You don’t become a business school with one of the nation’s leading entrepreneurship centers without appreciating what it takes to be a self-starter.
Here at Bauer College, we love encouraging entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams. This week, our Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship is hosting their biggest event of the year, Wolffest (click here to learn more), where Bauer entrepreneurship students are putting everything they’ve learned to the test by launching pop-up restaurant stands on campus to raise money for the program.
Like any entrepreneur will tell you, to really succeed, you need more than the right skillset. While every business success story is unique, there are certain qualities that the most successful entrepreneurs share — here are 7 things we’ve found most entrepreneurs have in common.
Be Willing to Sacrifice.
In order to reach your dreams in the future, you’re going to have to make sacrifices now. The first few months (or even years) of launching a business are often the most demanding, which means other activities will have to be put on hold. If you’re truly committed to realizing your business goals, you’ll have to be okay with prioritizing those things over almost every other area of your life.
Successful entrepreneurs think outside the box in every aspect of their business. While it’s important to be aware of industry standards, it’s also necessary to think about what fits your company in particular. Challenge yourself to find creative solutions instead of simply doing what everyone else is doing. At the end of the day, it’s companies with the best and most well executed ideas that have the greatest potential for lasting success.
Launching a startup is no easy feat, and if you’re trying to handle every part of the process on your own, it can start to get overwhelming. Surround yourself with a team that will help you with the smaller, more manageable tasks so you’ll have time to focus on the most vital aspects of your business. Don’t forget to keep your strengths and weaknesses in mind as you consider who to include in your team.
Find a Mentor.
One way to ensure success in a new venture is to seek guidance from someone who’s already been there. Find an entrepreneur or professional with greater experience in your field that can provide you with valuable business advice as you launch your business. You can even search for more than one mentor so you’ll have access to multiple perspectives — think of this as your own personal board of directors.
Good business owners know that seeking out new knowledge is essential to maintain a competitive advantage. Even if you’re out of college, signing up for new courses, trainings and workshops can help you learn how to better manage your business. You should always seek to stay up to date on what’s happening within your industry and use that knowledge to set yourself apart. (Did you know that Bauer College offers non-degree Executive Education courses throughout the year, btw?)
Build a Network.
In addition to building a great team, the best entrepreneurs surround themselves with a broad and reliable network. These are the partners, friends and associates that will help spread word about your business and connect you to the right opportunities. As you launch your business, network through trade shows, business competitions, alumni reunions and other events. And don’t forget to support other entrepreneurs along the way.
Focus on Your Vision.
At the end of the day, the reason you started your business in the first place is what should keep you going. Align all your decisions with the main purpose behind your business, and don’t pursue other distractions until you’ve accomplished your main goals. One way to keep yourself accountable in this area is to create specific, measurable goals that you can look back on throughout every phase of your business.
By Priscilla Aceves