From Steve Jobs to Ariana Huffington, entrepreneurs are the movers and shakers of our modern world, transforming ideas into empires and concepts into cultures. While anyone can claim to have “the next great business idea,” an extraordinary few can translate those ideas into a viable business. That requires much more than a single stroke of brilliance; it takes a unique blend of boldness, passion, and business know-how that not too many possess.
There is no step-by-step formula to successfully launching and leading your own venture. Every entrepreneur has his or her own unique business philosophy and strategies for success. But, it seems there are a few overarching hallmarks of a great entrepreneur.
If you’re itching to start your own company and create game-changing innovations, start taking notes. Here are seven habits of successful entrepreneurs. Adopt these habits, and hopefully, you’ll start thinking (and earning) like a successful entrepreneur.
1. Act first, think second
Successful entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks. They are quick to act even in face of great uncertainty. Rather than spending exorbitant time analyzing, planning, and predicting; they take action. Sure, sometimes the outcome of this speedy decision-making isn’t exactly ideal, but quite often, boldly seizing the moment before it’s too late pays off. If they do make mistakes, the best entrepreneurs learn from them, pick themselves up, and continue to innovate.
“They act, learn from what they find, and act again,” Paul B. Brown said in Forbes.
2. Be a lifelong learner
Great entrepreneurs are constantly curious. They deeply desire to know how products work, how people think and endlessly ask, “why?” This thirst for knowledge not only keeps them well-informed about their industry and the larger world, it enables them to detect opportunity early and innovate breakthrough products.
Even the greatest geniuses of our time did not achieve fame and fortune all on their own. The best entrepreneurs know how to build a team whom they can trust to help them realize their vision. Recruiting the right people and delegating effectively is a hallmark of a great CEO. This empowers you to achieve more than you ever could alone. Plus, collaboration is the seed of innovation.
4. Tune into market needs
Plenty of people can spout brilliant, forward-thinking ideas, but if they are unable to match these schemes with a need in the market, they’re useless. Successful entrepreneurs start with a market need. They don’t let arrogance about their “genius” ideas dictate their actions. The market is their master.
5. See the silver linings
When unexpected complications and dilemmas obstruct the path to success, great entrepreneurs don’t see problems, they see opportunity. Armed with this positive attitude, they do not waste time stressing over setbacks. Instead, they find the silver lining in negative situations and discover unexpected opportunities. While they do not wear rose-colored glasses, the best business owners are not bogged down by failure. They continue to be agile innovators and remain ahead of the game.
6. Put people first
The best entrepreneurs put people first both internally within their organization and externally, when serving customers. Successful ventures are led by those with an immense capacity for empathy and are able to understand other people’s perspectives. Being able to step beyond your limited viewpoint and truly observe, listen, and understand those around you is a crucial asset. It enables entrepreneurs to let the customer’s needs – not their own ideas – dictate strategy. It also helps them encourage loyalty, productivity, and camaraderie among their employees.
7. Never be satisfied
The best entrepreneurs are never “done” with a project. They would continue to iterate and improve a product for all eternity if time and money permitted.
“Great entrepreneurs are fanatical about improving their products and services…They’ll spend extraordinary time and effort simply to get things right,” said Geoffrey James in Inc.
And if they do complete one project, they waste no time before diving into a new venture, building upon the success of their most recent product. This quest to always be better is what enables successful entrepreneurs to create industry-leading products and be endless sources of innovation.