Guaranteed ways to make you a more successful entrepreneur
The habits of successful entrepreneurs vary wildly, and it’s not always easy to figure out what habits you should adopt to increase the likelihood of success. Luckily for you, I’ve done all the hard work and compiled a list of practices that are common among startup success stories!
GitHub was founded in 2008 by three MIT graduates as a weekend side project to meet a need for developers to exchange code. To devote full-time to GitHub, Preston-Werner turned down $300,000 in cash and stock options from Microsoft that year.
One of the habits I gleaned from reading their story was to make decisions quickly. It was risky to turn down that offer to work for Microsoft, but it sure worked out for the best.
Another habit is not being afraid of trying something new. GitHub was initially created for developers to share their code with other people through the web interface instead of emailing files back and forth. It quickly evolved into a way to collaborate on projects, but GitHub could never have predicted that in 2008.
Another habit is being open with your ideas and communicating them well. Tom Preston-Werner says he keeps his ears “permanently open.” He encourages employees at GitHub to speak up if they’re unhappy about something instead of keeping it bottled up inside.
Another habit is not giving up when things get tough. GitHub was rejected by Y Combinator in its early days and didn’t gain traction for many years after that. Still, they never gave up on their idea to help developers collaborate more quickly through the web. They believed in it enough to keep going even when no one else did.
Another habit is taking the time to listen and learn from your customers like GitHub did when it started charging for its service in 2013 after many years of offering a free plan. Their blog says they had been “listening closely” throughout those early days (and presumably through today) but didn’t feel comfortable asking users to pay until they felt like GitHub was offering enough value to be worth it.
Dell Inc., owned by Michael Dell, is a computer technology company that develops, sells, repairs, and supports computers and related products and services.
In 1984, Michael Dell began Dell, previously called PCs Limited, while studying at the University of Texas as an undergraduate. After getting a $1 million loan from his family, Dell withdrew from school to focus exclusively on his fledgling firm. The company made more than $73 million in its first year alone.
One of Michael Dell’s success habits was not to be afraid to make mistakes. He says that many great ideas fail, and it’s essential to roll with those punches.
Another one is taking the time to care for your customers. Dell was known as an early innovator in providing direct-to-customer support because he believed businesses were leaving money on the table by not focusing as much on customer service as they could be.
Another one is taking the opportunity to scale up your business when it presents itself, as Dell did in 1988 after Compaq approached him with an offer to sell his company for $80 million. He declined at first but took their second offer seriously and eventually agreed on a figure of $300 million.
One more successful habit is staying true to your values and not getting distracted by the siren song of quick money.
Although Dell had a hard time turning down offers like that one, he also knew how important it was not to lose his company’s identity in pursuit of short-term gains.
Another successful habit I saw from him was surrounding himself with people he could trust to make better decisions. He built his team from friends and people he knew would have his back when the going got tough, which helped him succeed by trusting them implicitly.
Another successful habit is planning what you’re aiming for, even if that goal changes over time. In Dell’s case, he originally wanted to stay in school and go to medical school, but he recognized that his company was growing quickly enough on its own that it could keep him satisfied for the time being.
Another success habit is not losing sight of what’s most important when you’re busy with day-to-day tasks like meeting payroll or making sure your employees are happy. When he had to lay off a third of his workforce in 2009, he wrote an open letter asking people not to judge him solely on those numbers and assuring them that the company was still committed to its values.
One more successful habit is believing in your ideas even if you’re constantly running into roadblocks like Dell did when he first started selling computers directly to consumers. Dell was turned down by retail stores and investors alike, but he didn’t let that stop him from starting his own company on a shoestring budget in college dorm rooms.
Cisco Systems, Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, specializing in networking and Internet products. The name “Cisco” was derived from the city name San Francisco.
Cisco was founded by Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, who worked as computer operations personnel at Stanford University. The pair had a rough start in the business.
Cisco believed in striving for constant and never-ending improvement.
They had a culture that encouraged failure, which was one of the reasons for their success.
Cisco has a highly ambitious growth strategy, and they are constantly expanding into new markets like security with products like Firepower. They plan to become even more significant by working on initiatives including the Internet of Everything (the term Cisco uses to link all kinds of physical objects to the Internet).
Cisco has a culture of community outreach, which is one reason it’s considered such an incredible place to work. They focus on giving back and ensuring that their employees’ interests are still felt no matter how big they get.
This strategy worked well for them because it helped them grow from a small startup to a significant player in the computer networking industry.
Today, Cisco is considered one of the most innovative companies to adapt and change with new technology constantly. In addition, they have been recognized as an employer brand that has significantly contributed to their success by offering employees competitive pay packages and excellent benefits.
TechCrunch is a leading technology website that offers news, videos, and events about the latest happenings in the IT world, technology, startups, and entrepreneurship. It was founded in 2005 by a successful serial entrepreneur, Mike Arrington, along with Keith Teare.
TechCrunch had the habit of taking massive action.
TechCrunch grew from a simple blog into an influential organization that employs over 30 full-time staff and has offices in San Francisco. It was voted as the best online publication by Business Insider and one of the top blogs by Forbes, making it clear to see how much they’ve grown since their beginning days.
In addition to taking massive action, they had the habit of believing in their ideas.
They also had a habit of believing in themselves, which was vital to the success of TechCrunch. They did not let any negativity get them down, and they continued moving forward with an open mind and ambitious attitude, no matter how tough things got.
TechCrunch continues blooming by expanding further into new markets like Asia and Europe and growing their online presence by creating new products that help further bring technology to the masses.
5. Plenty of Fish
Plenty of Fish, now owned by Match Group, is one of the world’s best-known internet dating services. In 2004, Markus Frind began PlentyOfFish.com as a side project and turned it into his full-time job in 2008.
Markus Frind was known for his belief never to stop learning.
This habit helped him maintain his success. As he evolved PlentyOfFish into the massive online dating site it was, Markus kept an open mind and continued pursuing new ideas that would help him grow in all business areas.
Markus also had a habit of believing in himself, which was vital for maintaining his success over time. He always knew what needed to be done, even if his employees were not always on board.
He also had the habit of taking time out for himself and encouraging others to do the same. Markus was able to work well with both friends and business partners because he knew how important it is to make time for everyone in your life who brings value.
6. Paul Mitchell hair products
A successful brand and business, Patrón has been a household name since 1937. Its creator, Pablo Marcos de Nino Paul DeJoria, went from rags to riches. The road to success was not always smooth for him. DeJoria spent time on the streets twice in his life.
When he was first homeless, he was only 22 years old and had a two-year-old son. He persisted in his business goals, eventually co-founding John Paul Mitchell Systems with $700 in startup capital.
Today, DeJoria is a prominent philanthropist who has supported a variety of social causes. He assists individuals experiencing homelessness by providing resources.
As you can see, Paul Mitchell believed in giving back.
He also had the habit of persistence.
He knew that if he kept trying, his efforts would pay off one day, and they did just that when John Paul Mitchell Systems became a massive success in the hair care industry.
DeJoria also has the habit of being an ambitious risk-taker who is willing to fail to achieve his dreams. He was not afraid of trying new things if it meant that he would eventually succeed, which paid off big time when John Paul Mitchell Systems made it big.
DeJoria also had the habit of being a leader, which was especially important to him after he founded John Paul Mitchell Systems with just $700. He took on that role by treating his employees as equals and encouraging them to share their ideas on improving their company even more than before.
He has always been known to be a people person. He treated everyone he came in contact with the same, whether investors or his employees at John Paul Mitchell Systems.
He truly believed that investing your time and energy into others would only bring it back to you tenfold, which is why DeJoria spent so much of his time helping others.
SparkVision is a startup that focuses on workplace culture to create environments where people thrive.
MaryBeth Hyland, a founder of the startup movement, used her developed survival talents to start her firm: Her unique skill-set results from a challenging childhood that helped her understand human interactions and how to satisfy various interests and personalities.
MaryBeth believes in the habit of tackling the most challenging task first each day.
This habit has helped her succeed in business while also sustaining her personal life.
She has always had the habit of being a thinker and an analyzer since she was young. This habit of thinking helped her thrive as an entrepreneur by allowing her to see numerous possibilities for improving current systems and processes before they even began.
In addition, MaryBeth is a dedicated leader who is always willing to do what it takes to make the company successful: no matter how much time and energy it might take.
She also has the habit of being a lifelong learner, which allowed her to gain substantial knowledge about management and leadership that she could apply at SparkVision. This habit helped her understand different types of personalities and how to manage them effectively, leading to her being a great leader.
MaryBeth has always had the habit of being an empathetic communicator because she understands that listening is just as critical as talking when it comes to effective communication. This trait also helped her become an even better leader by encouraging open discussion so everyone could be heard and understood.
MaryBeth has the habit of always being a risk-taker, which is why she started SparkVision. She takes risks wherever and whenever possible because it helps her uncover new opportunities that she might not have noticed otherwise. Risk-taking sparked innovation at SparkVision by encouraging employees who were naturally shy about their ideas to come forward with them.
MaryBeth has the habit of always thinking big, which is why she started SparkVision to change workplaces for the better by providing a space where people could grow and learn from one another and have fun while they were at work.
the habit of thinking big helped her improve how companies operate because it allowed employees to feel valued, appreciated, and respected.
MaryBeth believes that to be a great leader, you must also be the best version of yourself by prioritizing personal growth and development, which is why she has always had the habit of investing her time into herself before anyone else.
Being her best version helped her become more confident when leading others because she dares to be her authentic self.
MaryBeth believes in being present, which is why she never checks her phone or emails when it isn’t necessary because this allows her to focus on whatever task is at hand, so nothing gets missed.
Being present allowed MaryBeth to have a more significant impact within Sparkvision by letting her employees and co-founders know that they can rely on her and vice versa.
Successful entrepreneurs are always willing to take risks, which is why they make sure that their personal lives and work-life balance are well.
They also have the habit of being present to be able to focus on what matters most.
Being present means not checking emails or phones when necessary and making time for self-improvement (which includes both mental and physical health).
The habits I’ve listed here should help you think about your own entrepreneurial goals and how you can achieve them with greater ease by implementing these principles into your daily routine.
- make decisions quickly
- make mistakes
- strive for constant and never-ending improvement
- take massive action
- never stop learning
- give back
- start with the most challenging task first
What habits do you think are essential to your success?