Secret Tools of the Successful Entrepreneur - And How to Get Them: Part Two


Wishing for a secret to success? This week we finish filling up your toolbox with the mental tools of successful entrepreneurs. Grab the first five here, and keep reading to round out your kit!

6. Sense of Agency: Prepare Good Luck

Some of us like to see luck everywhere. Why not? It conveniently removes responsibility and second guessing.

Unfortunately, it also encourages you to under-prepare. Instead, have a sense of agency. Agency is your ability to act. Believe you can prepare for the unexpected. With good groundwork, you can create the right place, right time and right people that others call good luck.

Taking time to prepare for the most likely and consequential possibilities will stack the deck in your favor!

7. Instinct: Listen for Your Voice

In today’s sea of information, opinions and advice, it is vital to recognize your own instinctual voice. Your instincts, drawing on your subconscious experience and observations, give you a better picture of your choices and their consequences.

Ask yourself not just what you think but what you feel. The answer will give you new insights to explore. And when you’re overwhelmed, take advantage of your natural shortcut to big-picture thinking by trusting your instinctive response.

8. Energy: Play Smarter

The soul-crushing truth of adulthood is that your to-do list is never-ending. Unfortunately, your energy supply is not.

To operate at full potential, you must take time off from full speed. Pay attention to which activities and people give you energy. Stay away from numbing activities that don’t truly recharge you. Deliberately place personal energy builders into your work schedule and environment for more efficient refueling. Play smarter, and never run on empty again!

9. Perception: Read People

The ability to read people might be your most used, most important tool. Business is people, and influencing people starts with understanding them.

Understanding emotional drivers requires patience and perceptive observation. Listen first; ask second; speak third. Become an emotional sleuth – pay attention to tone and body language conveying unspoken messages.

Greater emotional intelligence will guide you towards the most effective course of action in a people-driven business world.

10. Respect: See People

The final tool that will help you build a truly successful business – one that lasts – is a deep respect for others. Some of the most enduring and well-regarded organizations today, such as Southwest Airlines and General Mills, are built on the foundation of seeing and respecting people as people.

Respect is a highly practical tool. When people know they are valued, they offer their discretionary effort, and it shows in the results. The real secret is that organizations built around people, with a profitable bottom line as a side effect, routinely outperform their competitors by a significant margin (see Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership).

Success doesn’t have to be a secret. It’s a proven process built with resources you already possess, even if you didn’t know it. So now that you know which tools to use, practice with them often, aim high and rise to heights you never imagined!

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