Don’t be fooled, Entrepreneurship isn’t Personality

abex_img1The prevailing notion of the entrepreneur is the go-getter, fast-talking, outgoing, people-person who shrewdly cuts deals. This person is usually an extrovert, hardly an introvert. For many, they’re unable to describe the art of entrepreneurship beyond this personality trait.

This is a costly misconception.

At the core of entrepreneurship are principles and policies that will help anyone build business systems. I repeat: anyone – quiet, loud, calm, or in-between personality – anyone.

Fortunately, we have enough proof in the corporate world to confirm that successful entrepreneurs come in every personality trait imaginable. They all thrive because each one, personality irrespective, found the principles that make business work.

Every pilot knows that they have to comply with the laws of aerodynamics to enable them fly. Likewise, entrepreneurs have to adhere to the principles of entrepreneurship and the laws of money in order to succeed.

The principles make the professional. That’s the real deal, not personality. No doubt, it helps to have certain personal qualities to help you; however, professional endeavors are built on laws and principles.

As you refine your personality, find the laws that govern entrepreneurship, apply them and success won’t discriminate.

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The Price Loved Ones Pay for Entrepreneur’s Dream

LovedOnesIn modern culture, the successful entrepreneur is a hero. This person has achieved wealth despite the odds. She’s celebrated in the media and displayed as a beacon of hope.

But, she didn’t do it alone.

Many people played vital roles in her success story – especially loved ones. Folks sacrificed at every stage to make the entrepreneur’s dream come true. They’re seldom celebrated, but they exist.

The entrepreneur’s dream will put loved ones to the test. Colleagues, family and friends labor in love to help the dreamer’s idea.

Sometimes the price is high and process – exhausting, for those who have chosen to love the dreamer. Spouses and children (on occasion) get a raw deal – doing without the one with whom they wish to spend more time or sacrificing in other ways. It can be crazy.

I encourage every entrepreneur to acknowledge and always appreciate this group for their love, prayers, support, tears, encouragement, courage – and strong belief in the dreamer’s dream.

Thank them often for not giving up on you. Appreciate them for staying in your corner – and if no one will mention their name or celebrate them, you do it.

The Sign of Humility

SignsAsking questions! That’s one of the main signs of humility. It’s not self deprivation, avoiding the good life or stifling others with a weird attitude, but wanting to know. That’s humility.

One key to enlightenment is first admitting that your knowledge is limited and seeing the need to know more. And based on this, seeking out what you need to know.

Also being open to learning from every source is important in this equation. Picky learners often miss vital lessons.

Furthermore, we learn in order to change. That’s the point. It starts from a change in perspective, at the very least – if not behavioural. Learning helps us to appropriate diverse views even if we don’t agree with them. This way, you’re better poised than the ignorant individual.

Change in behaviour also applies. Humility is fulfilled when we rethink our views and change when it’s time – if necessary. It means growth.

Hard Work Isn’t Ebola

Supple2Ebola hit parts of West Africa (Liberia, Sierra Leone, etc) and it was devastating. Many people died and life changed as they knew it; very sad indeed. The crazy disease brought economies to a halt.

Just like Ebola killed folks, some people believe that hard work would have the same effect on them. They feel that committing to a course and paying the price for a worthy goal would somehow diminish their person.

From me to you with love: hard work will not kill you. Only do it smartly and you’ll be fine. It’s OK to increasingly give your best in order to achieve your goal.

I almost feel silly writing this post because it’s something we should all understand or so it seems. However, laziness in the 21st century is sophisticated and technology is the excuse. This attitude tries to convince us that hard work is obsolete – forgetting that someone worked hard to make success visible.

Technology is great and social media is fantastic, but none will be a substitute for smart, hard work. Instead, hard workers use technology to achieve more in shorter time. Get with the program and up your game!

Obstacles: The Entrepreneur’s Snack ~ 2

talacre mono 4Seasoned entrepreneurs are like pro athletes. They have the same attitude to obstacles and difficulties.

Athletes have an unusual intimacy with difficulties.  They expect it, utilize it and thrive in it. An Olympian isn’t shocked by grueling hours of training. Their minds are at home with the drill. They actually like it.

When I asked a basketball coach about this attitude, he told me that athletes understand that obstacles are one of the primary ways of being and staying the best. So they gladly embrace it.

As entrepreneurs, this way of thinking could serve as a strategic mental poise. Success or failure may never be easy; let it sink in. Mr. Cohen knew this going into Russia and he was ready to ride it out.

My favorite thing about obstacles is: who you become afterwards. Challenges don’t just make you stronger, but also, your skill level rises – sometimes astronomically.

Can you imagine the amount of experience, learning, exposure and wealth that George Cohen gained after Pushkin? The businessman that he was before the project was nothing compared to the entrepreneur that he became.

Is Success Enough?

SuccessEnoughMore than ever, the world appears confused about the workings of success. What used to mean success has lost its broad appeal. Now success is subjective and everyone seems to have a valid argument.

In February 2010, aged 40, the renowned fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, took his own life. He had attained global success in a tough industry. Why would he want to commit suicide?

SIDENOTE: Let me quickly add that not every successful person is unhappy and I don’t believe that success is the road to unhappiness either. You can be successful and happy.

However, is success enough?

One element that’s increasingly in demand in the recipe for success is contentment. It is your ability to realize and confidently affirm that you’re enough in the context of all that you’re achieving, have or haven’t achieved.

In a culture that defines success as constantly doing, being and having more – with no clear marks and the goal post always moving – each person needs an acceptable measure to help keep their sanity.

For me, contentment is that measure.

Is success enough? That doesn’t quite matter. The real question is: success or failure, are you enough?

A Simple Approach To Strategy For Startups

DoorwayIn my freshman year of college, I took a class called Business Organization and Leadership, taught by a Harvard trained Belgian professor. He taught us that STRATEGY is defined by these three simple questions:

  • WHAT ARE YOU SELLING?

According to the sign on your door, you sell shoes – but what are you really selling and is the message clear? What experience does your business give? What feeling do folks enjoy when they encounter your business? This is the basis for your brand essence.

  • TO WHOM?

Who is your service or product designed to serve? How well do you know them? How much effort do you put in trying to connect with them? Now, buyers expect the seller to effectively connect with their values, concerns and needs and in this case, good connection means healthy sales.

  • WHY SHOULD THEY BUY FROM YOU?

“If people walk past your shop to buy from the shop down the street, then they must be doing something right”, professor Du Jardin would say. In essence, there’s a good reason why the other guy is making sales and you’re not.