Are you planning on becoming a startup entrepreneur? Do you think you have what it takes to be the next greatest success? Well it is not all luck, but instead it is all about you and who you are. 

Learning how to grow yourself and focusing on these key critical traits will certainly help you survive the entrepreneurial roller coaster yet to come.

If you lack these traits, or they may not be your strong points, then work on them, and focus on building them up each day.

Focusing on growing your skills in these traits will get your startup out of the red and into a positive cash flow. Or in other words, become successful.

Grow in Self-awareness

The single most important factor to a successful startup is YOU. It starts with your idea, and your ability to execute successfully. But what makes YOU? 

Well it is your self-awareness that creates who you are. It is your ability to know your strengths and weaknesses. Learning what you are good at and leveraging it to your benefit is how you can excel. 

This also goes for knowing your weaknesses so you can focus on improving them. No one is perfect but when you understand yourself, you are able to begin working on making improvements. Be mindful of your flaws and seek to develop them into skills.

After all it all starts with YOU and it takes YOU to make yourself, so become self-aware of who you are and how you can grow further.

Learn to Stand Through the Hits

Every day your startup will be taking hits left and right. Some will be harder than others. Become resilient and learn how to keep standing through all the punches. 

Being an entrepreneur in a startup is not easy. It’s a roller coaster ride that will hit you in the gut a few times over and over. Learn to get aquatinted to sudden hits and become mentally stronger within yourself.

One day the economy might suddenly crash, or your banker decides you are now in default of your small business loan, or a sudden legal situation may erupt in your face. This is all part of the startup roller coaster ride. Getting yourself accustomed to these hits will make you stronger the next time they come.

Be aware these hits are going to come randomly without prediction, so don’t live in fear and prevent yourself from success, but instead push ever forward towards your end goal.

If you would like to learn more about overcoming your fear, check out this great guide!

Be Patient with Results

Nothing happens all at once and results generally never instantaneously come. If you are seeking success, you must be in it for the long game!

With any startup, there are no shortcuts, and there is no easy way. Cutting corners only leads to poor performance in the long run. If you decide to reduce your staffing levels, customer service or overall production will be negatively impacted. Using lower quality products in place of higher quality will decrease the value of your brand. Impatience leads to disappointment and dissatisfaction.

Impatience roots back to unrealistic expectations and lack of cash in your startup. You should not expect to be sitting on a beach cash flowing six figures a month any time soon. It takes time to nurture, grow, and develop your business into the next multi-national conglomerate. 

Instead focus on having patience with the goal in mind. Work each day towards the development of your startup. With patience and persistence your startup will thrive. 

Be Humble, Curious & Ready to Learn

When starting your new endeavor, the only thing you know is that you know nothing. Going into your new venture with a mindset that you already know it all will only guarantee failure. No one knows everything when they are starting out, and neither will you.

You may have been successful in another area of your life, but starting a new venture puts you back at the bottom. Be humble and curious to learn more. The only thing you know is that you do not know how to be successful just yet.

Successful startup entrepreneurs understand they must continuously learn and sharpen their craft. As their businesses evolve, they too must develop. An entrepreneur’s business can only grow to the skills they contain. Thus to be successful, an entrepreneur must always be humble, curious, and continue to learn.

In any new venture, your strongest asset will be knowing you have much more to learn. Be committed to developing yourself and your business. Spend the time learning your business and build the asset value of your venture.

Muster Massive Amounts of Energy & Enthusiasm

Energy and enthusiasm are the life blood to any startup. When times get tough and things are not looking good, it is your positive energy and enthusiasm that will keep your startup going. After all, you are the fuel that powers the vehicle.

If you elect to take a day off, or start your day late, your startup does the same. And how can your business be successful if you aren’t working on it? 

Instead build the momentum waking up every day devoting the energy and enthusiasm to keep going. When you have momentum, it becomes easier. Success naturally follows.

Your business is a mirror image of you. If you stop, so does your business. Keep yourself going, be positive, devote the energy building momentum, and your business will follow.

For anyone who may be an introvert or lacking the energy, then fake it! The expression fake it till you make is works here. The whole point is to push for a winning business, as no one wants to be associated with a failing one.

Model Dependability & Dedication

Your business is a reflection of you. If your startup business is not performing, then look at yourself. Practice extreme ownership in your business as everything falls back on you.

This is even more amplified when you have employees. The saying “Show, don’t tell” goes to play here. Lead by example and set the stage for how things are to be run. If you show up late or let small things slide by, so will your team. This always leads to poor performance.

Instead set the example on how things should be run. Get into the business with your team and over perform. Your team must see and feel the dedication you have. This dedication must overflow into your all of your relationships both personal and professional giving off an additive dedicated glow.

Unfortunately this also means passing up that vacation, or night out with the guys. There are no breaks. Either you are working towards your goal, or working against it.

Master the Power of Focus

I have talked about the power of focus several times now. It is the essential key to success. When you are able to master it, suddenly everything becomes clear and straight forward.

Focus gives you clarity on one thing. It removes the distractions and drives all of your energy into one goal. Here less is more. For example Apple is focused on selling a limited line of products that that creates their success instead of venturing too far away from their core line. Per Steve Jobs, he has been quoted for saying:

Focus is narrowing down what is essential and profitable and putting all of your attention in that area. An easy way to figure out what should be cut is: if it does not relate to selling your core product, it should not be sold. Focus on building your brand by providing specific exceptional products that define you.

Keep your business simple and don’t try to bolt on more and more things. When you get exceptionally good, maybe you could look into expanding out further. I wouldn’t do that thought until after you have successfully saturated your current market.

Nothing Is Perfect - Lighten Up Your Control Freak

Perfection is a double edged sword. Not enough and you have an incomplete business, too much and you haven’t progressively moved forward. There is a fine line with startups where too much perfection will will distract you from the underlying goal of making money.

The general rule of thumb here is 80% is better than 100%. Or in Sheryl Sanberg’s words: “Done is better than perfect”. Follow the Pareto principle and selectively procrastinate what you do and do not need to make money. A cash flowing business is a growing business!

Many times startup entrepreneurs find themselves overwhelmed with too many ancillary things to get done. They need to negotiate the best lease for their store, or come up with the best business plan, or design the perfect logo. All of this is nonsense and takes away from the core reason why they are going into business, and that is to make money!

Leave Your Ego Behind

Check your ego at the door! Starting your own business means you are not out to impress, but instead to prove. Being a startup entrepreneur involves ignoring what others think and instead focusing on what you want. Your ego is only justified by what others think, and in a startup we don’t care what others think. We only care about results.

When you are starting your business, you are not going to be that top successful CEO and Founder. You are not going to have that easy fun living on a beach lifestyle. Instead you will be working, failing, growing, learning, and developing.

A startup entrepreneur will be the first in and the last out. They will be doing the jobs no one else wants to do because it is essential to their business. Most importantly, entrepreneurs will be selling!

In a startup, entrepreneurs must sell to survive. Without incoming cashflow, you have no business!

In sales, you are going to hear many people’s opinions and what they think. Many of those will include “No’s” and other forms of rejection. Here in these situations, your ego will serve you no purpose and only put you down and prevent you from achieving.

Put that ego away and look at every no as a sense of empowerment to do better next time. Getting a “No” only means you did not do your job right.

Having an ego will only get in the way of you learning and developing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ignore what others think. Put that ego away and you will succeed.

Recommend Reading
We highly recommend this book for any startup entrepreneur. There are many great examples that you can apply within your own entrepreneurial experience.

Begin with the End in Mind

Where do you want to be in five or ten years? Have you put much thought into this?

Setting a goal and living into that goal everyday is essential for success. When starting out, begin by picking your destination. Do you want to be a billionaire and own your own island? Or maybe you want to create the greatest market changer.

No matter what you think of, push yourself everyday to live into that dream. Every day you will be given a chance to either contribute to your goal, or take away from it. You decide!

The whole point here is you are focusing on an end goal. The total end game for you that will say you made it. Think big, as you only cap your potential with what you are able to dream up.

Each you work towards that end goal and everyday you will find yourself getting closer and closer.


Additional Resources

Book Cover: Grind: A No-Bullshit Approach to Take Your Business from Concept to Cash Flow
by Michael J. McFall

A successful startup entrepreneur Michael J. McFall lays down the facts to starting your own business. As he goes into his experience starting his own coffee shop franchise, Michael lays out a clear to the point down to earth approach.

We highly recommend this book for any startup entrepreneur looking to gain some additional insight on what it is like for others struggling as well.

by Zig Ziglar

A legend when it comes to personal development, Zig Ziglar will always seek to inspire you over an over again. 

This book we actually recommend getting the audio book version so you can pick up on all of Zig’s humor. It is a joy to listen to this book and will open your mind with great common sense we all should have known by now in our lives. You will enjoy this one!

by Ryan Holiday

Ryan Holiday is the master at pointing out your failure because of your own limiting walls, also known as your ego!

This book is an essential to have in your library and should be re-read to keep your ego in check. 

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