Being an entrepreneur is not something you do, it is something you are. And it is very messy. There is no perfect way to start a business. If someone tells you there is, they’re selling you a bill of goods.
In Entrepreneurial Leap, I teach 8 disciplines. While these are not a guarantee, if you ingrain them in your memory and put them into practice, they will drastically increase your odds of entrepreneurial success.
Eight Disciplines to Increase Your Odds of Success
Assuming you have an idea that you believe has value and are ready to bring it to the world, adopting these eight specific disciplines will increase your odds of succeeding.
The first step when taking your leap is to capture your vision in writing. Capturing your vision in writing will create clarity for you and any other people involved in your business, such as employees, vendors, partners, and clients. Simply put, the clearer your vision, the more likely you are to succeed.
Some entrepreneurs desire partners, and some don’t. Either will work. I work with both successful entrepreneurs who have one or more partners and other successful entrepreneurs who own 100 percent of their companies and would never have a partner. You just have to decide which type you are.
This discipline is a reminder to constantly stay focused on providing value to your customers or clients. That’s because the more value you provide, the more you’re worth. The more problems you solve for them and the easier you make their lives, the more money you’ll make and your customers will never leave you.
The biggest mistake many entrepreneurs make when taking their leap is to assume their customer is going to love their idea. Based on this assumption, they create detailed long-term plans or spend money on the product or marketing before testing it and getting feedback.
What I urge you to do instead is work on a simplified premise. Focus first on providing value, then get feedback quickly and often from the people who will be paying you for the product or service.
You must have a mind-set that is ready, willing, and able to make course corrections. Know that your first plan won’t be your final plan.
I always have a plan B, C, and D on the drawing board. You should too. There’s no way to predict what the change is going to be and when or why it will happen, but you do need to prepare yourself for the fact that it’s going to happen.
It makes me crazy when I hear “gurus” teach their easy way to build a business. Every entrepreneur I’ve ever talked to has told me their journey was the opposite of easy.
I’ve been inside hundreds of businesses and have yet to see one that takes no effort. I love it when one of my clients talks about another company, which also happens to be one of my clients, and says, “That business is so easy. I wish I had that one.” I think, “Oh, if you only knew.”
Thousands of entrepreneurs who took their leap had to endure family, friends, and significant others telling them they were making a mistake. When I presented my idea for EOS Worldwide to a group of entrepreneurs who were friends and peers, all but one told me I was crazy and that it wouldn’t work. Thirty-one publishers turned down my first book, Traction, because “there
was nothing new here” and “it wouldn’t sell.” It has sold over a million copies.
You’ll be faced with the same negative feedback. You have to take it with a grain of salt and keep pushing forward.
You must see your ten-year goal vividly in your mind every night before you go to bed. Most importantly, make sure this goal is what you want because you’ll probably get it. The power of this discipline has been described thousands of ways over thousands of years. You can find it in Earl Nightingale’s work The Strangest Secret, in which he teaches: “We become what we think about most of the time.”
Having now read the eight disciplines, you probably see that there’s no one way to take your leap and no perfect set of steps. Yet this handful of disciplines, when you’re ready, will serve you well and increase your odds of success. Unfortunately, they cannot guarantee success. You may still fail. Just make sure that if you fail, you fail forward and try again.
Each of the disciplines above contain a link to more information. Choose the one you are most drawn to and go deeper. If you’re not sure, start with number one and go from there.
When taking your entrepreneurial leap you have two options… Option one: spend the next ten years of your life working on something you couldn’t care less about. Option two: spend