In 1980 John Paul Dejoria and Paul Mitchell joined forces to form the John Paul Mitchell systems and used a loan of $700 to establish their business. Today, it is a billion-dollar business that survived numerous rejections and dead-ends to have a happy ending. Ironically, Dejoria was told by his teacher that “he would never succeed at anything”.
Leslie “Les” H. Wexner left law school at the University of Ohio and borrowed $5,000 to establish a clothing store known as The Limited. The company which was established in 1963 now has multiple lines of products, including the renowned Victoria’s Secret, which generate billions of dollars each year in revenue. The examples of these two impressive men and countless others who transformed an idea into a passion, and later into a successful business by demonstrating important traits like those found in the Entrepreneurial Personality course make it evident that entrepreneurship is real. But what are the working habits that successful entrepreneurs have that distinguish them from those who are struggling to get their foot in the door?
Passion For What They Do
Passion fuels motivation and creates bridges in even the lost dismal situations. With passion, entrepreneurs build their brands by first believing in their products to later sell their pitch to clients. Passion does not create a sense of burdensome obligation, but instead a deep sense of personal fulfillment that keeps entrepreneurs actively involved in their business ideas even when countless rejections paint a different picture. They do not lose hope when investment pitches are thrown through the door or when the company is taking long to make a profit. In their heart they believe that their business idea is so good that they want the world to experience first-hand its effects.
Passion should not be blind and must be grounded on proper research to identify the feasibility prospects of a business idea. There are those entrepreneurs, however, who will create a market in a non-exist industry or put up a fight against fierce competition to offer a product that has different qualities to that of a competitor. It is passion that will allow these individuals to believe that their products is worth the time and effort to keep them motivated.
A business that does not listen to its clients will hardly be around long enough to be remembered as an influential force in a market. In an interview with Forbes Magazine, John Paul Dejoria advised that “real attention” must be invested in clients. It is easy to understand why; a client that believes that his voice is getting somewhere with a company is highly likely to invest in the products the company offers and even recommend it to a friend of colleague. Listening does not involve tricking clients into saying what the business wants to hear, but in paying close attention to the negatives and positives. The aim for successful entrepreneurs is to use the two opinions to offer the best services and always strive to offer even better. Successful entrepreneurs are never satisfied with “okay” but work to give their clients high value for their money.
An entrepreneur who truly listens to clients will not be tardy in implementing change, but is always prepared to go back to the drawing board to identify areas that can be improved or even scrap an idea all together. Listening can be done through various means such as: surveys, feedback systems, complaint and recommendation analyses among other possibilities.
Listening should also take into consideration what mentors and even other have to say. Entrepreneurs who believe in personal and professional development will readily accept that they do not know everything and as such take the necessary steps to get sound advice from trusted people.
People Matter Attitude
Chairman of Marriott International, John Willard “Bill” Marriott, Jr. revealed in Forbes Magazine interview that one of the five ingredients for success is “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your customers”. When entrepreneurs invest in people and less in a voracious appetite to make a huge profits to become the next billion of the year, their companies are more likely to survive. Employees are clients and very few entrepreneurs understand this connection too late.
When employees like a product that their company offers, they too will be willing to spread the word about it. In essence they are the first clients that come in contact with the services and products entrepreneurs have so they should be the first to be enthused with its promotion. A sales representative, for example, will show very little enthusiasm for a product if he believes he is being exploited by the company. Furthermore, by investing in employee development companies will have less to worry about regarding employee retention.
Clients should also be treated with respect and transparency. Entrepreneurs who build their business around these principles attract loyal clients that believe in their products and also provide invaluable feedback about it. Clients will feel they matter when customer service is designed to be helpful and not deliberately frustrating, the company honors its promise to provide excellent products at fair prices and encourage customer appreciation through different programs.
Good Money Management
Money management is essential to guarantee a successful businesses because it serves as a tool to identify available resources and how these should be allocated efficiently. Successful entrepreneurs who initially had limited financial powers to take their business ideas to the next level have to approach investors to boost their chances of securing the capital they need. Those who focus on building confidence in their brand and provide the necessary assurance through market and feasibility studies about the possibilities that exist in the market will get the attention of investors. However, investors will also need to sense that the entrepreneur has a money management plan in place before they decide to invest. The course on How to Create An Investable Pitch offers some excellent guidelines about this important step. The blog post How to Raise 1 Million As A First Time Entrepreneur is useful for those entrepreneurs whose capital aims are big enough to ignore rejection.
Excellent Leadership Skills
Entrepreneurs who lead by example and not just by giving orders from the top demonstrate an important leadership trait. This builds confidence in the business, and both employees and clients alike are more likely to see the business through instead of writing it off altogether. As effective leaders, successful entrepreneurs know that they they need the best talents to work with to take the ideas from paper to reality. As leaders they implement plans and are not afraid to have parameters that measure their performance and that of their business. They work with the concept that an assessment of their work and the work of those involved in the company provide the necessary guidelines for change that clients and employees are looking to the leader to implement. As good leaders they are transparent, resilient in their entrepreneurial endeavors, unbiased, innovative, result-and-people-oriented, determined, and observant.
Normality is Never Part of the Equation
The working habits of successful entrepreneurs do not fall in the category of normal. They rarely take “no” for an answer and are willing to try what some people would consider “crazy” to bring a new product and service to the market. There are exceptions to this, and these people are equally successful as those that go beyond social and business norms to bring their ideas before the crowd.
Time Management Regime
Being an entrepreneur is not easy and in many cases the call of duty goes beyond normal working hours. Entrepreneurs who believe in the concepts of the course Starting a Business know that they will have to work more hours to develop their brand. In doing this, they implement a time management regime with the aim of getting the most out their day. They pay less attention attention to their Facebook likes and smartphone messages and more attention to their business plan and the steps forward to take their business off the ground. They usually designate specific times of the day to accomplish certain tasks and follow their regime to ensure that productivity is at the front-line. Instead of working hard, they work smart with the time they have and are not afraid to maintain a calendar and post-it notes full of different tasks that must be accomplished. In a nutshell, they have a plan and are doing everything they can to achieve their goals by balancing the time they have on hands.
Develop a Business Plan and Stick With It
Entrepreneurs who develop the habit of using and updating the business plan they developed at the start of their business are more likely to avoid pitfalls in the future. When they use the business plan as a guide, they are actively assessing how their performance is aligned with the forecast and plans they first implemented. They are not afraid to update their business plan to reflect important changes that take into consideration shifts in technology, market, feasibility and any other area that will directly or indirectly affect their business.
Networking matters and entrepreneurs who use the different tools available to interact with the right people always realize that these business relationships provide an important link to success. An entrepreneur’s network usually includes people that share similar values and more often than not are willing to openly give advice and suggestions that other people shy away from giving. Sometimes this advice is essential in changing the course a business is taking to consider an alternative that is better. Through networking, lines of mentors are created and potential referrals become a reality.
There is also social networking which entrepreneurs who are up-to-date with the latest technological developments are all too ready to use to reach clients and potential inventors in their brands. They also know that networking is not a one-lane street and as such these entrepreneurs are willing to consider the interest of people that want to become part of their social or professional circles. The focus in networking should be on building business relationships that matter and in which genuinely exists an interest in seeing each other grow.
Becoming an entrepreneur is a rewarding experience that gives autonomy and financial latitude to individuals who are are willing to invest the time and effort to follow their dreams and business plans. To accomplish this, branding is an important part of any business and entrepreneurs that want to succeed must demonstrate the habits mentioned above and also know what they intend to do to take their brand before the masses. The course Entrepreneur Brand Accelerator provides 68 lectures that covers leadership to profile awareness that all aspiring entrepreneurs should know. Even with limited capital, the possibilities of a good idea are endless.