I can’t speak for all successful entrepreneurs and business owners, but with 12 years experience now, I’ve personally interviewed over 500 of the top ½% - 1% income earning entrepreneurs in the US, Canada and Europe. I’ve logged about 18,000 hours of interviews asking them why they win, what their outlook is, and how they built a successful business. I ask about the past and I ask about the future. I ask what’s keeping them up nights and I ask what’s got them excited. Pretty much the same conversation with the same sort of person over and over again.
And with all of that intel, I’ve derived a top ten list of the habits I see with these people. Here’s the list and a short explanation for each:
1. They decide (over and over again) to commit: It might be a surprise but these highly successful people are far from perfect. Many have hard stories in their past or shortcomings that might be considered a non-starter – no college, A.D.D., a lack of polish or social skills, a bad family background, addictions, etc. etc. But it’s the commitment level that distinguishes them from normal people. Time and again I see the person with the biggest commitment wins.
2. They claim the “Golden Hour”: The Golden Hour is that first hour of the morning when no one claims your time. And for my entrepreneurs, they totally employ that time to improve themselves. Ever wonder how these people speak other languages, read books and newspapers, have time for yoga, meditation, gratitude journals and a 5mile run? Well, they’re up at 4am.
3. They are totally accountable: Taking total ownership is a marked difference-maker with this exclusive group of entrepreneurs. They don’t blame the president, the economy, the competition or their staff. The more successful the person, I’ve found, the more they own the whole enchilada. And when they make that switch to ownership and accountability – instead of blame, they can act.
4. They create their way out of problems: When my clients get pinned down or cornered, it’s as though something in their heads gets triggered. Instead of lying down or giving in, they sort of go berserk and create the most innovative strategies of their careers. It’s almost like the genius can’t be triggered unless they are truly challenged.
5. They break the rules – change paradigms: While all are “above-board”, none of my clients like being hemmed in with rules and regulations. And to get their business where they want it to go, many of my most successful are truly innovation and mavericks. “Rules are for other people”, seems to be a shared perspective.
6. They experience and express gratitude: For my clients who read this blog, none of you will be surprised to read this, but for the normal reader it’ll be quite interesting to learn that highly successful people spend a lot of time in a state of appreciation and gratitude.
7. They focus on results – not on activity: This is factory installed for all entrepreneurs ideally because of the way they are paid…but with the most successful, it’s a like a genetic mutation. They focus on effectiveness and not simply on being busy.
8. They enlist and coordinate resources: Most successful people, entrepreneurs or not, understand the value of a team of like-minded but blended skills. Most of the best and most balanced entrepreneurs I encounter are masters at knowing what they should be doing and what they shouldn’t be doing and have the discipline to delegate away those weaknesses.
9. They focus on strengths, not weaknesses: Much is talked about this skillset but seeing it in action is amazing. Imagine your friend makes a huge blunder with their company but won’t discuss it, won’t lament, won’t do a post mortem. Instead they just want to tell you all about how they bagged another big deal. That’s what this habit actually looks like when you see it – a totally focus on what’s working.
10. They seek to understand before they are understood: Because I find my clients so inspiring, I am happy to brag about them. They are a curious bunch- always learning, always stretching and really interested in other people and the world at large. My clients are more interested in getting to know people, situations and opportunities than in being known, understood or loved.
I hope these are valuable for you. What are your best habits?
Jon LoDuca Founder The Wisdom Link