It’s good to be the boss.
Sixty percent of entrepreneurs said working for others does not appeal to them, according to a University of Cambridge study, and 75 percent worked as employees for more than six years before launching their own businesses.
So if most entrepreneurs are driven by their disinterest in being an employee, what is it they do that helps them thrive? While everyone’s path to success is different, successful people do share some common habits and traits.
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They Have Mentors
Successful people find mentors who have walked the path before them. A mentor doesn’t necessarily need to be an expert, but someone who will listen and serve as a springboard for ideas. Simply finding someone to help figure out a creative solution to a business problem can help. Mentors can also help you identify goals, implement a plan to achieve them and introduce you to their network.
Don’t overlook mentors who might be standing right in front of you, and think back to the advice you’ve already received. President Bill Clinton’s mentor was his high school band teacher. Business billionaire Warren Buffet called hedge fund manager Benjamin Graham his mentor.
They Are Comfortable With the Unknown
Finding a path to success is rarely laid out as a neatly organized road map. It takes trial and error. A new venture or business can get derailed with the loss of a client, team member or misstep. Successful people know being uncomfortable is part of the journey. They don’t seek comfort; instead, they seek solutions to their problems.
They Keep Selling
Business owners almost always cite the ability to sell as a key to success. But selling isn’t necessarily cold calling, schmoozing and knocking door to door. Selling can be convincing others to work with you or communicating well with your audience or team. However you define selling, it’s still the core to building a business, whether you’re selling widgets to clients or an idea to investors or a loan officer.
They Take Risks
Success is rarely realized through a safe and reliable business trajectory. To propel your company forward, take risks and try new things. If you can’t find investors or seed money, look at creative solutions instead. Someone who has an annuity or structured settlement could sell his future payments to raise the needed money, instead of waiting for an investor to save the day. Risk takers find solutions to their problems and are ready and willing to try something new.
They Have Passion and Confidence
It takes passion and drive to be successful but don’t mistake passion for an epiphany that tells you exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. Successful people adapt their passions. Confidence in what you’re doing leads to a deepened understanding of your product or service, your clients and how to market your company. That confidence can lead to a passion to share your knowledge.