Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are two of the biggest entrepreneurial names in the business world. But while both have had wildly successful careers and developed two of the most valuable brands to this day, Bezos’ and Musk’s leadership styles differ greatly.
It’s no surprise that being a successful entrepreneur takes the perfect storm of attributes. And while there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method to entrepreneurial success, there are comparable patterns that many successful entrepreneurs such as Bezos and Musk follow.
Whether you’re just starting your career or are looking to hone your entrepreneurial skills, cultivating the right attributes and implementing the following strategies will help you further your career without risking your sanity.
1. Learn How to Self-Promote
Self-promotion is a tricky thing. Do it too much and you run the risk of coming off as braggy, pompous, or salesy. Do it too little and you run the risk of missing out on valuable connections and opportunities.
Mastering the art of self-promotion is without a doubt tricky, but if you don’t self-promote, who will? Ultimately, self-promotion is the best way to tell your story — after all, no one else knows your story like you do. You are the expert when it comes to knowing yourself.
If you’re looking to up your self-promotion game, there’s lots you can do. From something as simple as consistently posting to your social media platforms, to fostering your social influence skills, self-promotion takes many forms. For more ideas, Bruce Kasanoff wrote a great article on 40 ways to self-promote without being a jerk and artist.
“I’ve said it before, and by gosh, I’ll say it again — don’t be afraid to toot your own horn.” – Emlyn Chand
2. Establish a Task System Early On
You know the age-old saying: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” For entrepreneurs, this statement couldn’t be truer. No matter how great your ideas, connections, and resume are, entrepreneurial success relies on proper planning. Failing to plan makes it difficult to have the laser-focus necessary to avoid trying to appeal to anyone and everyone, and can cost you sales as a result.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs focus on the end goal of executing their product or service more than they focus on planning because they consider planning too time consuming. While writing your business plan isn’t something you can tackle on your 30-minute lunch break, it’s important to put in the hours necessary to get it done. Realizing that planning is a must-have, not just a nice-to-have, is so important for entrepreneurial success.
With proper planning and establishing processes for all aspects of your operations, your startup can avoid losing sales, especially if you run an online business. It may take some trial and error and adjustments to your original plan to figure out the right task system for you, but it’s important to do so.
Not sure where to start? Set some time aside to read about successful businesses and the entrepreneurs who built them. During your research, be sure to take notes and outline a rough draft of your business plan along with task systems and processes that make sense for you.
In the end, taking the time to devise a plan and establish a task system will help you concentrate on your goals, track your progress, identify risks in advance, and understand failures and how to remedy them.
3. Be Open to Change
If there’s one attribute all successful entrepreneurs share it’s that they are open to change. Change isn’t always easy — especially for those who prefer to be in control — but being open to change and learning to adapt isn’t just a success skill, it’s a survival skill.
Sure, being passionate about what you do is a necessary attribute of all entrepreneurs, but being stubborn isn’t. Entrepreneurial ventures are uncertain by nature and being inflexible about client or market needs will lead to failure.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll likely find that the path you originally envisioned in your head is totally different than how your product or service is executed. As a result, you may have to change your product or service to adapt to your unique situation. Entrepreneurs who embrace change find that it’s easier to keep moving forward. It’s important to remember that change doesn’t symbolize failure, but symbolizes growth.
Of course, change can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Successful entrepreneurs know that their venture is not just about doing what they believe is good, but also making a thriving business out of it.
You can embrace change in lots of ways — by welcoming suggestions from others, checking your ego at the door, and learning how to fail correctly.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” – Albert Einstein
The journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t as easy as going from Point A to B. Throughout your career, you’ll be challenged, tested, and thrown curveballs. But by cultivating the right attributes like learning the art of self-promotion, planning, and being open to change, it’ll make the journey much more enjoyable.