It's the Little Things: 4 Overlooked Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Dream of starting your own business but paralyzed by fear? Follow in the steps of successful entrepreneurs by cultivating these four habits.

“Tough times never last; tough people always do." - Robert Herjavec

Do you wish you could be your own boss?

Ready to turn that million-dollar idea you’ve had up your sleeve for a few years into a real business?

At one point or another, most of us dream of seeing our own name up there in lights, rather than our boss’s name. And just as many of us let fear stop us dead in our tracks. 

"What if I don’t have a steady paycheck?" "What if my business never lands any clients?" "What if I fail?" 

Related Article: 9 Daily Habits of Exceptional Entrepreneurs 

The fear of failure is universal. As a solopreneur myself, I can attest to how scary it is to leave a successful company and a steady paycheck to venture off into the unknown. Not everyone succeeds the first time at his or her business, and that’s okay. For many successful entrepreneurs, failure is an essential tool that keeps them on their toes, drives them to be more innovative, and ultimately pushes their startups to the top.

Ready to strike out on your own but worried you won’t make it? With practice, you can learn to push past failure towards success. Follow in the steps of successful entrepreneurs by cultivating these four habits:

1. Set Small Goals

Yes, you do need a big goal to work towards, but if you just have one giant goal looming across the horizon, it can seem overwhelming and unmanageable. Work backward by setting smaller, incremental goals.

For example, if you want to have 10 major clients by the end of your first year, set a goal to have five in place by a certain date, or aim to get at least one client per month. Build small wins into each day so you gain the momentum and confidence you need to achieve your bigger goals.

2. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Trying to do it all can be overwhelming, especially if you’re obsessing over tiny details. Choosing a company name or logo is a major decision and sets the tone for your brand, so it’s worth spending a bit of time to get it right. But if you’re spending hours tweak your logo’s typography or obsessing over the colors on your website, you’re spending your energy on the wrong things.

Remember, every little detail doesn’t have to be perfect the first time. Successful entrepreneurs know that they can – and will – make small improvements over time.

3. Hire to Fill in the Gaps

Successful entrepreneurs are good at what they do not just because of the things they know, but because they’re honest about the things they don’t know. Be smart about your hiring practices. What hard or soft skills are you lacking? If you’re a numbers whiz but email marketing and social media strategy just isn’t your thing, recruit someone who is. If you don’t have an eye for color, work with a talented freelance graphic designer who does. Hiring to fill your knowledge gap is one of the most effective hiring habits of entrepreneurs.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

This goes hand-in-hand with smart hiring practices. Too often entrepreneurs view delegation as a sign of weakness or failure. In fact, mastering this skill is one of the best things you can do as an entrepreneur. When you know how to delegate effectively, you’ll free up time in your workday so you can focus on the crucial tasks that only you can perform. If you have a hard time delegating, delegate out the lower level tasks and as you build trust with your employees, you can assign them increasingly more complex and important tasks. Successful entrepreneurs know that they can’t do everything themselves, and they’re not afraid to surround themselves with people who can fill in these talent gaps.

Related Article: Are These Bad Habits Preventing Your Career Success?

Bottom Line

There’s no “magic bullet” for success as an entrepreneur. However, by cultivating the soft skills discussed above, you’ll build a stronger entrepreneurial skill set and be better prepared to take your idea from dream to reality.

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