Julius Caesar said experience is the best teacher in 100 BC, and that’s still painfully true, thousands of years later. For today’s entrepreneurs, launching a new business or promoting an innovative idea can be an extremely challenging experience.
As you navigate your own entrepreneurial journey, it helps to hear advice from other business superstars who have fought their way to the top. Here are 20 things you can learn from some of the world’s top coaches.
Tip #1- “Get brutally honest.” - Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins never went to college or had any formal business training, but he made his first million by the age of 24. He told Entrepreneur magazine that one of the things that has made him successful is being brutally honest with himself about his own strengths and weaknesses. Never lie to yourself, and never lie to others, Robbins says, or you’ll never be proud of your own success.
Tip #2- “Get ultra-specific.” - Tony Robbins
Robbins also believes vague goals kill the prospects of entrepreneurs, and ultra-specific goals help them thrive. As an example, he talks about how kids are often better than their parents at video games. It’s not because they’re naturally smarter or faster. They just play more often. They develop crystal clarity about the goals of the game, and they begin to anticipate the movements involved. Entrepreneurs can do this too, in the real world.
Tip #3- “If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be gritty.” - Neil Patel
Neil Patel is a young entrepreneur who founded Kissmetrics and Crazy Egg before the age of 30. He’s famous for having made - and lost - a million dollars, and sharing his wisdom with millions of followers. Patel says grit is his secret weapon: hard work, perseverance, and the ability to work even harder when people are telling you to give up.
Tip #4- “Hire great partners.” - Neil Patel
Patel is also a big fan of finding a co-founder to help you launch a business - and he has statistics to back it up: 20% of startups with 1 founder succeed, and 47.5% of startups with 2 founders succeed. Being an entrepreneur demands long hours and a robust set of skills. By doing it together as a two-person team, you blunt the impact of these challenges.
Tip #5- “Find your genius talent.” - John Hittler
John Hittler, business coach and author of Evoking Genius, tells entrepreneurs to find the one thing they are very best at - something they both love and excel at - and focus almost exclusively on it, delegating other tasks to those who excel at them. “Find your genius talent and incorporate it fully into your role in the business,” Hittler says. “Had I done that, I would have succeeded in more of the businesses that were started. More importantly, I would have been doing the one thing that I was built to do, loving it and creating results.”
Tip #6- “98% of what happens to us are the results of our actions and choices.” - Jay Abraham
Jay Abraham founded The Abraham Group and has helped thousands of businesses across hundreds of industries revitalize their companies. As he said in the CEO Warrior Podcast, one of the main battles an entrepreneur will fight is the battle against inertia - allowing things to happen to us, rather than making things happen for ourselves. Abraham advises entrepreneurs to act strategically and with bold confidence.
Tip #7- “Most entrepreneurs, when they are stressed or motivated, dig holes.” - Jay Abraham
Abraham sees many entrepreneurs who keep doing the same thing over and over, whether its the right thing or not. Instead of digging holes, ask yourself questions like, “Should I be digging a hole? Should I be digging there? What tool should I be using?” This is the only way to step out of the hole and go a new direction.
Tip #8- “Put the team interests before your personal interests.” - Jimmy Johnson
Legendary football coach Jimmy Johnson was invited to speak at the Miami Entrepreneurs’ Organization about what it takes to put together a great team. He told a story about an NFL player who partied hard one night and was a mess on the field the next day. He asked the player, “Was your night out good enough to risk your teammates’ dreams?” No.
Never put your personal interests above those of your business, when the team is depending on you.
Tip #9- “Find your ‘beautiful enemies.’” - Jessica Glazer
A member of the Forbes Coaches’ Council, Jessica Glazer helps entrepreneurs at the Center for Creative Leadership. She shares the wisdom of psychologist Tal Ben-Shahar, who believes in the concept of “beautiful enemies” - listening to people who are willing to push back on you and share hard truths. Glazer advises entrepreneurs against surrounding themselves with yes-men, who will only parrot back their own ideas and prevent genuine growth.
Tip #10- “Do you. Do it well. Do it consistently.” - Dr. Keita Joy Ductant
Dr. Keita Joy Ductant, also known as The Leader’s Life Coach, is an adviser for Steve Harvey, Fox News, and Forbes. She says her best advice for entrepreneurs is to not follow the exact pattern of any other successful person, and find your own path. “It is healthy to take notes from other leaders in your industry, but refrain from copying their exact model,” she says. “Entrepreneurial success is found in hard work, when you can't see the win.”
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