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3 Steps to Become the Empowered Entrepreneur You Want to Be Want to be effective? "Don't wait for others" is the first lesson.

By Joanie Connell Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What's the difference between effective vs. ineffective people? Effective people take responsibility for their own success.

Related: What Truly Matters Most in Life and in the Game of Business

In short, they don't wait around for the company to hand them a mentor and a plan. Effective people take action to get things done -- especially if they're entrepreneurs. They don't wait around for help. That's not to say that effective people don't ask for help; they do. They seek help when they need it and find a way to keep moving forward when it's not available.

That's because effective people are empowered.

Being empowered means feeling confident in your abilities and knowing you can access the resources needed to accomplish what you want. It means having a level of control over yourself and the world around you and being comfortable with what you cannot control. It's about thinking for yourself and being true to yourself. Being empowered enables you to get things done. Entrepreneurs, more than anyone, need to be empowered to succeed.

Young entrepreneurs often have great ideas but don't know how to get out there and do it themselves. Here are some "empowerment" tips they can use:

1. Take responsibility for learning what you need; don't expect others to teach you.

Entrepreneurs rarely suffer from a lack of academic or intellectual skills. But, more than anything, entrpreneurs need practical skills. They are all about getting things done, and that usually means learning on the go. Becoming fluent in social media is a necessary skill that many -- especially older -- entrepreneurs still need to learn. Younger entrepreneurs more often need to gain political savvy and communication skills.

No matter what you need to learn, you need to learn it quickly and while you're working. That means you don't have time to step out for a class (not that there is one on political savvy anyway). You may not have the money to pay someone to teach you, either. This is when it helps to network with other entrepreneurs willing to exchange knowledge and information. You help them and they help you back. In the case of social media and political savvy, inter-generational pairings might be a wise choice.

Related: How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done

2. Initiate action; don't wait for others to give you directions.

You snooze, you lose is the old adage. While you wait around for someone to tell you what to do, someone else is already doing it. As entrepreneurs, we don't have that kind of time. We need to jump into gear and beat the competition.

Initiating action often involves some sort of risk. There's risk of failing, losing money, wasting time and looking foolish, among other things. Being able to assess risk and be comfortable with it are necessary prerequisites to initiating action. Sure, there are plenty of books on assessing business risk. The psychological part, however, is trickier. You need to train yourself to be comfortable with ambiguity and fear and be confident you can pick yourself back up no matter how hard you fall.

3. Find ways to keep going; don't let setbacks stop you from making progress.

Resourcefulness and resilience are the keys you need to keep going in the face of setbacks. You need to be resilient to stay positive, keep your energy up and not give up. Entrepreneurs fail a lot. The successful ones don't let those failures get them down. They learn from their mistakes and correct themselves and try again until they get it right. To build resilience, you need to practice failing -- and getting back up.

Being resourceful is important when you need to find alternative ways to get things done. Life rarely turns out the way you expect it to, and you need to be flexible and creative to steer around obstacles and break through barriers. Resourcefulness means there is no "right" answer; rather, there is always another way.

To develop resourcefulness, practice looking at things from different perspectives and questioning assumptions. You'd be surprised at how much we limit our own thinking with the assumptions we make.

So, go ahead, empower yourself.

Take action, don't wait. Make mistakes and learn. Figure out how to get things done. That's how effective entrepreneurs succeed.

Related: The 8 Traits Shared by the Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Joanie Connell

Talent Management Expert and Author

Joanie B. Connell, Ph.D. is the founder of Flexible Work Solutions, a nationally recognized consulting firm that specializes in leadership assessment, development, and retention for all levels–executives, professionals, early career, and youth. Dr. Connell is the author of “Flying Without a Helicopter: How to Prepare Young People for Work and Life,” forecasted for release in late 2014. 

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