As a result of my experience working with thousands of small business owners to start and grow their businesses and talking to many successful entrepreneurs and small business experts, I have evolved seven essential principles of small business success. These elements are highlighted in detail throughout this book.
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET
Why does one small business owner flourish while another one fails? Because successful entrepreneurs develop the right mindset. How you perceive your business and your life defines your reality.
- Business owners with an entrepreneurial mindset seek to stand out in the crowd.
- Successful small business owners keep a positive attitude.
- Entrepreneurs are willing to fail in order to eventually win. They understand that not every idea is a good one.
- Real entrepreneurs learn from failure and move on to the next big idea.
Each day we make hundreds of choices—from what to have for breakfast to what we’re going to accomplish that day. The choices we make cause the results we experience. Your answers to the questions you ask yourself will determine the outcome of the day. To be a successful entrepreneur, you need not only to get the right answers; you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
You must not be afraid of failure. There will be occasions when you are doing your best, but feel frustrated by a lack of progress in your business. Every entrepreneur goes through these difficult periods. I certainly have been there. Times like these are when you need to focus on the positive and maintain your optimism.
The key is to avoid negative thinking. To change the outcome of each day, you must change the questions you ask yourself. Try rephrasing your questions in a positive fashion. Rather than ask, what can I do to avoid being late? ask, how can I make sure I am on time? Make sure your questions are not keeping you from reaching your goals. More than 50 percent of business problems are well-disguised personal problems.
Losing the fear of failure and making mistakes (provided, of course, that you learn from them) comes in part from a willingness to delegate. Beware of what I call “the cult of personality” business. Any company that kowtows to the owner’s ego will ultimately fail.
I made this mistake in my first business. Everyone who called the office had to speak to me. My staff was scared to make a decision until they checked with me. My excessive control was keeping my business from growing.
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