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3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

These traits are embodied by every successful entrepreneur on earth; that said, let’s explore a quick guide on going from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur by incorporating the habits, traits, and talents of a successful Entrepreneur.

1. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is first on the list, as it should be. It’s the ability to find a way out of no way. It’s acknowledging that Murphy’s Law will have it’s toll on you and still pushing through the hurt of fighting a losing battle. This is the trait that nobody talks about; it fully encapsulates the knowledge each successful person had prior to their success. They made a way for themselves, without relying on the resources that are reserved for the wealthy.

2. Sales Ability

Your ability to sell yourself – not your product, and not your business, yourself. It’s the elevator pitch; your very own Unique Selling Proposition. Your ability to sell will be the only factor at play after you have created your product, so it’s best to be prepared for it. Do not give up hope if you do not have this ability from the get-go. It’s a learned trait that anyone can adopt; it simply takes practice.

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3. Communication

How well and how long you succeed in entrepreneurship will be directly reflected by your ability to communicate effectively, with tact, and while motivating yourself and your employees. It’s the ability to converse effectively with anyone, anytime, anywhere. A little secret that all successful entrepreneurs know is that positive reinforcement goes far beyond that of negative reinforcement.

Adding them Up

Now let us take a look at some icons who effectively embodied all these traits.

What might not seem obvious to some can prove to be inherently evident in the behavior of others. When Thomas Edison partnered with J.P. Morgan to form General Electric, he didn’t have any idea how business should be conducted, but he still had ideas – valuable ideas. Morgan had set out to appropriate most of the western world’s railroads, and succeeded in doing so.

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Do you know how? He had a horrendous face, riddled with scars, and an unearthly nose. He once said, “I can tell the difference in someone’s character by watching them respond to my appearance.” This man was a billionaire in a time when resources were nullified, and sales ability was measured by marketing techniques like placing people, often children on street corners handing out pamphlets. Yet Morgan succeeded, with only four years of schooling and a father that put him out on the street at the age of fourteen. Morgan succeeded because he knew who people wanted him to be, and then upon that realization became that person; he saw what had worked for so many others, and he simply implemented the existing strategies into his own ventures.

After Edison’s partnership concluded, and Morgan went on to other ventures, Edison believed he was now competent enough to operate on his own. He failed, over and over again. Though Edison went on to light the world with his incandescent light bulb, and some figured he’d go beyond that on his next venture, he didn’t. He bought a mine with the appropriated funds he had from the Morgan venture, and he kept inventing, but was soon faced with bankruptcy and looming debt that followed him until his death. He had not applied what Morgan taught him.

Abraham Lincoln is another great example of someone who could succeed in any environment. Lincoln’s mother was murdered in front of him at a young age, and his father, a dock worker, was a quiet man who kept to himself while slaving away day by day. Lincoln had to fight his own battles from a young age, and he had no one who would step in if he got in trouble. He learned how to fend for himself; he is an epitome example of a resourceful person.

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Some described listening to him at the polls before his successful election as the President as uplifting; he was by all definitions the most successful president the world has ever seen, igniting conflict that resulted in the prohibition of slavery, winning a civil war, giving all people equal rights, and drafting laws that still stand today.

Lincoln once appropriated his disappointment in a general in his army by writing a letter riddled with deconstructing criticism. He made it clear that this General had absolutely no grasp over how much he had cost the country. He signaled that this General had cost the country thousands, if not millions of lives. The General had Lee in his reach, his company was trapped, and they had to wait for the reservoir to drain before they could cross the river. I don’t believe anyone would have responded differently.

Do you know what he did with that letter? He never sent it; it was uncovered among his writings after his death. He knew that in order to communicate effectively, he had to have the ability to summon the perspective of the people whom he had led. Many people try to make others see their point of view without ever trying to understand others; they prefer to favor themselves as more competent, or even knowledgeable due to their successes, when the biggest factors at play regarding their success was perseverance and an indomitable spirit.

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There’s a lot that goes into becoming a successful entrepreneur, but if you master the traits set out above you’ll find it a lot easier to navigate the oceans that are the business world. One thing to keep in mind, however unpleasant it may appear, is to keep going, pivot when necessary, but keep on going. Every single entrepreneur who has ever “made it” will have a combination of these traits in common – imagine what you could accomplish by implementing them all.

Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

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Jane Smith

Blogger, Teacher

3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.

It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.

A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.

1. Define Career Success for Yourself

Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.

What does career success mean to you?

This is about defining your career success:

  • Not what you think you ‘should’ do
  • Not what people may think of you
  • Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
  • Not taking actions based on societal or community norms

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin

When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.

There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:

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  • Work-life balance
  • Opportunities for growth and advancement
  • Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact

Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:

  • What do you mean by work-life balance?
  • What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?

Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:

  • I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
  • I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
  • I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.

Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:

  • What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
  • What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
  • What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?

Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.

Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.

What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?

2. Know Your Values

Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.

There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.[1]

Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:

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  • Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
  • Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
  • Put the words on your fridge
  • Add the words on your vision board

Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?

3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.

How you define short-term and long-term is entirely up to you. Short-term can be 30 days, 90 days, or 6 months. Maybe long-term goals are 4 months, 1 year, or 10 years.

Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:[2]

  • What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
  • If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
  • If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
  • What type of impact do you want to have on people?
  • Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
  • What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?

Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:

  • Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
  • What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
  • How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
  • Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?

Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.

By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.

4. Determine Your Top Talents

What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?

What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.[3]

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What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?

What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?

What do you notice?

5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience

Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?

I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.

Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.

Keep these words visible too!

Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?

6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort

Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.

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Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.

“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi

7. Manage Your Own Career

Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.

Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.

Summing Up

For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.

Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.

Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:

  1. Define Career Success for Yourself
  2. Know Your Values
  3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
  4. Determine Your Top Talents
  5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
  6. Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
  7. Manage Your Own Career

“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal

Good luck and best wishes always!

More Tips on Advancing Your Career

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

Reference

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