easy to surround yourself with people who are less experienced and less talented than you are. It’s easy to go to conferences that are focused on the areas in which you are an expert. But I’ve always grown the most when I find myself in a situation where I am encountering someone brilliant in a subject matter I am not an expert in. I seek these opportunities because they help me remain creative, and they challenge me to think differently.” Josh is the CEO and founder of Cramer Development, a world-class web and mobile application development team.
“Constantly listen to your customers: explicitly through feedback and implicitly through their actions. Always listen qualitatively and beware of listening quantitatively too soon,” warns Siddharth Batra, Co-Founder of the directory of people and their purchases, Mine.
Adriaan Smit’s message is short and to the point, “Keep at it! A quitter never gets anywhere.” As the inventor of WavyWand, he understands what it takes to come up with a product idea, test it, and follow it through to creation.
Similarly a man of few words, the advice of Kent Houston, Founder and CEO of Patch Planters, is to “Try, try, and try again.”
I wonder why Adriaan and Kent use so few words to describe the thing they do over and over and recommend to others. The most logical answer for me is that they are men of action not of words. Speaking of which, I better get back at the task at hand myself – finishing this blog post.
Jack Bergman, President of Allied Business Network, utilizes business plan writing as the way forward. He says, “I always recommend for every entrepreneur to have a business plan. A business plan is crucial; it’s a way to organize and recognize. Having a business plan not only forces you to write your thoughts about the business down, but also forces you to think through all your strategies for success and growth, as well as help you think through future problems you have yet to encounter. Business models can always be adjusted in the future, but without one, the road towards success is much more unlikely. The reason why a business model is repetitive and done over and over is because you’re constantly re-strategizing and tweaking your model.”
Aly Khalifa, founder of Gamil Design, a design firm specializing in invention development and product launch for some of the most exciting sports brands in the world, recommends readers to “Start small, and wipe those stars right out of your eyes. To do something big you have to start at the ground level yourself so you can appreciate what really needs to be done as things scale up.”
“Work, don’t worry,” recommends Richard Myers, Founder and CEO of Realty Capital. “ The more time you spend obsessing over something, the more likely it is to actually become a problem in your life — it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your productivity and your contentment will be drastically improved by simply putting your head down and working. It will clear your head and help you make decisions based on logic, not fear.”
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.