I talk to entrepreneurs every single day. Most of them are highly intelligent and creative, a few are driven to succeed in every area in life, and some are downright superstars. Yet, I've noticed a few important traits that the best entrepreneurs always seem to share. These are guiding forces in their lives, a way to act and think that helps them succeed. If you apply these principles, they can help you lead more effectively and achieve greater things.

1. Be introspective not retrospective

It's a coincidence that this concept is also found in the book Becoming Steve Jobs--that it is better to analyze yourself in the moment and not constantly analyze your previous decisions. Steve Jobs lived that out and so should you. I've practiced this idea for years. You can't change the past. However, you can change your reaction at your next meeting.

2. Change what you can about yourself

That "in the moment" mindset will help you in many areas, but the most important area is in your personal development. I've experienced this recently as I've been testing a service called Retrofit. I'm losing some weight by eating balanced meals. I can change my pant size. I can't change my height or my bone structure. I also can't change where I was born or the how many siblings I have. It's a mindset that says, there are certain things about my behavior and gifting that will never change, but there are other areas I can change.

3. Learn what you can learn

Ask a science major in college to write an essay on elves in Lord of the Rings and find out what happens. It won't work out. (If it does, that person will go far in life.) You have been gifted with a certain personality and intelligence that you have to exploit by learning the things you can learn. Don't stress out about the things you can't learn. If you are not gifted in finances, find someone who is. Don't try to teach yourself skills but do become a well-rounded expert in your areas of expertise.

4. Let everything else be what it is

Stress comes from the belief that you can try to control things that are out of your control. The reason it stresses you out is because it is not possible to have that control. Let it go, as they say in the song. Those who seem to be less stressed have decided not to worry about the intangibles of life. Let the sales manager deal with managing sales. Let the marketing experts do what they do best. Worry is a form of unspoken control. It never works.

5. Practice the art of self-control

To start and run a company, you will need to figure out how to have self-control over your eating habits, your exercise, your spending, and just about everything in life. The reason? The more you can stay on top of your personal life, the more energy and drive you can put into your company. Let things slide physically, and you will suddenly have to deal with your health. Spend too much on a new car or an expensive watch, and your company finances will also suffer.