Entrepreneurs love throwing around buzz words like monetization, scalability and the Long Tail. Entrepreneurs who dream big tend not to think in the short-term, but rather want to build 100 year companies.
To build a company that will last several generations, entrepreneurs will focus on doing what’s best for the customer and working from the heart.
To build a long lasting company, entrepreneurs absolutely need to be happy doing what they’re doing. Becoming successful, powerful or wealthy might be milestones along the journey, but it’s not a goal in itself.
The goal for most entrepreneurs is personal happiness, fulfillment and providing for their family. So how do you achieve happiness as an entrepreneur
1. Surround Yourself With Positive People
While you don’t need to surround yourself entirely by “yes men” who will just agree with every you say, a mentor or people that inspire you to work hard and make you feel part of a team can be very beneficial.
When you first meet someone, like prospective employees, try to imagine being stuck in an elevator with that person for two or three hours. Would it be awkward? Interesting? Fun?
Try to hire and surround yourself with people you will be happy to see when you walk into the office each morning.
2. Avoid Negative People Who Make You Unhappy
You know the type of people. It’s either an associate or friend who’s always negative, complaining and try to bring your down. They might be an employee who’s turned out to be hiring mistake.
Be honest and true to yourself. Get rid of under-performing employees or those who don’t fit into your office culture. You will feel a great sense of relief once you do.
3. Create A 10 And 30 Year Plan
While making a plan for the next 12-24 months is just good business practice, looking far into the future can also be helpful to set your business on the right track.
It is difficult to get specific about goals you want to achieve in 10 years time, but setting a rough guide down on paper should allow you to fill in the intervening years with necessary steps to get there.
Creating a 30 year plan may involve your family, say training your children to run the business. What would have to change? What would be the state of the world or your industry? It’s not easy to get a clear picture, but it’s a good exercise to consider it, none-the-less.
4. Inspire Yourself
Entrepreneurs are often an inspiration to other, but those that do the inspiring also need to be inspired themselves.
Entrepreneurs can fuel their creativity and future-thinking by reading books, watching documentaries or reading quotes from other entrepreneurs.
Here at Inscribd, we have a dedicated section for Inspiration filled with quotes and stories on successful businesses.
5. Don’t Let Other Peoples Expectations Set Your Goals
Set your own agenda and stick with it. An an entrepreneurs, you’ll have many people relying on you to do a good job, and their vested interest could give you the impression that they have significant sway in your decision-making process.
While this sometimes may be the case for your spouse or investors, your employees are there to help fulfill your goals, not attend to their own agenda. Friends and associates don’t set your goals either and shouldn’t be a factor in your choices.
Build your company the way you see fit. Make it unique by putting your personal stamp on it. That uniqueness will make or break your company. Don’t go against your own beliefs and try to be like other people.
6. Just Say No
Entrepreneurs are always busy. There is not enough time in the day to get everything done.
If you are always saying “yes” to every demand or request, you could get burned out very quickly.
Customers and friends will ask you for favors and your time. Remember, unless you are running a charity, your time should be compensated. Favors that run outside of the scope of your business also should be flatly rejected.
Your time will be much better served focusing on your company.
7. Take A Break Every-So-Often
When I first started my business, I worked every day of the week, non-stop for years without a holiday. Most entrepreneurs I know are in the same boat.
Even when we aren’t at work, we still think about work.
But that can be a good thing too. Thinking about the big picture while on holiday or taking a weekend off can re-invigorate your passions and creativity.
When you return, you’ll have more energy, a clear focus and no excuses to slack off.
One of the few upsides of being an entrepreneur is that you can schedule your own calendar, so take advantage of that.
8. Fly By The Seat Of Your Pants
Some days can feel like total chaos with issues hitting you squarely in the face unexpectantly.
Occasionally, those type of days will make you feel a bit helpless, but know that you’ll get through it. You always do.
Even when events are totally out of your hands, it’s time to step up and manage the expectations of your customers and employees. Re-assure them that you’re taking care of it and the chaos will pass.
9. Don’t Try To Be Perfect
“90% of success is just showing up.”Woody Allen
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“Done is better than perfect.”Facebook
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Nobody and no company is perfect. Striving for perfection is lofty goal that’s rarely achieved. Perfection in who’s eyes? Yours, your customer, your employees?
Getting that last 10% of perfection can take triple as much effort as the first 90%. By the time you finish, your competitors may have already passed you by.
10. Know When To Quit
Knowing when to quit can be one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur. One of the qualities of successful people is knowing when to be persistent too.
The best thing you can do is ask for advice, test the market, ask your customer what could be improved about your service.
If enough people are saying the same things – things you are not willing to fix – it could be time to consider looking down a new path.
Your willingness to continue with your business, and your passion to do what you do best, is what drives your business along, and ultimately will make you happy.
As an entrepreneur, making a fresh start with the knowledge you’ve learned from past ventures can be a stepping stone to future success.
Being an entrepreneur can be massively beneficial for your personal finances and personal happiness. It can also be frustrating, demanding, and all-consuming.
Finding a work-life balance is the key to being a happy entrepreneur.
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