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What is Success According to These Extremely Successful Entrepreneurs

What is Success According to These Extremely Successful Entrepreneurs

Hey, want to be successful in business? Pretty dumb question right, I mean who goes into business saying “I’m planning on failing at this” or even “I’m hoping to be mediocre in this business”?

No!

Everyone who goes into business plans on becoming successful. So what makes one business successful and another unsuccessful? Is it lack of planning, lack of funds, bad decisions, bad timing, bad luck?

While all of these can play a role, answering the question “What is success?” is the key to achieving it.

We are going to explore the 8 common traits from some of the most successful business people in the world.

1. Thomas J. Watson: Be perseverant

    Thomas J. Watson, the chairman and CEO of IBM from 1914 – 1956. He is the man credited with making IBM the company it is today. During his tenure, IBM became an international force. At the time of his death in 1956 he was known as the world’s greatest salesman.

    Despite what you see in movies, there are no “overnight success stories” in business. Failure is not only inevitable, it’s a critical step to achieving success. Failure lets you know what doesn’t work! And knowing what doesn’t work allows you to better evaluate and understand what does work.

    I used to own tanning salons, and in that industry, membership sales are key. Similar to gym memberships, customers pay a monthly fee for unlimited tanning.

    We also sold single tanning sessions, but I decided to price them high to encourage membership sales. We sold single tanning session at $15 and the monthly membership at $25.

    From my point of view, this was encouraging the sale of memberships (and a monthly income) over single sessions (and one time sales). What I didn’t take into consideration was that there was a high demand for short term tanning.

    Many people wanted to tan 2 or 3 times before an event, vacation, wedding, prom, etc… To these potential customers, I was clearly indicating that I did not want their business. I lost a lot of revenue to my competition because of it.

    But once I recognized this failure, I was able to adjust my pricing, single sessions went down to $9 each, and those short term tanners became a significant source of revenue for me.

    “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.” — Thomas J. Watson

    Failure is not an option in business, it is a requirement.

    2. Steve Jobs: Stay curious and creative

      Steve Jobs, a college dropout who was fired from his job at Apple Computer, a company he started with his friend Steve Wozniak. He went on to start a new computer company called NeXT which never really took off and ended up being acquired by Apple.

      By then, the company he had founded and was fired from was in complete crisis, many in the industry had already written off Apple as a lost cause.

      But Apple’s acquisition of Job’s failed NeXT computer provided him the opportunity to return to Apple becoming CEO. Under Steve’s demanding and intense leadership, Apple created some of the most iconic products ever made, including the iPod, iPad and iPhone.

      A company that was once on the brink of disaster was transformed into one of the most successful and well known companies in the world.

      In 2005 Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford University where reflected on being fired from Apple.

      “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life,” — Steve Jobs

      3. Jeff Bezos: Become an expert

        Jeff Bezos, born in Albuquerque New Mexico to a teenage mother, he grew up in Houston with his mother and adopted father.

        After college, he worked various jobs including at a hedge fund where he became its fourth senior Vice President at the age of 30. That’s when he decided to quit and start selling books on-line.

        He founded Amazon in July of 1994, becoming one of the largest on-line retailers in the world. As of this writing, Forbes ranked him as the number 1 wealthiest person in the world today.

        Amazon is the leader in predictive marketing. They developed an algorithm that predicts a persons future buying preferences based on past purchases. You can love it or hate it, but there is no doubt that it has revolutionized the world of on-line retail.

        If you don’t understand the details of your business you are going to fail. — Jeff Bezos

        4. Tim Cook: Focus on the customer

          Steve Jobs left awfully big shoes to fill at Apple, but as Jobs’s hand picked successor, Tim Cook has risen to the challenge.

          What is success to Tim Cook? It is Apple’s expertise in developing products who’s form, style and function are so beautifully intertwined that they provide a unique experience for the user. Apple’s products are known for their meticulous design and attention to detail.

          Apple is the only company that can take hardware, software, and services and integrate those into an experience that’s an ‘aha’ for the customer. You can take that and apply to markets that we’re not in today. — Tim Cook

          In today’s highly competitive world, having expertise in a field will give you a significant advantage over the competition. Let’s face it, anyone can throw up a website and start selling things. In fact an entire industry.

          But make no mistake, being able to position yourself as an expert in a field significantly increases your credibility and can make you the “go to” person for your niche.

          5. Richard Branson: Take risks

            Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group which owns more than 400 companies, he was interested in business at a young age.

            At 16, he started a successful magazine called Student. He went on to start a mail order record company and later a chain of Virgin Record Stores (later called Virgin Megastores). His current ventures include Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Mobile as well as a space tourism company called Virgin Galactic.

            A billionaire businessman and one of the wealthiest people in the UK, he is known for pushing boundaries and thinking outside the box.

            “Far too many people don’t excel in life because they are too afraid of taking the necessary steps to achieve their dreams. Some manifest fear as a safeguard from failure; others don’t even try, believing that they are restricted by limits; while too many get caught up in the status quo. Growing up I felt all these pressures, but instead of giving in to them, I decided to ignore them and push the boundaries. Had I not, I would not be where I am today.”– Richard Branson

            You don’t need to be an exceptional person to be successful, you just need to be willing to do things that other’s aren’t.

            6. Bill Gates: Never be complacent

              As the founder of Microsoft, Bill gates is consistently ranked as one of the world’s richest people. But even after founding one of the largest companies in the world, he still sees more opportunities and new frontiers.

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              Never one to be satisfied, in 2017 the Arizona Republic reported that Gates had purchased nearly 25,000 acres of land in order to build a new “Smart City”.[1] With amenities like high speed public WiFi, self-driving cars and high-tech manufacturing facilities, he’s hoping that it will become the model for the future of urban planning.

              Bill is constantly looking for new ways to integrate technology into new markets. His response to people who wonder if he’s ever satisfied is:

              “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” — Bill Gates

              7. Sandra Day O’Connor: Learn to delegate

                The first woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O’Connor grew up on a ranch near Ducan Arizona. With no running water until she was seven, Sandra became a proficient horse rider and marks-woman, hunting rabbits for food.

                First appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981 by Ronald Reagan, in 2009 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

                “The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.” – Sandra Day O’Connor, former Supreme Court Justice.

                The skill to delegate can be hard for the young entrepreneur who has built a business from the ground up. Giving up control to someone else is a very scary thought.

                But really, what is success in business? It’s having a business that growing.

                There’s an old saying that if you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward.

                In short, delegation is just relying on experts to do their jobs. I rely on experts for taxes, legal matters, website development, advertising and a whole host of other things that I’m not an expert in.

                The trick to delegation is to set clear goals and avoid the temptation to micro-manage the people you’ve put in charge. Learn more about delegation in this guide:

                How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

                8. Oprah Winfrey: Think outside the box

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                  Born in poverty to a teenage mother and molested as a child, Oprah Winfrey is a truly self made billionaire.

                  Starting out as a talk show host, she quickly dominated the industry with The Oprah Winfrey Show shown in over 200 U.S. stations and over 100 countries.

                  Following the success of her talk show, in 1999, she co-founded the Oxygen network which focused on internet and video content for women.

                  In 2000 she started her highly successful magazine O The Oprah Magazine.

                  In 2011 she started a television network called OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) and in 2017 she sold a majority interest in it to the Discovery Channel for 70 million dollars.

                  While Oprah Winfrey became a millionaire hosting the most successful talk show in history, what success is to Oprah is finding new ways to capitalize on her assets. She became a billionaire by branching out and finding new ways to market her brand.

                  You can either see yourself as a wave in the ocean or you can see yourself as the ocean. — Oprah Winfrey

                  Starting, owning and running a successful business can be one of life’s most rewarding ventures.

                  Providing both the personal and financial freedom to live life on your own terms, and with the advent of the internet, starting your own business has never been easier or cheaper.

                  But the most important thing you can do is to define what success is to you. Does it mean being able to spend more time with friends and family without worrying about bills? Is it paying for the kid’s college education? Or to be able to travel the world with your spouse?

                  Whatever it is, having a clear understanding of what success is to you will keep you motivated and focused through the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship.

                  Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                  Reference

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                  David Carpenter

                  Lifelong entrepreneur and business owner helping others to realize the American Dream of business ownership

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                  Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                  10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                  10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                  Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                  Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                  Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                  • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                  • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                  • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                  Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                  Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                  Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                  That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                  1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                  I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                  Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                  Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                  2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                  Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                  Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                  “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                  3. Smile

                  Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                  Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                  Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                  Can you smile again?

                  4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                  Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                  If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                  This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                  Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                  5. Exercise Daily

                  One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                  Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                  ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                  He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                  6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                  Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                  Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                  So how do you manage your time effectively?

                  Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                  “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                  And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                  • Monday – Management
                  • Tuesdays – Product
                  • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                  • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                  • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                  • Saturdays – Taking off
                  • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                  No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                  7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                  Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                  Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                  Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                  “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                  Be intentional about your daily goals!

                  8. Seek Inspiration

                  It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                  A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                  Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                  Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                  “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                  9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                  I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                  However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                  10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                  Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                  “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                  It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                  Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                  The Bottom Line

                  Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                  More About Habits

                  Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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