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Yandy Smith on How to be (or Not to be) a Successful Entrepreneur

Dream big (Image: Thinkstock)

Dream big: To achieve the kind of success that you want, you need to dream big. Every success story starts with big dreams. Have a clear and concise vision of what you want and where you want your idea to go. Actively visualize success in your mind so that it actually starts to become reality. Speak it into existence! Be the person now that you imagine yourself being when you reach your goal. Dress the part now, speak the language now, talk about the places your business will allow you to travel to, research them, tell your friends and family what’s going to happen. The more you speak, the more you’ll believe and the more inclined you’ll be to make things happen. People may look at you like you’re crazy, but imagine how they looked at the Wright brother’s when they thought of creating the first successful aircraft.

Be a leader. Leadership is one of the areas that many entrepreneurs tend to overlook, according to leadership coach John C. Maxwell, whose books include The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership (Thomas Nelson, 1998) and Developing the Leader Within You (Thomas Nelson, 1993). Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”  Becoming a great leader isn’t easy, it requires successfully maneuvering a team through the ups and downs and the major challenges that a new business faces.

To groom yourself to be a quality business leader:

  • Envision yourself as a leader. You have to believe for others to believe.
  • Recognize your best and worst qualities and evaluate them honestly.
  • Create a plan that allows you to capitalize on your strengths.
  • Build a team that assists you in areas that may be weaknesses, which will help you have a more well-balanced business.
  • Be straightforward and keep it simple. The clearer your mission and direction, the stronger your team.

Hire shrewdly. Nothing is more important. Do extensive research and check references. You can’t rely solely on what’s said in résumés and cover letters. It’s best to ask everyone you respect for solid candidates. Then have a trial period for the new employee before you hire.

Fire fast. If quick efforts to remediate an inadequate employee do not work, fire the person respectfully. One bad employee can infect the success of the team.

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