A successful entrepreneur can be defined and measured by a number of different standards. But an extraordinary entrepreneur possesses qualities and strengths that make them stand out from the crowd.
They build on life's lessons, rather than resent and resist them, and they demonstrate a keen wisdom, often beyond their years. Perhaps they are shrewd in the boardroom--but these extraordinary entrepreneurs also follow their hearts. And for that, they are rewarded in many ways, including wealth. Yet they remain accessible, grateful, and committed to their vision.
Here are six qualities that I see in the extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs I coach. How many do you possess?
1. They face their fears.
Entrepreneurs who are living their dream have learned not only the strategic maneuvers that take their businesses into six and seven figures (and beyond), but also have honed the character strengths associated with leadership and success. One of those strengths is the ability to identify and work through internal barriers. Those barriers include fear.
These extraordinary people know that it's not a lack of funding, or any other external circumstances, that prevent growth. They know the only true limits are one's own limited beliefs, and the fears associated with them.
The extraordinary entrepreneur is able to set aside ego. He explores his fears, and successfully either releases them or move forward in spite of them.
Bonus tip: If you are stuck, the reason probably lies within you. Find a coach, peer, or mentor to help you identify the sticking point and work on it.
2. They don't do it all alone.
Sure, we all think we are great at delegating. Buth, honestly, how many of you will admit to being control freaks about your business?
You've heard it before; successful people surround themselves with smart and resourceful people. Great employees, advisors, mentors, and coaches are crucial to success. Extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs listen as others express their opinions and advice and are able to trust other reliable people to carry out parts of the mission.
Bonus tip: Begin small; outsource administrative and book keeping tasks. Surround yourself with supportive, brilliant people and read up on the leaders whom you most admire.
3. Extraordinary entrepreneurs are willing to change directions for the greater good.
An entrepreneur is at the helm of her company and understands the need to change course from time to time. Determination is an admirable quality. Stubbornness is not. Extraordinarily successful entrepreneurs know that ideas change shape; the end result may not be exactly as originally intended. Sometimes an entrepreneur's knowledge and experience simply doesn't match that of an advisor or even a senior-level employee. The extraordinary entrepreneur will set their ego aside and embrace input from someone whose expertise exceeds his own.
Bonus tip: Listen to your customers. Your products and services must change with the demands and desires of the consumer. You may believe that the produce you are rolling out is perfect just the way it is, but others may have a different idea. Be flexible and open-minded about change.
4. They aren't afraid to fail often--and fail quickly.
There's a big difference between entrepreneurs who see failures as missed opportunities and those who see them as learning experiences.
Extraordinary entrepreneurs quickly let go of any guilt or blame associated with loss. They are strategic about the next move and have a recovery plan in place. They also know how to mitigate risk.
Bonus tip: When you have an idea, explore its viability and hop on it. Launch a limited version of your idea and see where it goes. Learn from the experience and listen to feedback.
5. Extraordinary people are authentic. They stay true to their values.
Our values guide us through decisions. They also get us through the difficult times. Extraordinary people understand that their most important values dictate their corporate culture and assist them in developing their "why" (what I call the "vision beyond the vision").
Our values drive our passion. They remind us of why we are committed to the process. Extraordinary people are clear on their top values and develop a corporate culture that honors those values.
Bonus tip: Consider the qualities and experiences that are most important for you. Identify your top values and live by them. When you are out of sync with your desires, revisit those values. They are a roadmap leading to success and happiness.
6. They give generously of themselves.
Recently I reached out to an author I've admired for many years. When I e-mailed his assistant, I hardly even expected a response.
What I got was a 90-minute phone call with my virtual mentor. He not only shared his wisdom and answered my questions, but he inquired about my life and business as well. And he listened. In fact, he acted as though no one else existed in the entire world during our time together.
Extraordinary people want to help others become successful. They don't show envy; rather, they demonstrate pride and admiration for others who achieve their dreams.
Bonus tip: Learn from teaching others. Find opportunities to share what you know without imposing your beliefs on others. Give from the heart, with no strings attached. This act alone breeds success.