Entrepreneurs are unique. Some come from wealthy families with strong networks while others start with much less and find a way to climb to economic ladder. Whether it was the awkward, hyperactive teenager that loved videogames or the straight A band-orchestra-choir student, the entrepreneur in your social network is undoubtedly one of a kind.

However, all entrepreneurs have one thing in common. They all share the same underlying fear that leads some to discover the road of success and self-mastery, and leads others to a series of disappointments.

The one fear all entrepreneurs have is the fear of failure.

What distinguishes extremely successful entrepreneurs and the millions of other people who end up working dead-end jobs they hate, is how they react to this fear. The actions and behaviors successful entrepreneurs force themselves to master as a response to their initial fear of failure is the most significant trait that contributes to their continued growth.

Amateur entrepreneurs without the stomach for risk or the courage for staring failure in the face react to their fears in two ways. They either make too many impulsive decisions or they freeze.

The first group tends to start throwing money they don't have into projects they haven't researched. The second group pumps the breaks too quickly and fails to take a decisive action that could turn things around. Either way, both of them end up losing in the long run because neither is able to engage in the self-development practices that are required for successful entrepreneurship.

As a way to deal with the ups and downs of each day, elite entrepreneurs--knowing that they will fail and learn from their shortcomings--develop skills, habits, and practices that lead to success over time. Playing the long game, these entrepreneurs know that it's these small skills, habits, and practices that cultivate sustained growth.

Instead of letting their to-do list dictate their schedule, these productive pioneers structure their days according to their unique needs and preferences, which helps them perform at an optimum level. Mastering their energy, they then put in the blood, sweat, and tears that initiate them into their influential status.

Learning the discipline of how to structure your day when you no longer have the 9-5pm requirement takes a level of personal accountability that few individuals have. You have to delay your desire for gratification.

You have to stop responding to the constant stream of traffic directed to your inbox. Stop pretending that you can work and play at the same time. Stop taking extended vacations just because you have a cushion. Stop wasting time pretending you can multitask. And you have to stop lying to yourself about being "fine" without the structure your previous workplace provided.

If you really want to be the success story you broadcast all over the internet, then you need to step up your personal development. Double down your investment in your self-growth practices, change how you respond to your fear of being a failure, and start holding yourself accountable.

Take the time to build the small habits--like meditation and a consistent morning routine--that will construct the foundation of future success. Each moment is a building block to the future of your dreams, but only if you're strategic, focused, and self-aware.

Published on: Feb 15, 2017