My intention isn’t to dash any precious hopes and dreams but calling yourself an entrepreneur doesn’t make you one. In fact, the word is tossed around by so many people nowadays that it loses its meaning. This may not be the truth you want to hear and it’s not going to make you happy, but I believe our entrepreneurial generation could use a reality check.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to have big dreams of success. But unless you find yourself doing what the majority of entrepreneurs do, don’t hope to become one. Not unless you commit to making your actions begin to align with your dreams. That’s the part that’s entirely within your control and your willpower to make happen.
So what is it most entrepreneurs have in common?
1. They work hard.
Entrepreneurs are workaholics. They prioritize their work above most other pleasures in life. They love what they do, and their lives revolve around their work.
2. They are who they are.
Real entrepreneurs don’t think about themselves. They think about their ideas and how to turn them into great products and services. Then they deliver great value.
3. They work for more than just the money.
They don’t complain about how hard their work is and how little they’re getting out of it. They just do it. And because of that focus, the money eventually comes, massively.
4. They commit.
Great entrepreneurs don’t just dip their toes in the water. They don’t dabble, they plunge in headlong and don’t worry about the obstacles in their way. When they think up something they think is really cool and exciting, they go all in.
5. They listen to their instincts.
They ignore their little voice – you know, the one that sounds like their parents telling them everything that can go wrong. That doesn’t mean they don’t have any fear, they do. They just choose to act in spite of that fear, not letting it stop them from taking necessary risks. What they do listen to is their heart and their instincts.
6. They are realists.
While some do entertain thought that they’re destined for greatness, they generally don’t have huge visions for their companies. Jobs wanted “a computer for the rest of us,” Gates wanted to see “a computer in every home,” Zuckerburg just wanted to compare the looks of his classmates.
7. They have real mentors.
Most people follow all sorts of writers, bloggers and tweeters these days. That’s fine if you are seeking theoretical advice from people who haven’t done it themselves. But to get somewhere in life, to do great things, you have to have real mentors in the real world. Former Intel chairman Andy Grove mentored Steve Jobs. Jobs, in turn, advised Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Behind every great entrepreneur is at least one great mentor. A real one.
8. They think differently.
Most importantly, they do what everyone else isn’t doing. They refuse to follow the status quo, conventional wisdom or popular fads. They carve their own unique path, inadvertently clearing the way for others. And that’s why they succeed.
If you believe that this path is for you, you’ll want to get a real mentor at the National Achievers Congress. It’s never too early to save the date and learn directly from the world’s top performers in their industry at our next big event in May. Reserve your seat here.[/column]