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10 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Never Tolerate Successful people expect more from themselves and from those around them.

By Deep Patel Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

Successful people do things differently. If you study those who excel in business, you'll find a whole litany of common characteristics. These traits help put them on a path to success by creating positive habits. Successful people dare to dream. They dare to venture outside of their comfort zone, and they push themselves -- and those around them -- to new heights.

But did you ever stop to think about the things successful people don't do? This list is just as important. Detrimental behaviors can counteract all those positive traits and turn them into a negative.

For instance, successful people are known for being hardworking risk-takers who find inspiration in the world around them. They are also known to be voracious readers. But what happens if those people allow themselves to become mired in anger, stymied by inaction or wrapped up in toxic relationships? They flounder.

To help you truly understand what gives a high-achieving entrepreneur that edge, here are the 10 things successful people never tolerate in themselves and in those around them.

1. Inaction.

Successful entrepreneurs don't sit around on their butts. They would never tolerate inertia, nor would they allow themselves to linger in their comfort zone. They are constantly striving toward something. Successful people are rarely bored, because they are always exploring something new.

Apathy and laziness will drag you down like a rock tied to your leg in the middle of a lake. Successful entrepreneurs know that time is the most valuable resource they have because it is not renewable. Life is too short to waste in inaction or being a couch potato. True leaders focus on what they can do, right now, and how they can keep moving forward.

Related: 3 Ways to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone and Improve Yourself in 2018

2. Being average.

Successful entrepreneurs never settle for being ordinary -- they are constantly pushing themselves to reach new goals. Simply put, mediocrity is never acceptable. Successful people aren't looking for a routine life; they rail against monotony and always strive to keep things fresh and interesting. Often this means they are always making changes to their routine.

Even small changes can get the brain going and spur creativity. They are constantly looking for ways to rise above the humdrum and the familiar. They are looking to push boundaries, and they have the flexible mindset to do so. They are willing to make tough choices and put in the hard work to reach beyond the mundane and attain their dreams.

Related: How to Be More Than an Average Joe

3. Habitual negativity.

Those who are focused on achieving success do not waste time complaining and they have no tolerance for whining and negativity in others. Successful entrepreneurs avoid negativity because they know it will only hold them back in the long run. Nothing good comes from complaining.

Bellyaching is pointless unless you actually do something about it. If you don't like something, find a way to change it. Take charge of a situation and find a solution or workaround. Negativity only wastes time and creates a toxic environment, neither of which is constructive.

Related: How Complaining Rewires Your Brain for Negativity

4. Giving up (at least not without a fight).

People who give up too quickly or don't have the grit to stick with something often don't believe in themselves. However, successful entrepreneurs know that you don't always have to be the most talented, richest or smartest person in the room.

You can be all of those things and never achieve your end goals. What matters is persistence. Having the perseverance to keep plodding away will take you further than anything else. One must be willing to persist in the face of adversity and be willing to commit to long-term goals. Successful leaders expect nothing less from themselves and those around them.

Related: How to Stay Focused When You Feel Like Giving Up

5. Dishonesty

Successful people understand the importance of living an honest and authentic life. Dishonesty clouds reality and judgment, and ultimately impedes your ability to make good decisions. In the broader picture, dishonesty is often a succession of small compromises that eventually cause you to devalue those things you hold dear.

This goes hand in hand with a refusal to tolerate situations or people that compromise your integrity. When you live with compromised integrity, or allow people into your life or business who have questionable practices or business ethics, it can slowly chip away at your self-respect and eat away at your principles.

Related: Science Has Confirmed That Honesty Really Is the Best Policy in the Workplace

6. Toxic relationships.

If the people you are with are belligerent and difficult, dragging you down with hostility, then you are wasting valuable energy and emotional resources on them. Successful people don't allow themselves to become mired in toxic relationships. They keep their focus firmly on solving problems.

If they have to deal with a negative or toxic personality, they learn to rise above and take control of the situation. They set boundaries. They distance themselves. They redirect conversations or simply ignore negative people. Those who are focused on achieving success know they don't have the time or energy to deal with complainers or get sucked into a negative emotional spiral.

Related: 10 Steps to Ending a Toxic Relationship

7. Wastefulness.

Slackers are never successful. This is because they waste time, money and energy. It takes hard work over the long haul to achieve success. There is no room for undisciplined or wasteful practices. Unhealthy habits will weigh you down and ultimately add to your stress level. Successful people avoid careless, extravagant or destructive practices, because they know such habits throw valuable resources down the drain.

Clean up the clutter, get yourself organized and only keep the things you use. You will feel more capable, clearheaded and energetic if you practice healthy habits, such as eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping your work and living space organized.

Related: Want to Be Successful? Quit Slacking Off.

8. Bloated sense of self-pride.

It's nearly impossible to achieve true success if you believe the world revolves around you. Self-centered people lose their effectiveness because they believe everything is about them. Successful people stay humble and open-minded. They know the focus needs to stay on their business, their customers and the quality of their product.

Remember, there is a difference between having a bloated sense of self-pride and having confidence in yourself, your abilities and your team. People who are arrogant have lost the ability to see their own flaws. They are misguided because they believe they are better than the rest but are not necessarily willing to put in the work to support that belief.

Confident and self-reliant entrepreneurs have worked tirelessly to understand their business so that they can make informed decisions and take action, but they are still able to listen to others and hear other points of view.

Related: The One Thing about Travis Kalanick No One Wants to Admit

9. Ambivalence and indecision.

How many successful entrepreneurs do you know who would be described as confused or indecisive? None. That's because successful people know that nothing will sabotage your career or your life like indecision. Successful people recognize that hesitation will kill their business. There simply isn't room to be ambivalent about your goals. Successful people do not have time or patience for those who dwell in uncertainty.

To achieve success, you must put aside fear and doubt. You must pick a course and stick to it. You will likely deal with failure and adversity along the way. Successful people learn from those mistakes and correct their course, but they always keep going.

Related: 3 Eastern Practices to Tame 'Monkey Mind'

10. Acting out of anger.

Anger, hatred and animosity -- these emotions are paralyzing, overwhelming and toxic to a work environment. We all feel these emotions at times, but successful people learn to focus the energy of their anger on fixing a problem. If they are feeling anger or annoyance, they do something to fix the situation.

They do their best not to take it out on those around them. No one wants to be a human punching bag. No one wants to bear the brunt of someone's resentment or rage. Successful people expect more from themselves and would never tolerate that kind of behavior from those around them.

Deep Patel

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

Serial Entrepreneur

Deep Patel is a serial entrepreneur, investor and marketer. Patel founded Blu Atlas, the fastest-growing men’s personal care brand, and sold it for eight figures in 2023, less than 18 months after its launch.

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