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9 Secrets of Successful Entrepreneurs

by Dru Wynings. Average Reading Time: about 5 minutes.

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Here’s what I don’t understand: almost everyone wants to be successful but most simply aren’t willing to do the necessary work. The secret of success isn’t even a secret anymore but still almost no one gets it; it’s as if there is a pile of cash sitting and waiting for you to touch; but for some strange reason, you don’t.

For most people, the race is finished even before it begins out of sheer arrogance, laziness and the lack of initiative. Some of these “get-rich-dreamers” actually wake-up and saunter, only to stumble and fall back into nothingness. Want your dream to become a reality?

Here are 9 secrets to being a successful entrepreneur:

Successful Entrepreneurs think, feel and act confident

One of the fundamental attributes of success is confidence. How do you ever expect to convince others to do business with you if you yourself don’t belief you’re worth doing business with? You have to be optimistic that all your hard work will pay off. Along your path to success, you will fail… miserably. The real question is whether you’re able to recover from those failures and overcome them.

Hard work, like no other

Most people just dream of being wealthy and hardly anyone moves a muscle to earn that extra dollar. Here’s another, “in-your-face” truth to success: get up ahead of everyone else and go back sleep when everyone else is almost done sleeping, only to wake up again much before everyone else.

So many people think they want to be an entrepreneur running their own startup—very few are willing to do the work necessary. Completing (and loving!) an almost inhuman amount of work within a day, working hard like there’s no tomorrow and working on jobs that others consider to be beneath them are the secrets to success. Are you actually willing to do whatever it takes?

Bargain like a fishwife

Most people think that negotiating the hell out of anyone trying to make a deal with you is a waste of time or that you might lose the deal if you negotiate way too much and risk offending the other party; but that is exactly what power players do.

Experienced executives can be the toughest people to negotiate with. They will either get what they want or walk out of the room immediately. Contrary to what most people think, the deal is far from busted because they will often call back or close the deal right there. Master negotiation skills and be willing to walk away and see how the world comes running to your feet.

Put yourself in the position of always feeling comfortable walking away from a deal, and you have mastered the art of negotiation. Have you tried being a fishwife yet?

Save money like a miser

Sure, you can probably get by spending your paycheck every month and living a luxurious life, but how does that fit into your longterm goals? You do have a plan, don’t you? Having a nice cushion allows you to feel comfortable working on your “crazy side project.”

Saving money also allows you to invest in the smart people you surround yourself with, your friends. Ever heard of a friends and family round?

If the most amazing investment opportunity were to come to you tomorrow, would you be able to act on it? Are you willing to make the sacrifices today, so that you can prosper tomorrow?

Love what you do

Earlier I mentioned that you will fail miserably at least once. It’s loving what you do that keeps you going and convinces you to dig your heels in and try once more. Some of the most successful people I know weren’t motivated by the money or the glory. They followed their passions—reaped the rewards—and prospered. Would you be willing to do what you’re doing if you were guaranteed to never make a single dollar?

Be well-read

Knowledge is power – while you may think that’s cliché, I swear by it. Stay on top of information relevant to you, and success will follow. Successful entrepreneurs prefer a book over Television; they would rather take a trip to an unknown place than spend time chatting about the latest gossip. They read when they wait, travel, before and after sleep, and whenever else they get time. Do you read what matters?

Time is god, nothing else

Do you value your time above all else? If you ever have a chance to see someone who executes, and executes well, you’ll see what I mean. They hurry; they don’t stop; they don’t pause for anything; they make quick decisions; they execute in a single day work equivalent to what 3 people do; they are not available for hours of chit-chat.

They are ruthless when it comes to time and guess what? They don’t have the time to hear you complain about the fact that they just passed on your offer to “sit over a cup of coffee”. I know it sounds funny, but the cofounders of Heyzap order everything possible on Amazon, whether it be toothpaste or nutella. Why? Running to the store to pickup those items isn’t efficient for them. How important is your time to you?

Taking risks vs being brash; Tenaciousness vs stupidity — knowing the difference

One of the other reasons why entrepreneurs are successful is because they never gave up. However, they do give up when it makes sense to do so. One of the key differences here between them and most others is simple—you’ve got to know when to give up and when not to. Take calculated risks, as opposed to, being brash and making decisions in the heat of the moment. There is a difference between being tenacious and being stupid. Taking calculated risk breeds winners but being brash throws you into the rabbit-hole. Are you mindful of everything at play?

Self-Aware

In startups, there are the known knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns. The unknown unknowns are the most prevalent in an early-stage startup. Your goal is to test your hypotheses, which you’ve formed based on what you know, and in turn, turn those unknown unknowns into, at least, known unknowns. Have you formed a framework for learning what you don’t know?


Although the points above are simple, they aren’t necessarily easy to follow. It would take a lifetime, immense amount of sacrifice, time, consistency and considerable amount of hard work to get there.

Have you followed any of the above points so far? What characteristics do you think are inherent in successful entrepreneurs?

Photo credit: elea