Justin Breen is active in the Chicago chapter of Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO)'s Accelerator program, which empowers entrepreneurs with the tools, community and accountability necessary to aggressively grow and master their businesses. Breen is the founder and CEO of BrEpic, a public relations company that leverages a brand's unique story to grow. He recently authored an international best-selling book. We asked Breen what patterns and characteristics he's noticed from interviewing ultra-successful entrepreneurs. Here's what he shared.
Before starting my company in 2017, I was a journalist making an average salary, working long hours and lots of weekends. I liked my work, but I didn't have the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted. I needed a change. Sound familiar?
I took a leap of faith and started my company. Now I spend a great deal of time talking to some of the world's top entrepreneurs. They're high-energy, full of big ideas, and eager to find solutions to the challenges they confront. Talking with them is endless fun and provides me with incredible learning opportunities.
My clients and prospects are typically entrepreneurs running highly successful businesses in the high-six-figure to ten-figure range. I speak with up to 50 such extraordinary individuals each week. They're changing the world for the better, leading companies with cutting-edge technology, and know how to enjoy their lives. When you talk with people like that, super-interesting patterns emerge.
Here are eight patterns I've noticed that highly successful entrepreneurs exhibit:
1. Work the formula. At its most basic, building a successful company is a surprisingly simple formula:
Time and time again, I hear entrepreneurs discuss how they were annoyed by a particular problem, created a solution, solved the problem, and developed a thriving, sustainable, expanding company. Essentially that's what I did in the PR space when I started my company. I was a journalist for 20-plus years and created my entire business model based on how PR firms annoyed me with useless press releases. It's a surprisingly simple--but effective--strategy.
2. Keep it simple. I've noticed that successful entrepreneurs have often found success because their companies are not all things for all people. They don't try to be everything for everyone. They are focused on what they like to do and what they do best. They maximize their superpowers, unique abilities, and passions.
3. Exude confidence, not arrogance. These highly successful entrepreneurs are not arrogant--arrogant people think they're great at everything or know everything. High-level entrepreneurs realize they don't know everything, but they are confident about what they do know, and it shows.
4. Acknowledge weaknesses. Ultra-successful entrepreneurs know they are great-- exceptionally so--at one, two, or maybe three things. And they stay in those lanes. They don't leave their zones of genius. Instead, they hire others to fill in the gaps of their own weaknesses--and the people they hire are experts in their specific zone of genius. It's the anti-arrogance and awareness of their own inadequacies that make epic entrepreneurs genuinely amazing.
5. Operate from an abundant mindset. Mindset is everything. All other factors trickle down from it. Of entrepreneurs I speak with, I'd estimate that more than 95 percent have a mindset of abundance, vision, and investment. Entrepreneurs with those three traits fit into two buckets:
- They are running highly successful and lucrative organizations, spending time with their families whenever they want, and doing what they like to do in their zone of genius.
- They may not quite have achieved their financial goals, but they will--because abundance, vision, and investment pervade their mindset.
6. Avoid scarcity thinking. As an experienced journalist, I can quickly discern an individual's mindset. Potential clients who ask, "What do you charge?" or "What do you cost?" within the first ten minutes of a conversation are almost always operating from a scarcity mindset. Successful people operating from an abundant mindset typically ask, "What does an investment with you and your firm look like?" There's a critical, ultra-important difference in leading with cost versus leading with investment.
7. Attract others like you. Operating from a mindset of abundance is like being a magnet or sending out radio waves. It actively attracts those with similar perspectives and repels those without. EO is a prime example; it's essentially a network of 14,000+ entrepreneurs around the globe--all with investment, abundant, visionary mindsets.
8. Win together. Being part of the EO network as an EO Accelerator participant has been vital for my company's success. Far more importantly, it's expanded my mind and ability to think critically. When you are in the room--whether real or virtual--with like-minded folks who are doing big, truly game-changing things, you rise with the tide. Your tribe wins together.
People often ask how I built a successful global company in three years without a business background. It's a valid question because I didn't even know what LLC stood for when I started.
The simple answer is that I focused on what I like to do and what I'm good at doing. I connected with a network of top entrepreneurs and thinkers and learned from their experiences. And I'm having a lot of fun along the way. The result is that my business has already grown beyond my wildest dreams--and it's only the beginning!