What does an entrepreneur need to create a successful company? The right mindset is a big part of it. Here are some tips.
As an entrepreneur, you devote half your time or more to the daily hustle, making things happen and accomplishing goals. The other half is looking ahead, knowing where you want to be and when. For some, overcoming the mental anxiety of uncertainty is the first big step.
Om Malik, a tech business writer, faced these uncertainties when he set up his own media site, GigaOM, six years ago.
"Those nights of self-reflection during the early startup phase exposed me to a lot of my own demons and made me realize how little I knew,"
Malik recalled in an interview with Ventureburn.
"The biggest outcome of that conversation was the realization that companies and startups are essentially a reflection of a founder. If a founder doesn't realize that, then it is going to be extremely difficult to build a long-term business."
For some of you, your business is a direct reflection of your passions and interests. For others, entrepreneurship means taking quick advantage of a trend that no one else saw, and making it into a great exit strategy.
That's what Bleacher Report founder Bryan Goldberg did. He founded a sports content site, worked it hard and turned it into a big financial gain. Goldberg writes at PandoDaily that he wants to do another content site to continue making money. He reasons that content sites are easy to start and run, and they work better than other Web business models.
"Even a reasonably small content company can bring in a few million dollars per year early in its existence, to keep itself healthy," he wrote.
So how can you strike it rich as an entrepreneur? What does it take to succeed?
Businesses that came before us left behind a trail of best practices and cautionary tales to explore. Lately, I tell people to get real about their entrepreneurial capacity. Take a long look at your financial status, connections, online presence and energy. If you understand your entrepreneurial strengths, your financial incentives and the outcome you hope to achieve, then you're already on the way there.
Here are some attributes you must have to drive your business ahead.
1. Have a positive vision.
Embrace a millionaire's mindset. Starting a business is a huge risk, but you have to believe in yourself. Imagine yourself with credit for the business and money to do with what you please. Make a few phone calls, share your vision with other like-minded individuals and ask for help making it a reality.
The greatest ideas of the past 25 years all seemed far-fetched at some point, and yet the founders pursued their individual vision with others who could help. If thinkers like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos were too rational, practical or realistic, they may have never founded companies that make our lives better today.
2. Manage your ego.
Ego works only as far as much as you let it. As a founder, ego and charisma can help make people around you committed to getting onboard with the business. But left unchecked, an entrepreneur's ego can also get in the way of good business savvy. Good entrepreneurs find it better to diminish that hungry ego in favor of sharing and caring.
Successful tech whiz-kids often bring more stable, level-headed pros to manage operational aspects of fast-growing businesses. A driven entrepreneur needs to know that having the right team around him, without a rampant ego, can bring a greater sense of fulfillment.
3. Obtain financial guidance.
If you're a creative genius with a head for sales but no brain for finance, you might find yourself steering near a rocky coast without help. Retain a tax professional to put aside tax money for you, and keep track of your income and expenses with a business credit card. American Express, for instance, itemizes professional purchases and provides year-end statements with expenses broken down by categories, which helps you save on an accountant's fees and understand your financials better.
4. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Too often, entrepreneurs feel they can handle everything. To everyone else, it's obvious that they can't, so pay attention to the warning signs of job burnout, and don't be afraid to delegate work or shake up your schedule. For example, instead of scheduling meetings for an hour allotment, cut that in half. Two back-to-back 30-minute meetings feel less sluggish.
5. Remember your king.
Your client, partner or customer is king. Don't forget that. Never losing sight of who you need to impress or sell is key to a successful entrepreneurial venture. Make sure you remember to put 90% of your efforts into pleasing the king.
Follow some of these tips to make your path to entrepreneurial success move a little smoother and easier. Overcome the difficulty and follow your dreams.