3 Ways to Transform Yourself Into the Entrepreneur You Want to Be
A Note From The Editor
Think your company has what it takes to make our Top Company Cultures list? Apply now.Apply now »
Just because that lightbulb went off in your head and you’ve started a business does not mean that you're 100 percent satisfied with who you are as an entrepreneur.
Indeed the life of entrepreneurs can be full of trial and error. If they try something and it doesn’t work, they often move on to the next project.
When it comes to personality traits, entrepreneurs tend to be passionate, resilient and assertive. But even so, starting out they might sense they're missing something and need reinforcement in critical areas to help them become the best they could be.
If that sounds like your experience, here are three ways to transform yourself into the entrepreneur that you’ve always wanted to be:
1. Define what success means to you.
Success means something different for every entrepreneur. For some, it means having a certain amount of money in a bank account. For others, it's all about being able to pay the bills by working at a job that makes them happy.
Entrepreneurs are the types of individuals who recognize when it's time take advantage of an opportunity. They become passionate about an idea. Yet, an idea and passion can only take you so far.
As you start putting the pieces together, sit back and ask yourself what you want the end game to be? How are you going to make this great idea a reality?
Understand your skills and limitations -- and find people to do the tasks you’re not familiar with. Set realistic goals and achieve them. Know what you want to do. If your goal is to take a startup public, write a timeline for doing so.
When you define what success means to you and start noticing its early signs, you’ll be motivated to keep working toward the goals you’ve established.
I'm careful to write down all my ideas and goals.
"You really have to focus on removing the distractions," my good friend Brent Csutoras always tells me. "If you're an entrepreneur and have a desire to succeed, then your positive driving factors are already in place. It is the distractions, the bad habits, the doubts that cause you to falter, quit or fail."
Many people describe the process of envisioning success and believing in it, so that when they make decisions (in any aspect of their life), they're guided toward their success. Look at yourself deeply and identify the excuses that you cling to, the bad habits that derail you and then really focus on removing them from your life. Define success in your own eyes.
Related: Overcoming Entrepreneurial Envy
2. Ask for help.
Of course life would be easier if you were already familiar with the industry that you’re attempting to break into, the products, services, customers and even the business model. But what if you’re daring to enter a field or market for which you have no training or experience?
There’s no shame in asking for help or posing many questions. It’s not a sign of weakness either. In fact, Richard Branson has said the Virgin Group became successful because in its early years managers kept asking questions. Figure out who you can turn to for advice and answers.
One of the easiest places to look is at home. Branson asked his mother for advice. She told him to take advantage of every opportunity. You might not have to venture too far from your circle of personal contacts. Is there a friend, family member or spouse who can help you solve a problem?
Seek out advice from people who have already gone through this journey. If you’re aware of someone in your industry who has already launched a successful business, his or her knowledge and experience can be priceless. Indeed, the founder of Laker Airways was thconvinced Branson to become the face of Virgin.
Seek out experienced business professionals who can assist you with matters ranging from legal to investing concerns. Consult Angel List to find mentors. Search for people who advise many companies.
3. Surround yourself with allies.
By now you’ve come to realize that you can’t do everything on your own. That’s why you have to surround yourself with a great team. These are the people who will fill in the gaps in specific knowledge areas. For example, you may be able to develop an app but have no idea ow to market it. That’s when you would need to bring in someone with marketing experience.
More important, however, your team will keep you going when you need to catch a second breath. Because there will be long hours and many obstacles to clear, you’re going to need team members who are passionate and enthusiastic about your idea and business. The boost in morale also isn’t just good for team members. It can carry over to how staffers create a great customer experience.
You'll need individuals who can not only help you with your weak areas but also who can complement your strengths. These will be the people to pick you up when you’re down or celebrate with you when you’ve achieved a goal. And they will be the ones who will help the business grow and help you become the entrepreneur you’ve always wanted to be.