Proven keys to grow your income, improve your lifestyle, and find fulfillment through building a startup.
After watching several successful entrepreneurs go from zero to hero, I became curious about how they did it. Most of us are just treading water. What makes these outliers different? After analyzing their behaviors, I found the following twelve commonalities.
1. They Have a Vision
We like to hold romantic visions of college drop-out billionaires who blindly stumbled into their success. However, this is rarely the case in real life. Successful people start by visualizing the results they want in their lives and reinforce this vision daily. Some do it with imagination, others write in a journal, while a significant number say it out loud.
2. They Break Free of Old Patterns
Successful people often find that they need to make significant changes. This means they must give up on behavioral patterns, environments, and relationships that are holding them back. They understand that to do this, it's sometimes necessary to disregard the opinions of others to create the life they want. However, going too far can lead to one's undoing. The rise and fall of Uber's founder is a cautionary tale in this regard.
3. They Are Specific
It turns out that our brains love tangible targets containing numbers and events. For example, "I will be making $X/year by January 1, 2022." There's something about quantifying and measuring our dreams that excites us and motivates us to take action. We can expect that the founders of today's unicorns had specific metrics in mind for their platforms as they built them.
4. They Track Their Progress
Long-term goals are essential, but they are easy to disregard when we get caught up in our day-to-day lives. The winners I studied focused on a few key milestones each quarter (90 days) to stay motivated and gain momentum. Again, this is something quite suitable for building a tech-based business that has easily measurable KPIs (key performance indicators).
5. They Put Themselves in Flow States
We all know that getting into a flow state is both productive and pleasurable. Successful people organize their lives to be in flow as often as possible. They maximize the time in which they are immersed in a feeling of energized focus, presence, and fulfillment.
6. They Control Their Environment
Successful people set up, as best they can, an environment that matches the future they wish to create. This means an environment that resonates with their vision and values. This includes proactively surrounding themselves with people who inspire them.
7. They Focus on Results
Life is not about habits or processes. It's about results. We admire successful people because of their achievements. Thus, we must focus on the most effective way to get the results we desire. Of course, we must take the ethical route towards our goals. For example, we don't want to be like Facebook, which has faced significant backlash for their cavalier attitude towards user privacy.
8. They Identify Mentors and Partners
Poor people work for money. Successful people work to learn. Rather than looking for a job, they create the position by providing opportunities to ideal people they want to learn from. Next time you see a smart engineer joining a small startup for half the market rate, take a closer look at what she might be seeking to learn there. You might be seeing a future unicorn founder.
9. They Are Excellent Listeners
They realize that the key to forming relationships with people who are highly successful and influential is listening. It requires us to be present and takes practice but enables us to ask thoughtful questions and make our words relevant and on-point. This, in turn, makes us stand out from the many people who just want to be heard or get something.
10. They Focus on People
Rather than asking, "How do I do this?" they ask, "Who can either do this for me or help me do this?" For example, rather than laboring on a particular task, they might hire a specialist online via a global freelancer marketplace such as Conyac. At the end of the day, the market only cares about results—not whether you did everything yourself or in-house.
11. They Continually Update Their Values
What we focus on expands. If we're not getting what we want, then we need to change our focus. One powerful way successful people do this is through transformative experiences, including relationships. They regularly seek out experiences and engage with people who upgrade their perspectives.
12. They Keep Moving
People who continue succeeding throughout their lives use their past experiences to propel themselves towards bigger results, goals, and challenges. They are always growing, transforming, changing, and striving. We can see examples of this in the founders of today's tech giants, such as Oracle's Larry Ellison. He could have settled down with his fortune many years ago, yet even in his mid-seventies, he is constantly pushing towards the next generation of tech and the great benefits it may bring to his company's customers.
Success isn't hard to understand, but it's hard to follow the path and stick to it. Success requires us to change and adapt constantly. The fundamental part of conscious evolution is learning to control and direct our attention to the right things.
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Cover photo by Eloise Ambursley on Unsplash
Written by DLKR