Most entrepreneurs start their business to achieve financial independence and wealth. There’s nothing wrong with that goal. The problem is finding ways to turn that dream into reality. Here are a few starting points to guide you on that path.
1. People Must Like You
There’s no working around it; it’s not just who you know, but how they feel about you as well. Most deals are only finalized in board rooms. The foundations are laid on golf courses, parties, and dinners. They’re also not made in a vacuum. If people don’t like you, they’re less likely to give you a shot.
You don’t have to make them love you, you just have to be likable. Match their expectations and desires. Make them feel welcome as much as possible.
2. Become a Great Salesperson
It doesn’t matter what industry you enter as an entrepreneur – you’ll need to sell, and not just to customers. You’ll need to sell your ideas to investors, to potential employees, to possible partners, throughout the course of your startup’s life. If you can’t sell the startup’s products, no one can.
3. Learn to Say No and Walk Away
Opportunity chasing is part of being an entrepreneur. Where many entrepreneurs fail is realizing that while you should consider every opportunity that comes by, it doesn’t mean you should take all of them. Some opportunities are better than others, and many are not worth the risk or effort. The trick is knowing which ones are which.
You may have a different, but related problem – you may have trouble saying no and walking away. It’s normal to feel that you’re letting people down when you back out of something, but if you want to make money, you’ll have to focus on what’s best for your startup. If a deal doesn’t look good, don’t force the issue. Go look elsewhere.
4. Get Things Done
It may come as a surprise, but one of the biggest hurdles you’ll is talking about things rather than getting things done. There are parts of entrepreneurship that require discussion, but there is a point wherein talking about things is a waste of time. Focus on consequences and goals, and managing both.
5. Limit Financial Risk
You can’t make money if you keep losing it. Yes, you need to spend money to make money, however that doesn’t mean you should expose your assets. At most, you should only commit 1/5th or 20 percent of your own money to your startup. Over commit, and you could end up losing more than you can afford, which can endanger your future. This can keep your millionaire dreams at bay for years.
6. Get Your Fundamentals Down
You’re never going to get anywhere as an entrepreneur by flailing wildly. No startup has succeeded without a competent leader at the helm. Being an entrepreneur involves a lot of trailblazing and treading new ground. The only thing you can rely on are the fundamentals.
You’re likely not going into your company knowing everything you need to, and that’s OK. A little on-the-job training isn’t so bad, as long you’re learning from someone who can catch your slip ups. Investors and partners, for example, can help you fill out your skillset.
7. Aim for Win-Win Situations
Negotiations, despite what the movies may show you, are not about dominating and crushing the other party. You’re not looking to crush them, far from it. You’re looking to create a mutually beneficial agreement. If one side of the party is somehow not gaining out of the deal, it’s not a good negotiation. Help them get what they want from your company and they’ll spread the word that you’re a dream to work with.
8. Make Consistent Lead Generation a Priority
The best products in the world won’t move themselves. They’ll need your help getting the, sold. This is where many startups falter. Their starting marketing campaigns fizzle out, and before they know it they’re short on sales because they don’t have a reliable way to get customers interested. Develop that early and you’re making your company’s future brighter.
9. Use Empathy to Your Advantage
Empathy has a place in business. Understanding where someone is coming from will help you properly manage them. It may seem cold to use empathy to properly lead your team, but it’s the best way to do it. It’s also not that cold if you honestly care for their well-being.
10. Use People Properly
If your employees don’t multiply the startup’s productivity, they’re not worth having. The mistake many entrepreneurs make is hiring people to fill seats. Every person you have should exponentially improve the company’s performance.
It’s not just about hiring the right people either. Having the right systems can improve productivity and give you more room to breathe. Make them scalable and you’re protecting your company’s future.
Becoming a millionaire can’t be done by accident, at least not reliably. Not having a plan as an entrepreneur is the equivalent of betting on the lottery – someone will score, but it probably won’t be you. Do the right things and you’ll put the odds in your favor.