According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A startling 80% crash rate. In order to succeed as entrepreneur, having thick skin is an absolute necessity. If you can’t deal with rejection, don’t bother getting in the game.
Kathryn Minshew, CEO and Co-Founder of The Muse, had an interesting take on starting a business. “It requires thick skin and the willingness to carry a great deal of stress, sometimes alone. It’s more often a life of failure than a life of success, and the majority of successes came after a long road of disappointment.”
When I started my business, I can vividly remember calling over 100 businesses and getting rejected more often than an acne-riddled teenager before prom. Life is a numbers game though. The more people you reach out to and make your pitch in front of, the better chance you will have to succeed.
Let’s take Michael Jordan for instance. Even though he’s viewed as the greatest basketball player of all-time, number 23 had a different perspective.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game’s winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that’s why I succeed.”
Starting a business definitely requires a different mindset. Persistency and discipline is a trait that entrepreneurs must posses in order to succeed. Here are some of the most common characteristics needed to start a business.
1. Do what you enjoy
For most entrepreneurs, the journey to success is what keeps them motivated and passionate through the good and bad times.
“Don’t aim for success if you want it; just do what you love and believe in, and it will come naturally.” – David Frost
2. Believe in what you do
If you don´t believe in your own products and services, neither will your customers. Larry Connor, Founder of The Connor Group, truly believes that his apartment communities outrank the competition. This is one of the reasons why The Connor Group now has over than $1.6 billion in assets and is an innovator within the apartment industry.
Connor stated, “If I can just show someone the amenities and floor plans at one of our apartments, I know that they will want to live within our community.”
Larry Connor believes in what he is doing for his residents. This mindset has led to tremendous growth at his Charlotte communities. Just check out the beautiful photos of the properties below!
- Amberwood at Lochmere
- Atria at Crabtree Valley
- Audubon Parc
- Autumn Woods
3. Always sell
All the marketing in the world won´t help you unless you are proactive and constantly selling your products to customers.
“People don’t like to be sold, but they love to buy.” – Jeffrey Gitomer
4. Smart money management
Know where your money is and where it is being spent and invested. Keep your cash flow healthy and your business will live on.
“You must trust yourself more than you trust others. Pay attention to your inner voice – it will tell you if how and in what you are investing is right for you.” – Suze Orma
5. Know your customers
Blindly selling your products to people who may or may not buy them isn´t going to get your business too far. Do your homework and know your target audience.
“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” – Michael LeBoeuf
6. Build a great team
As a business owner, you can only go so far solo but when you have a team of passionate and skilled employees your growth potential soars.
“Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” —Vince Lombardi
7. Be known as an expert
When people look for solutions they rely on experts not rookies, so become an expert in your field. Christian Denmon, founder of Denmon Law, contributes articles for the Huffington Post on divorce.
“Writing for well-known publications and being viewed as an expert will provide you with an instant leg up on the competition.” – Christian Denmon
8. Competitive advantage
Give your customers a great reason to buy your products instead of your competition´s.
“A good advertisement is one, which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.” – David Ogilvy
9. Be accessible
Great client service helps boost your brand awareness and shows them you care by getting some face time with them.
“I believe in accessibility. I believe in honesty and a culture that supports that. And you can’t have that if you’re not open to receiving feedback.” – Mindy Grossman
Nothing is as haunting as a bad reputation, it will follow you mercilessly, so do your best to always maintain integrity in your business.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln
11. Create value
The best businesses add value to their customer´s life.
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
12. Embrace Rejection
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you will need to be able to get up off of the canvas after getting knocked down. Don’t fear rejection but embrace it. In the back of your mind, you should know that life is a numbers game. If you reach out to enough people, even though you will get rejected many times, someone will eventually say yes. This could end up being your largest client!
“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi
If you practice developing these skills on a daily basis, they’ll come naturally to you. Your business will thank you for it.