Recently, a friend shared with me a short video entitled, The Life of an Entrepreneur. The video begins with a man getting into a gorgeous red sports car. As the man drives to his destination, he begins to think about his level of success and how he got there. No one saw how many times he was rejected or how many times he wanted to quit. No one saw the difficulties he had endured. All anyone saw was that he was driving a fancy car.
Watching that video made me think about why it is that some people succeed while others give up. In the end, I believe it all boils down to these three traits:
- “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” If, like most entrepreneurs, you are a competitive person, then you’ve probably looked at fellow business owners who have hit it big and asked yourself, “Why haven’t I accomplished that?” “Why do they have more clients than I do?” “What am I doing wrong?” We all go through self-doubt. The problem is, however, that you have no idea of the sacrifices that person has made, the things he has gone through, nor do you know how many sleepless nights he’s endured. We only see one side of the story—the success. If I’d stopped watching the video at the point where the man climbed into his Ferrari, I would have missed him reflecting on his success and remembering all the pain he went through to realize his success. Yes, your competitor has more clients. Yes, they’ve accomplished great things in their business. Remember, they’ve been at this a while. Probably longer than you. It’s why they’re successful. They’ve paid their dues. They’ve been there and done that. You haven’t had their experiences. It’s true, you may not be as successful. Yet. It doesn’t mean you won’t be. If you compare yourself to those who are already successful, you’ll only succeed in making yourself crazy. By all means, follow their example, but don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.
- The Power of a Positive Mindset. As you may already know, owning a business can be really, really hard work, not to mention stressful. I used to dismiss daily motivational quotes or self-help books as fluff, but when I started reading them, I developed a much more positive outlook. It has affected my personality to the point where people notice. They actually ask me, “Why are you always so happy?” They want to know my secret, and I’m happy to share it with them. For those days when nothing is going your way or you just don’t feel like doing anything, I recommend reading a few inspiring quotes or a motivational book. I’ve had friends comment, “You’re reading another book about a successful entrepreneur? Why?” I tell them, “It motivates me.” My favorite quote, when I’m feeling drained or not motivated to work on ezClocker, the startup I began a couple of years ago, comes from Michael Jordan. He said, “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.” That quote always makes me want to get up and do something to achieve my business and personal goals.
- Always be Willing to Learn. I once asked an executive coach, who was giving a class about effective leadership, what was the common trait he noticed in all the successful CEOs he’d coached? He told me they were always willing to learn and improve themselves. That stuck with me over the years. If you develop the mindset that you can always learn something from someone, whether they be your co-workers, business partner, your kids, etc., and know that you don’t have all the answers, a whole new world will open up to you. One thing we start to lose as we get older is our curiosity. As you know, curiosity plays a big part in innovation and, without innovation, your business will not beat your competitors. So, the next time you’re with your children, or talking to your employees, be open to learning from them. Be curious. It will help you to thrive, both personally and professionally.
 Quote found in the blog post, “Avoiding one Great Temptation Every New Dream Faces,” by Jon Acuff. Retrieved from http://michaelhyatt.com/avoiding-one-great-temptation-every-new-dream-faces.html Accessed on December 11, 2015.
Author: Raya Khashab
Raya is the CEO and co-founder of ezClocker. She is passionate about customers and building products that change the way people run their business. She is also a big supporter of the startup community and helping people achieve their dreams.