We are extremely lucky nowadays to come into contact with so many incredibly successful people. Through social media and the wide proliferation of information, we have access to the words and thoughts of incredible entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, who share their vision on business and the world with a wide global audience via Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.
From analysing and comparing these visions across varied industries and locations, we come to realise that these impressive individuals share a number of common features or habits. Here are the main 7:
- They don’t have a plan B
Plan B’s are not for pioneers. They are born out of fear of failure and tend to be a safety harness that will prevent you from going as far as you can go. Plan B’s are for when the going gets tough and you think it won’t be worth it.
When plan A is the only thing you’ve got planned…guess what? You’ll work your ass off. Because you know that’s the one; it’s the only. 100%, all in, no harness, just you and your vision. There is no room for complacency, for average, for doubt.
Should it all end badly, take your learnings from the experience and apply them to snap back. As the saying goes, “if you’re not failing, you’re failing”! You have to take risks and you have to be prepared to go for the ride. There will be bumps, there will be falls but if your vision is constant, you will get there. Ditch Plan B.
- They put in the hours
Another saying goes “success is 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration”! Being great takes effort. It takes a lot of learning and a lot of graft. If you manage to get focused and apply everything you learn to your business, it will pay off.
Any performance athlete will have put in hours upon hours of arduous training to get there. Any exceptional musician will have suffered callused hands; any writer will have gone through pages and pages of edits and drafts. It takes effort, time, and commitment.
Start now and reap the rewards. Commit to it, know what your vision is, and work to make it happen.
- They work smart
Knowing what to give your time to is extremely important. A lot of young entrepreneurs might think that if they work through the night, they are committed. Working long hours doesn’t necessarily mean working smart. The main thing to focus on is…focus. Know what you want to achieve and structure how you want or how you think you should do it. Then focus on that and that only. Not sleeping won’t help you learn or achieve more, it will probably just sap your focus and you’ll achieve even less.
Research, learn and apply. Do put in the hours but for the right thing. If you get something done quicker than estimated…great! Onto the next thing. Don’t feel like it should take longer or compare yourself to “you need to sweat blood for your business” type articles. Work at your own pace, take the time, and be committed.
- They are disruptors
Trends come and go; crowds gather and disperse. The key to success is to do your own thing. Successful people do what the others don’t. They don’t follow the path with everyone else; they go where there is no path and make one.
Innovators come in with something that has little or no competition because it didn’t stem from crowd thinking; it didn’t follow the thought trend. It came from outside it; it came to disrupt the status quo.
- They with the BIG picture
And by big, I mean BIG. These guys truly know that the world is their oyster. They think world domination BIG. Don’t go into something thinking “I just want to be good enough”. There’s no point in doing that because you might not even get there. It’s average, it’s tame, and it’s safe. World domination might not be safe and it’s certainly not average.
Know what you want. Then aim for the superlative. See your big picture and start working from there. Start from the finish back to the start and figure out how to achieve it.
If you start small, you’ll stay small. Grandeur has a bad rep, and there’s no time for modesty where success is concerned. Stay grounded but don’t be modest!
- Once they get there, they go anywhere
Take Richard Branson’s example. His vision started with the Virgin record store. He got there. Then it went onto a recording studio; he got there. Then came Virgin Air, then Virgin Holidays, cars, cinemas, mobiles, air travel. He now goes anywhere.
Goals are to be achieved if you believe in them. And once you achieve and believe, you are on a roll. You can apply the same principles to anything you like. Sure, some ideas may fail. Even Branson apparently got into bridal wear at some point…and I can’t remember hearing a lot about Virgin gowns!
Successful people don’t just try to win one race. They expect and aim to win a number of different ones.
- They possess the ability to sell a vision
Selling ideas can seem like selling air. How do you show what you’re selling? How does someone test drive a vision? All successful entrepreneurs can sell their ideas. They don’t have to build it for people to come. People sell to people and people don’t really buy what you do, but they do buy why you do it.
Sales aren’t about tricks, strategies, gimmicks and hard closes. They are about believing in something and relaying it to others. They are about communication and knowing how to communicate with different people, with different backgrounds and different ways of looking at the world.
Belief is the biggest confidence booster and the engine that will enable you to share your dream with others and get them to buy into it. People want to want to work with you. Always remember, business is about people.
And if it doesn’t work, try and try again. Where there is a down, there is always an up and so on. Be prepared, be focused and believe. And get ready to join the ranks of those extremely impressive individuals.