What does it take to be an entrepreneur and a leader, especially in a small business? Below are 17 lessons I have personally learned in my years as an entrepreneur and a leader:
- Build strong relationships
- Ask, Listen, then Act (balance the advice you receive with your own “gut”).
- Relationships should be with people who are:
- Smarter than you in such fields as: budgeting, strategy, marketing, sales, relationship building, technical skills, structure, vision, etc.
- Encouraging, supporting, challenging, and effective at holding you accountable.
- Network, both socially and professionally.
- Give to others, because it is the right thing to do.
- It is not enough to have a vision. You must have a plan to execute it.
- Be flexible
- Scrap it when necessary
- Keep one eye on the horizon, and the other on the bottom line.
- Have focus – you cannot and should not do/sell/provide everything
- If everything is important, then nothing is important.
- Know how and when to work on the business and in the business
- Know your positions of strength. Build alliances and hire partners that compliment you in the areas where you are deficient. Practice excellence, not perfection.
- Know when to move – even if it is not perfect.
- If you wait too long you can miss the boat.
- Apple Incorporated is a good example of creating interest and getting it out there before all the “bugs” are worked out.
- Know yourself.
- Values – what will you sacrifice and compromise, and what will you keep?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your fears and where are you confident?
- What are the potential pitfalls that you learned from past experience?
- Share all this information with your team.
- Have a plan to self-manage with accountability partners.
- Have executive presence – confident – not cocky.
- Fake it till you make it – if you don’t believe in yourself, neither will anyone else.
- Hire people to work with you that have an “owner” mentality – a small business does not have room for employees.
Do you have additional lessons learned on how to be both an entrepreneur and a leader? If so, I hope you will share them so we can all continue to learn and grow together. If you are an entrepreneur and interested in becoming a better leader, I invite you to contact us today. At MSBCoach we understand what it means to be a small business, and we also understand what it means to be a great leader! Entrepreneurship and leadership are a journey. Jim Clifton, CEO of Gallup said, “Entrepreneurship is the scariest, rarest, hardest energy and talent in the world to find”. Let us partner with you to change your business from good to great!
Charles….thank you for posting…Michelle nailed many important points for being in business for yourself.
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