When I started my entrepreneurial path, I hadn’t anticipated how much of my life this path would demand. Nevertheless, once I found my stride and learned from every mistake and “failure”, I marched on and discovered the success and fulfillment I set out to find.
The last 5 years haven’t always been easy, I’ve had my fair share of struggle to get here, so learning from both my successes and my mistakes, here are 5 fundamental behaviors/traits you’d do well to adopt, before setting off on your entrepreneurial path:
1. Work toward a vision much bigger than any company, product or brand you can launch!
“To help evolve the human experience.” - Ambitious I agree, but having a vision that’s bigger than any single idea I developed, allowed me to continue moving in a forward direction, especially when things didn’t work out as planned. From my old blog, my coaching company, my meditation program and now my marketing services, they all contribute to the impact I want to make.
I think it’s essential as an entrepreneur to contribute to something great, something bigger than what you alone can develop, not just for direction and focus, but really for fulfillment. Successful entrepreneurs are abundant in society, but ask any entrepreneur who is genuinely happy with their success, it’s knowing that their work is contributing to change in the world, and it's what keeps them going and growing!
2. Effective time-management.
The entrepreneurial path is a demanding one, and at any given moment an opportunity could fall into your lap that’ll require you to manage your schedule like a pro. Learn to mange your time and mange your time well, especially during those early stages of juggling full-time employment and business development.
I recommend you get comfortable using google services, they’re easy-to-use and they have everything you need to stay productive. From Google drive enabling you to access your documents anywhere, through to google calendar for schedule management. Furthermore, business development tools like webmasters, analytics and even google forms, make launching and managing your company more convenient. And a lot of it’s FREE to use with a google account!
3. Effective energy-management.
Since taking on fellow entrepreneurs as clients, I’ve come to realize that the most difficult and most regular challenge we all meet, is one of self-belief. Believing in yourself is a mandatory requirement for every entrepreneur, because at times, you’re the only one who can believe in what you're invested in. Especially when it comes to taking a risk! I always say that the key to a healthy mind/mindset and maintaining self-belief, is to really pay close attention to one’s own physical energy.
Limit fatigue and frustration by taking the time to rest and rejuvenate. The entrepreneurial path is an exhausting one; long hours, a lot of learning and often, a moment of inspiration hits you at the most inconvenient time, so learn to respond to the body's demands. If you look after yourself properly, self-belief will rarely be an issue to face. If you need a day off, take one (especially if you’ve been up all night brainstorming and developing content!).
If you’re procrastinating, just give in. You’ll soon realize that after surrendering to your body's needs and immediate motivations, your mind gets to restore itself and you’ll soon feel ready to reengage productivity. Manage your energy levels effectively and you manage your mental health effectively. Everything you’ve built will not fall apart if you take time out. Remember, coffee is an energy stimulant, so naturally you need to recover from its effects on your body, not to drink more coffee that you become reliant on it.
4. Surround yourself with a healthy balance of people!
Don't surround yourself with one type of person, in fact, that leads you to develop rigid belief systems which go on to lead to ignorance and complacency. Diversity is key here, here’s a balance that I’ve found to be most effective:
Imagine a room full of 10 people:
- 1 of them is you.
- 3 of them are your advocates, these are the people who will support and encourage you and want you to succeed. Naturally great people to have around.
- 3 of them are fellows or motivators, people who are in the same boat as you. People you can learn from, and who you can guide too, with the lessons you’ve learned. They may or may not be doing the same thing as you, but networking with fellow entrepreneurs is healthy and indeed paramount to success. You'll understand each other well, and it helps to have comrades on a path that will often have you feeling alone sometimes.
- Finally, the last 3 of them are your adversaries, people who want to keep you from progressing and developing forward. It may sound counter productive to development, but on the contrary, these people help you develop a resilience to challenge, sort of like a flu shot.
They regularly challenge your beliefs which help you develop perspective, they rarely agree with you so you must learn to listen, adapt/defuse and evolve (Improving communication). I personally like to prove my adversaries wrong, which is one reason I keep them around. Primarily though, no matter what level of success you’re at, haters will always be around, so learn to thicken your skin early, so you won’t get knocked off your game.
5. Learn to manage sexual desire.
Sexual desire is such a powerful human emotion that it can impact everything from how you feel about yourself, through to how you behave, so learn to manage it effectively and have safe and healthy process in place to help satisfy the need. Porn, friends with benefits, and/or a very understanding life partner, are all helpful to life as an entrepreneur.
Remember, sex is considered a basic human need, so if neglected or overindulged, it can really hinder progress. Don’t let sex be the reason you’re frustrated and cannot focus. People always laugh when I say this, but those "dating" apps are great for entrepreneurs; learn to adopt a more liberal attitude towards sex, and it won’t rule your life or get in the way of your entrepreneurial path. On this note, and this should go without saying but I cannot control who reads my content, all sexual activity must be between consenting adults only.
So there you have it, 5 essential prerequisites for budding entrepreneurs, however, for all my years coaching, you'd also do well to adopt them for everyday life too.