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15 Ways to Succeed in Business

15 Ways to Succeed in Business

Wendy Piersall

Did you know that forty percent—40 percent—of young people want to be their own boss someday? That’s a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs. Millions, in fact.

Truth is, only a fraction of those people ever really start a business. Some get comfortable in a lifestyle that they can’t afford to give up. Others realize just how hard it is to be an entrepreneur and never try. Sometimes life just happens and makes entrepreneurship unattainable.

Of the few that actually try to start a business, many fail. The ones that succeed, though, have a few things in common.

You may not need to have all fifteen of these abilities to succeed in business. But be willing to learn them or hire someone who can cover your butt if you want to get out of the rat race and be your own boss someday.

1. Be a Salesperson

Never underestimate how important it is to be able to sell. It’s at the top of the list on purpose. Even if you never have to sell to clients (unlikely), you will have to sell your ideas to investors, sell your company vision to prospective employees, and sell consumers or customers on your brand. Selling is absolutely critical to your success, so if you have an aversion to it, you’d better get over that fast.

2. Delay Gratification

No business is successful on day one. Almost no businesses are successful after year one. If you think entrepreneurship is the ticket to instant riches, you need a reality check. Not only will you have to work hard for a long-term goal, you will probably have to work hard in the face of what seems like certain failure at times.

3. Discipline

Discipline isn’t just about working hard, but you do have to do that. Discipline is also about managing your entrepreneurial tendencies. Many natural born entrepreneurs are blessed with a mind that is an idea-generating machine. The good news is that some of those ideas are gold mines. The bad news is that if you continually pursue new ideas, old ideas never get developed to fruition. And I’ve watched one multimillionaire in particular run his business into bankruptcy because every week he was working on something new.

4. Take Risks

Just leaving the rat race is a huge risk in an of itself. No wonder so few people do it. And if you have a spouse or significant other, realize that they are risking with you—whether they like it or not. Everyone has a need for some level of certainty, so if you can’t find it in your business, plan on finding it elsewhere—maybe for several years at a time.

5. Build Rapport

Note that this is not called “Making Friends”—important, yes, but not the same thing. Building rapport means building respect, a reputation, and hopefully key alliances along the way. Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy you’d call your BFF. But he does have the ability to get people to listen and trust him. You will need to build relationships as an entrepreneur, no business is an island.

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