When we try to learn from other successful entrepreneurs, we often try to adopt the wrong habits.
For example, Steve Jobs was known for wearing jeans and a black turtleneck all the time, no matter the occasion. If you think that wearing a black turtleneck and jeans will help you pick up Jobs's gift for simplistic and beautiful design, you're in for a rude awakening.
The reason Jobs wore his ever-present uniform was that he didn't want to waste mental energy picking out clothes, so the lesson for entrepreneurs is to make sure they're spending their mental energy where it's bearing fruit.
Let's look at other entrepreneurial habits, and find out what we can learn from them.
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Elon Musk: Don't Take No for an Answer
While entrepreneurs need to have input and feedback from those they respect in their lives, they often have a strong tendency to avoid naysayers. Elon Musk might be the most famous of these, often lauded for his total refusal to believe that anything is impossible.
But the problem is that when you're just now beginning your first business, how do you know whether or not you should hear no?
Really, don't take no for an answer means having confidence in yourself.
Even Elon Musk is only an astonishing success 90 percent of the time or so. You shouldn't give up on an idea just because people around you aren't understanding it, but you should take a closer look and make sure that you're communicating it as well as possible, that your audience is correct, and that you're pitching to the right partners.
Peter Shankman: Get Up Early
Peter Shankman of The Geek Factory is one of the many entrepreneurs who swear that their success stems from their extremely early hours. Shankman, in particular, has said that he's never up later than 4:15 in the morning.
But the truth is that not all of us are early birds. Some people do their best work early in the morning, like Shankman; others find that it's the late hours of the evening where their minds do their most creative and productive work. Still others find that they need to carve out time just before lunch, or in the early afternoon, to explore their creative process.
Get up early really means experiment until you find the time of day when you're most productive, and then capture it firmly.
Don't let anything else interrupt.
Timothy Sykes: Set Daily Goals
Timothy Sykes, millionaire penny stock trader, has shared that he sets daily goals and works to achieve them, following the example of many other millionaires. But what does that mean for those of us who are working on getting our businesses off the ground? What should our daily goals be, and how should we decide if they've been achieved?
While you might have a daily to-do list for your business, filled with the minutia that keeps your business running, it's important also to know where you want to be next year, and what you have to do today to get there 12 months from now.
Set daily goals really means be deliberate with your business.
Decisions matter. Think about the effects of the choices you make, and regularly review your choices to make sure they're leading you towards your long term goals.
Russell Sarder: Read Every Day
Russell Sarder of NetCom Learning says that one of his keys to success is reading every single day, and specifically recommends a variety of business books. But, as much as it hurts to say in a written forum, not everyone delights in sitting down with a new book after a long day of staring at a computer. Which is fine, because:
Read every day really means never stop learning.
Learning comes in many different forms. While there certainly is value to reading the memoirs and advice suggestions of favorite entrepreneurs, you can also continue to learn by taking classes at a local community college, leading or taking workshops in your area through your local chamber of commerce, or even taking the time to sit in with your team and find out more about how they do what they're doing.
Related Article: Creativity Trumps All: The Makeup of an Entrepreneur
There are as many ways to be an entrepreneur as there are successful entrepreneurs. If you go looking for quirky habits of entrepreneurs and trying to emulate them, you may not find what you're looking for, but if you work to understand how an entrepreneur thinks, it's very likely that you'll be on the right path.
What habits have led you towards entrepreneurial success?