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New Research Reveals 4 Personality Traits That Most Wealthy Entrepreneurs Share In the book "Rich Habits," author and CPA Tom Corley shares the daily success habits of his most successful clients.

By Tom Corley Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

We lionize successful entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. They inspire and motivate us to pursue greatness. We study them to learn their secrets to success.

When we peel the onion, common factors such as finding the courage to pursue a dream, having a clear vision, working long hours, persistence, passion, and focus often reveal themselves.

Most entrepreneurs put everything on the line: lifetime savings, the equity in their homes, retirement assets, time with family and friends. They take courageous risks, often going into debt to pursue their dreams.

The number of balls entrepreneurs have in the air is overwhelming.

  • Entrepreneurs have to figure out a way to fund their business to get it off the ground.
  • Entrepreneurs have to figure out a way to grow their business with limited funds.
  • Entrepreneurs simultaneously manage employees, contractors, vendors, business partners, business relationships and customers.
  • Entrepreneurs have to create processes that work. This is a trial and error process that takes many years to complete.
  • Entrepreneurs have to manage limited cash flow and deal with shortfalls to make payroll.
  • Entrepreneurs are often pulled in ten directions at one time, which causes enormous stress and saps them of their energy.
  • Entrepreneurs often have to deal with marital problems caused by their absence or financial struggles.
  • And, if they are a parent, Entrepreneurs have the most important responsibility — being a mom or dad to their children — while starting, growing and running their business.

It's a wonder anyone would choose to become an entrepreneur.

From the research I conducted for my book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, I identified four habits that every successful Entrepreneur must forge in order to succeed:

1. They survive until they thrive.

When things go wrong and life throws the Entrepreneur a gut punch, successful Entrepreneurs do whatever it takes to Survive. They will work around the clock for many days, weeks or months to fix what went wrong. They will somehow find the money they need to buy time in order to solve a seemingly intractable problem. They willingly sacrifice time with family and friends, prioritizing finding a solution, to everything else in their life.

2. They learn to pivot.

When Entrepreneurs are in Survival Mode, the successful ones figure out, very quickly, what works and what doesn't work and then pivot from doing what doesn't work to what does work. Successful entrepreneurs are master pivoters. They learn how to shift gears, change direction and alter their course or the path they take in order to keep moving forward towards the realization of their dream.

This may be the real secret to their success.

A typical airplane flight is off course 90% of the time during its flight. Pilots and the onboard computer systems continuously focus on the end, the destination, and make constant course corrections during the flight to arrive at the destination.

Successful entrepreneurs are no different. They make constant course corrections during their entrepreneurial journey in the pursuit of their dreams and goals. When their actions do not produce the results they desire, they pivot. When the people they work with are unable to help move them forward, they find other people. When a product or service fails to deliver, they tweak that product or service until it sells. They constantly alter what they are doing, find another route and then take that route. They do this over and over again until they achieve their goals and realize their dreams.

3. They control their emotions.

Emotional control is the Superpower of every sucessful entrepreneur. One of the Entrepreneurs in my Rich Habits Study told me that when they are faced with an emotional situation, they repeat to themselves over and over – Be Like Spok. Spok is a Vulcan character in the Star Trek series who has mastered his emotions and is therefore able to make decisions based solely on logic.

Controlling your emotions is important because when the emotional part of your brain takes control, it partially shuts down the pre-frontal cortex, which is the logic center of the brain. Decisions made in an emotional state are almost always bad decisions. By mastering their emotions, successful entrepreneurs make logical decisions, which are almost always the best decisions.

4. They stay positive.

It virtually impossible to succeed as an entrepreneur with a negative mindset. Negativity puts the emotional centers of the brain in control while shutting down the logical/analytical centers of the brain, as mentioned above.

When you make decisions using the emotional centers of the brain, those decisions are always bad decisions. And decisions made out of fear are always the worst of the worst, bad decisions you can make.

Even worse, a negative mindset disrupts the normal operations of the parasympathetic system, depresses the immune system and can lead to depression and disease.

So, to succeed as an entrepreneur, it's critical to maintain a positive outlook.

Entrepreneurs who maintain a positive mental outlook, are better able to handle everyday stress and have their entire brain working for them. They are more creative and the beneficiaries of something called insight. Insight is that spark of genius that solves seemingly intractable problems with one thought.

The most successful entrepreneurs have forged the habit of staying positive during stressful situations. They understand that positivity is the springboard of all creativity and insight. And solutions to problems require creativity and insight. Positivity expands your thinking, marshalls the resources of your entire brain and is critical to problem-solving.

Tom Corley

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

AUTHOR, CPA, CFP, SPEAKER

Tom Corley is a CPA and CFP, holds an M.S. in taxation and is a bestselling/award-winning author. His books include: Rich Habits; Rich Kids; Change Your Habits Change Your Life; Rich Habits Poor Habits; Effort-Less Wealth; and Rich Habits Wealth Academy.

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