I recently came across an interesting article in Investor’s Business Daily. The article identified 10 traits necessary for achieving your goals and improving your entrepreneurial life and business. The article is spot on in its observations and I might point out that it emphasizes what I’m preaching about on a regular basis; Master the basics of success and your life and business will always be exceptional.

Here are the 10 Traits with a couple of my thoughts thrown in;

  1. A Positive Attitude: One of my favorite authors, Harvey Mackay, says, “I have never met a successful pessimist!” No matter how many times you hear or read or are taught the importance of a positive attitude, it doesn’t work until you apply it. I don’t want to hear the , “Yeah I know that!” line….do it and live it.
  2. A Definitive Goal: In this case, definitive means CLEAR and WRITTEN. “I want to be rich!” is not a goal. “On December 31st I will be worth $1 million dollars!” is a goal. Research shows that less than 3% of our entire society has clear, definitive and written goals. It also says that over 90% of all wealth is held by that 3%. What else do you need to inspire you?
  3. A Courageous Spirit: I believe that one of the top leadership traits for today’s business world is in having the courage to say NO! Being an entrepreneurial business person means having the guts to make the hard decisions and to take the calculated risks, while others are thinking about it. Sometimes the difference between good and great is simply having the courage to step out in faith of yourself; your business; your team.
  4. An Inquisitive Mind: I believe that it is absolutely necessary to have an on-going, lifelong commitment to learning. When you graduate from college is when the real learning begins. Now is the time to apply what you’ve learned; to make adjustments and to learn more. It is proven that you only stop learning when you decide to stop learning. Simply put, I’ve yet to meet a highly successfully entrepreneur that did not have a continuous education plan.
  5. A Strong Heart: Some of the more successful entrepreneurs that I’ve ever had the privilege to meet have told me that one of the keys to their success is that they make decisions using two primary tools. Part of their decision is based on their intellect, what their brain is telling them. The other part of their decision is based on what their heart, their emotional base tells them. Without input from both, it will certainly be a risky decision.
  6. An Analytical Brain: Many “entrepreneurs” are people that do not always think things through as complete as they should. Successful entrepreneurs will still want to move fast but they have always disciplined themselves to take a deep breath and take a moment to analyze the deal and to make sure there isn’t a small detail lurking that could eventually be disastrous.
  7. A Focused Eye: It has now been proven that the idea and concept of being a “multi-tasker” is highly inefficient. You can get lots of things done or you can get a few essential things completed successfully. It’s a matter of learning to prioritize the tasks at hand and then manage the time to get them done! FOCUS on what truly is the most important issue and be sure to get that done first.
  8. A Fearless Approach: I’ve always taught that one of the more powerful features of a successful entrepreneur is that they believe in themselves when no one else in the world seemingly does. Confidence and self belief are powerful traits. I consider confidence as part of my marketing plan. Consider this, who wants to hire a professional that doesn’t absolutely believe in what they’re doing. Someone who is absolutely passionate about their abilities; that will face whatever roadblocks that lay ahead with confidence; discipline; strength; courage and a belief that nothing can stop them. Once you make up your mind that you want to be in business, this is the message you must project!
  9. A Disciplined Tongue: Learn to get along with everyone. The idea of dealing with people today with the idea of “this is who I am, and if you don’t like it, tough!” will no longer work. The successful entrepreneur is the one who understands that to survive and thrive you must master the art of listening before you talk; that you pick your battles and debates and you do everything possible to avoid any level of misunderstanding. In other words, shut up and listen.
  10. A Clear Conscience: In a recent article on this exact subject, author and speaker, Harvey Mackay said of this, “Always act like your mother is watching. Don’t forget those rules you learned in kindergarten: Play nice. Be dependable. Tell the truth. If you can’t get to the top by being true to yourself and straight with everyone around you, your success will be hollow and probably short lived.”

A valuable mentor of mine once said, “Knowledge is not power….Application of Knowledge is the real Power!” The only way these ten traits can ever work for you is if you put them to work. Discipline yourself to mastering these basic elements of success and success will surely follow.

If you need some help, call me or write. This is what we do at Grow Southwest and we’re open for business.

Be Great,

Coach Dan



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