There are two types of entrepreneurs. And knowing which one you are is critical to your development. There is the entrepreneur that just works hard. Someone who puts in unthinkable hours, is completely confident in their business, creates detailed plans – but at the end of the day, never seems to have much to show for it.
And then there is the entrepreneur who works smart. They put in as many hours as is required, only plan as much as needed, are confident but not delusional, are open to new ideas, and constantly look to the advice of people more experienced than them.
If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re reading blogs like this one, I’m sure you want to know how you can make sure you are the latter. The problem most of us have though, is not knowing exactly what to do to accelerate our success. If we’re going to be working hard we want to know we’re also working smart.
So the question is, what can you focus on to make sure you’re working smart, and making leaps and bounds in your business?
Here are 7 ways to accelerate your success as an entrepreneur:
1. Limit your time with people who bring you down
Entrepreneurs quickly learn that striving to do something bigger than those around them can be messy. People often start to project their own fears onto you, undermine your vision, suck energy from you, and ultimately drag you down.
Cutting people out should be a no nonsense process, but that doesn’t mean it should be rushed. Sometimes you just need to distance yourself or you need to redefine boundaries in your relationships. If you’re around people that don’t bring anything to the relationship, belittle your dreams, or talk you out of them, then you need to limit your time with them.
2. Set smaller goals
The number one factor that allows entrepreneurs to waste time is not having specific goals. Lack of clarity in your business does two things: You either spend too much time focusing on the wrong areas of the operation or you make yourself feel overwhelmed by the idea of reaching such a huge goal.
In order to see success you have to be specific about what you want to accomplish. If you don’t know what those steps are, that’s completely okay. It just means you need to do more research, read more books, talk to a mentor or even look for advice in forums. Remember, we’re in the digital age where almost any information is available, we just have to find it and act on it.
“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” – Brian Tracey
3. Live by the 80/20 rule
The Pareto principle suggests that around 80% of effects will come from only 20% of causes. In practice this may mean that 80% of the market may be owned by 20% of businesses, or 80% of sales result from 20% of clients. For you, it means 80% of your results will come from 20% of your most important activities.
To live by the principle, constantly track and evaluate your time and results in order to determine what your 20% most effective activities are. You can then delegate, automate, or eliminate the rest.
4. Surround yourself by like minded people
It’s very easy for entrepreneurs to slip into the habit of trying to do everything by themselves. Unfortunately, this just slows down your growth. Finding a mastermind and being around likeminded entrepreneurs can help you in countless ways. Finding a mastermind group has many benefits including, networking with potential mentors, collaborating with other business owners, cross-promoting, or learning successful habits.
5. Invest in a coach
All world class athletes have a coach. Without them, they never expect to compete at the highest level. So why would you expect to reach your entrepreneurial potential without a coach?
What you may not know is that most world class business leaders have personal coaches. Everyone from Google Executives to U.S Presidents like Bill Clinton have had coaches. You may need help with strategy, habits, and self-defeating thought patterns, or you might just need accountability.
If you’re just starting out, coaches can seem like a big investment, but when you find the right one, they’ll pay it off tenfold. A lot of business coaches offer free consultations, so make sure you do your research and find a coach that resonates with you personally.
“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.” – Bob Nardelli
6. Redefine your personal boundaries
If you want to get ahead in business fast, you have to learn to redefine your personal boundaries and put yourself first.
Putting yourself first means your business goals come before everything else; that includes drinking with friends, dealing with negative influences, watching Netflix for hours on end, or telling yourself that you can’t do something.
Meditation is beneficial for everyone, and this goes tenfold for high performers. A huge proportion of successful people swear by meditation. From NBA players like Kobe Bryant, to US Marines to hedge fund managers like Ray Dalio, and Media Moguls like Russell Simmons and Oprah Winfrey—success follows meditation. That’s because it works. Get away from any ideas that it’s a fad, or it’s just not for you.
Meditation has some incredible benefits:
- Improved immune function
- Improves ability to focus
- Decreased anxiety, stress and depression
- Increase in Positive emotions
- Improves emotional intelligence
- Increases compassion
- Improves introspective acuity
- Improve willpower
The game of entrepreneurship is a long one. However, when you play it smart, you can see massive growth in a relatively short amount of time.
If tackling all of these at once is too much for you, just start with a few then add one a month and in no time you’ll be absolutely crushing it.