You've likely heard of Steven R. Covey's novel, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today, I thought I would create my own list.
I cannot claim that these 7 points are the "perfect recipe" for becoming a successful entrepreneur, but they are principles that have contributed greatly towards my own growth over the past few months. The use of the word "Wyldly" rather than Covey's "Highly" is as a result of my company being called Sir Wylde...
Anyways, here's the list.
(1) Be healthy. I cannot see much purpose in creating a successful life for myself, unless I am healthy enough to enjoy it. God created our bodies and gave them the ability to accomplish wonderful things. It's such a waste if we do not take care of them. This relates towards responsible eating habits and also frequent exercise. If we are healthy, we will also be able to think more clearly and perform more effectively. Set aside a time where you exercise EVERY day; don't take a day off. I believe exercise is most easily done in the morning, first thing when you wake up, but that's just my opinion.
(2) Organize & plan. I've referenced this in a few of my previous posts and believe that it is ESSENTIAL to success. Don't wake up without a plan for that day. Evaluate the day that has just past every evening before you go to bed and take ten minutes to plan the day to come. Plan ahead as well. Use a calendar (preferably one in your phone) to plan all the key goals and events for the next month. If needed share this calendar with someone close to you for accountability. If there are frequently times during the day where you think, "what should I be doing right now", it's likely because you haven't properly planned.
(3) Never dismiss an opportunity to learn. There are many things that you'll have to experience on your own, but there are also many things that you can learn from those who experienced before you. Wherever possible, learn before you try and fail yourself, this will save you a lot of heartache. I've experienced a lot of growth by listening to books and podcasts while working out in the morning...
(4) Sacrifice. You can't be a superstar right away. I remember once taking off a few hours during the week to catch up with a good friend. When I was with him, he said something like "That's the benefit of owning your own business huh?". My friend was right, owning my own business allows me to take off a few hours to catch up with him, however what he didn't realize is that for those few hours I took off to go eat a meal together, there were hundreds of more hours that I worked when he hadn't. There are going to be times when you have to say no to a social gathering or just hanging out with friends. Remember to have some balance (I struggle with this), but I firmly believe that if you are going to be "wyldely successful" then you're going to have to sacrifice.
(5) Be sincere. Perhaps the best thing that comes from starting a business is all of the wonderful people you get to meet. Since starting Sir Wylde 7 months ago, I have met more people and made more connections then I had in my two years living in Provo previously. I am grateful for these people's kindness and sincerity. One thing to remember though... these are NOT just connections to help you get ahead. Yes, I'm sure there will be opportunities for you to help each other, but do not take advantage of anyone and do not abuse any relationship. I can tell when someone just wants to meet me to get another LinkedIn connection; do not be this person. Work to help others succeed not to just get help in return, but because it's the right thing to do.
(6) Be creative and provide time for creativity. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the day reading and responding to emails. Be sure to take some time every day to just be creative. Brainstorming ideas on a Google Spreadsheet is what I have found most effective. Providing this time to be creative will allow you to come up with the golden ideas that will take your business to the next level.
(7) Always be evaluating. Never become comfortable. If you ask anyone who works around me, they would tell you that I am always evaluating my progress. I am always seeing where my company can improve. I am always trying to apply the things that I learn. I don't think there should ever be a moment when any entrepreneur just sits back and thinks, "There's literally nothing that I can do better." If Steve Jobs would have gotten complacent after The Macintosh Computer than we wouldn't have gotten the iPod or iPhone.
No list is perfect, but I believe this list has some good principles in it. Just keep grinding away and it will be worth it. I believe that anything is possible.
If any of you are working on pursuing your own entrepreneurial endeavor and want some advice, feel free to reach out - firstname.lastname@example.org.