Earlier this week, I answered a question on Quora about how I’d describe the habits of successful entrepreneurs. I jotted down 10 habits I observed in many highly successful entrepreneurs I know or have read about. I realized that these habits are the same ones I would use to describe owners and employees working for established and successful companies, whether in the B2B or B2C universe.
Many established companies are introducing new products, platforms, and services using what’s worked for them in the past. Their current venture initiative comes crashing into the reality of why strategies and tactics that worked in the past may not apply within today’s digital millennium marketplace. Time to retool and recalibrate.
My take on entrepreneurship boils down to:
1) Entrepreneurs don’t take “No!” for an answer.
2) Entrepreneurs get up one more time than they fall down.
3) Entrepreneurs assume accountability and responsibility for Everything in their Enterprise.
4) Entrepreneurs don’t have thin skin.
5) Entrepreneurs aren’t enamored with the entourage and trappings of their enterprise as much as they buy in to the experience and leadership demands of their enterprise.
6) Entrepreneurs understand that if they built it, it’s their obligation to sell it. Generating their revenue stream is their responsibility.
7) Entrepreneurs want their venture to make a difference, and a long-term one. They don’t consider their venture to be flavor-of-the-month.
8) Entrepreneurs give in order to receive; sharing knowledge, expertise, insights, advice.
9) Entrepreneurs don’t delegate.
10) Entrepreneurs know what to do next, and leave themselves open to all possibilities of what Next looks like.
Which got me thinking.
The bottom line is that the bottom line is part of everyone’s job responsibility whether stated or not. Every person you have working for your venture, your enterprise, your startup, your company impacts revenue creation in one way or another. Either they are eating up way too many resources or they are part of service quality delivery fueling customer satisfaction and retention. Either they contribute to input-throughput-output or they create obstacles for other folks, including your customers.
It’s all hands on deck. All of the time.
What is your goal, as the head of your venture or even your small to mid-cap company? Is it to grow your venture so that you can lean back in your chair and become a Visionary Leader? I’m not sure that even I know what that phrase means, but I have heard that sentiment expressed as the Ultimate Business Goal by more than a few folks I coach.
That type of goal makes me uncomfortable. How about you?
Obviously, you want to get your company running and humming. However, it’s not prudent to think that your enterprise will ever become self-perpetuating. Your role as the Entrepreneur-Owner-Visionary, whatever you decide to title yourself, is perpetual. Because the possibilities you create when you launch your venture and lead your company can be infinite.
If you are going to lean back and reap the benefits of the insights you had once upon a time, you may become myopic instead of visionary.
If your strategy is all hands on deck, all of the time (and I’m not talking about micromanagement either), then you are aware of trending, engaged in continuous learning, understand the value of employee and customer engagement, and are always thinking beyond your personal and professional horizon.
You know when it’s time to stay the course. You are prepared to make the hard calls that result in pivots and streamlining operations. You know where the buck stops: with you, at all times.
The days of leaning back in your armchair and delegating to others got pretty much squashed after 2008. That’s post-industrial era mindset. In today’s globally competitive digital marketplace, you can lean back in your armchair. I recommend that your armchair better be placed in the virtual and physical cockpit of what it takes to run your organization.
There’s no Easy in Entrepreneurship. Then again, if it were easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it?
What’s been your experience?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo back into small and mid-sized businesses and creates revenue-producing business strategies for technical start-ups seeking investors and early customers. Babette is recognized as one of the “2013 Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers.” She’s also a Certified Six Sigma Quality Green Belt. Download her newest White Paper at her Free Resources Page.