You can’t "major" in entrepreneurship, and even if you could, you'd find it virtually impossible to learn to be an influential entrepreneur on your own.
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Instead, the best lessons come from experience, and only by adopting beneficial habits on a daily basis can you gradually attain the excellent leadership, decision-making and adaptability necessary to assure youe success as a startup founder.
Those lessons? To get you started, here are 50 of the best:
1. Read books. Fiction, nonfiction: As long as you’re reading, you’re getting new perspectives and expanding your mind.
2. Read the news. Keep an eye on what’s going on in your industry and in the world at large. Knowledge is priceless.
3. Attend industry conferences. Get to know your colleagues and stay up to date on the latest developments.
4. Watch your competitors. If they launch a new product, you’re the first one who should know about it.
5. Create new rules for yourself. Set new limitations, such as allowing shorter periods for distraction, or making yourself do and try new things.
6. Learn new technologies. Technology can improve almost any process, so stay attuned to any new products on the horizon.
7. Engage in personal hobbies. Passion is at the core of every influential entrepreneur’s life. Find enjoyable, stimulating hobbies to help bring yours out.
8. Talk to strangers. You never know whom you might meet — a new partner? A mentor? An investor? An employee?
9. Network professionally. The same goes for professional networking events, though here you’ll also have a chance to build your own reputation.
10. Give back to the community. Volunteer, if you have time. You’ll meet new people and make your community a better place.
11. Make yourself available to your team. Every day, make yourself accessible for questions, concerns and conversation.
12. Minimize your decisions. Don’t waste time on small decisions. Focus on the big ones.
13. Find ways to improve everything. Look at everything with a critical eye, and always see the potential for improvement.
14. Meditate. It will give you clarity of mind, reduce your stress and make you more focused.
15. Sleep well. Eight hours of sleep will make you healthier, physically and mentally.
16. Eat healthy. Complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats are brain foods that keep you going.
17. Exercise physically. A healthy body makes a healthy mind.
18. Exercise mentally. Improve your critical thinking, focus and memory, with games and puzzles.
19. SWOT analyze everything. See the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in everything.
20. Go the extra mile. Overachieve at even the smallest of life’s activities.
21. Adapt. Get used to changing your plans on a whim and rolling with the punches.
22. Continue your education. Make it a point to learn something new every day.
23. Invest inwardly. Spend time improving yourself.
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24. Try new things. You never know where you’ll get your next flash of inspiration.
25. Start small. Whenever you try something new, start out small and slow — you can always scale up.
26. Reward hard work. Take time to express gratitude to those who deserve it.
27. Weed out negativity. Nip poor attitudes and negativity in the bud whenever you see them.
28. Relieve group stress. Stress is contagious, so do what you can to lower it in the office.
29. Find new passions. Again, passion is key to achieving success as an entrepreneur. Find yours in as many places as possible.
30. Focus on customer perspectives. Your customers are what keep your business going. Prioritize their needs.
31. Run the numbers. Learn to see everything in terms of its objective value.
32. Stay calm. No matter how bad or hectic things get, you need to be the calmest one in the group.
33. Give feedback. Let people know how they’re doing — honestly.
34. Listen to feedback. Accept that you aren’t perfect, and listen to how you can do better.
35. Remain humble. Don’t let your ego take over your personality.
36. Form new partnerships. There’s always an opportunity for mutual benefit among professionals.
37. Work with mentors. Talk to people more experienced than you are, and listen to what they say.
38. Trust your instincts. Data is useful, but it can take you only so far. Don’t ignore your instincts.
39. Practice patience. Remember the importance of patience throughout your day.
40. Accept challenges. Let yourself take risks, and accept challenges in all areas of your life.
41. Experiment with new routines. Try doing your work in new and different ways to maximize your efficiency.
42. Stay frugal. Don’t spend time or money on something unless it’s truly valuable to you or your business.
43. Have hard conversations. Don’t let fears or anxieties hold you back from saying what needs to be said.
44. Live your brand. Incorporate your brand values into your daily life.
45. Refrain from personal judgment. When people make mistakes, don’t hold it against them. Help them learn.
46. Maintain an ideal atmosphere. Inject your surroundings with personality and life, from your office to your car to your bedroom.
47. Eliminate chronic distractions. If something is preventing you from working or achieving something, get rid of it.
48. Automate what you can. Reduce manual actions through delegation and technology whenever you can.
49. Forget the idea of perfection. You’ll never be perfect, so forget about even trying. Instead, focus on continually striving to be better.
50. Make personal time. Keep yourself sane by prioritizing your personal time from the start.
Even with these habits in tow, there’s no such thing as a perfect entrepreneur, and no entrepreneur becomes successful overnight. Stick with these habits and prioritize your own development. No matter what, you’ll make progress and get closer to your goals. If you're ready to get started with entrepreneurship, grab my eBook, The Modern Entrepreneur: How to Build a Successful Startup, from Beginning to End.
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