Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of Care.com HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.
I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!
Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.
This Week’s Must-Read:
Who it’s for:
Every founder, every manager, every executive.
Why it’s important:
The media perpetuates the myth that successful entrepreneurs impulsively quit their jobs and quickly execute a get-rich-quick idea, solely because they were “born to do so.” This is simply not true – and we need to set the record straight. Entrepreneurs, and all successful business leaders for that matter, are made. Not born. In my 25 years as an entrepreneur, not once did I feel born with the innate capacity “do it better than the next guy,” and the author of this week’s column agrees.
Successful entrepreneurs have a growth mindset, including a unique set of perspectives and values that they have cultivated. They see problems that others ignore, they research amass volumes of information, and they evaluate and analyze. They do not take risks with reckless abandon, but work to mitigate risk at every level. These differentiating perspectives and skills can be developed and honed with hard work. Here’s 10 things to start working on today:
- Challenges and Opportunities. Setbacks and obstacles are painfully common elements of entrepreneurship and are not to be avoided. Each reveals a key opportunity to grow— either to improve on an existing weakness or to take measures to avoid a similar setback in the future.
- Competitors Are Research. Rather than viewing competitors as a threat, entrepreneurs see them as opportunities to learn more about their industry and target market.
- Entrepreneurship and Effort. Entrepreneurship is multi-faceted. Successful entrepreneurs are aware that everything— from product development, to sales and marketing, to operations and finance, to client service— requires significant effort and attention. No shortcuts in their execution strategies.
- Perfection Never Arrives. Many inexperienced entrepreneurs are tempted to chase an idea that is seemingly perfect in vision form. In reality, perfection isn’t necessary for a successful and profitable business. In fact, striving for perfection is often what stalls progress.
- Little Things Lead to Big Things. This works for problems as well as solutions. Successful entrepreneurs break down massive projects and problems into smaller, more manageable pieces. Small successes lead to big leaps. I promise.
- Learn from Mistakes. Even rockstar entrepreneurs make mistakes often. They aren’t afraid to make mistakes, and they know they will learn from them. Making mistakes is healthy and normal, and crucial to growth.
- There Is No Magic Formula. Entrepreneurs featured in the media didn’t achieve success by stumbling on a great idea. They poured years of effort and passion into a good problem/solution, and eventually, their efforts paid off.
- Outside Point of View. Good leaders listen to people with different ideas and opinions. They are constantly searching for individuals and experiences that will challenge their way of thinking and help them see things from a new perspective.
- Discipline Is Not an Option. For many, discipline is something extra. To successful entrepreneurs it is essential and normal. It’s a prerequisite for all they do, and it carries into all aspects of their lives.
- Entrepreneurship Is Your Life. Entrepreneurs wake up as entrepreneurs, go to work as entrepreneurs, come home as entrepreneurs, and go to bed as entrepreneurs. Hopefully, you will do something that you love so much, it will not feel like work. I did, and it didn’t.
Top Take-Away: Entrepreneurship isn’t easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. If you desire to cultivate these 10 skills and even find them fun to execute, then you can be made into a successful entrepreneur. An incredible journey awaits.
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