By Roshawnna Novellus
What makes a successful entrepreneur? Think about all of the successful people you know. Think about all the successful business owners you've heard of and read about. It may not seem like they have much in common, but all of them have formed habits throughout their years in business that have prepared them for success.
I've always admired business owners who maintain calm and patient personas and are not worried about money. As an entrepreneur who provides strategy consulting to other entrepreneurs, many people have asked me what habits I think are imperative to achieving success in the field. I thought about this question a lot and came up with a list of just a few habits I think are stepping stones:
Routine: Spontaneity and adventure are great medicines for the soul, but entrepreneurs need a routine to succeed. Creating a routine helps remove the decision-making factor from the equation, and leaves all of that creative brainpower for far more important tasks and choices. Now, I'm not talking about regimenting every second of your life. Stiff scheduling can strangle creative souls. Instead, map out what you'll have for breakfast, what time of day you'll answer new inquiries, and what you'll be doing in the gym to keep your mind and body healthy. These benchmarks will help you through the day so you can conserve your creative energy and critical thinking skills. I usually start every day with meditation, my workout, and focused attention on my No. 1 priority. This ensures that I begin each morning with a feeling of accomplishment. Confidence: People who lack confidence tend to second guess their decisions. The last thing people want is a wishy-washy leader, and individuals lacking self-confidence tend to fall in this camp. While it is OK to have self-doubt while you're building up your business, you'll need to look deep within yourself and figure out if you are feeling the typical anxiety of taking a risk, or if you lack self-confidence in too many aspects of your life. One of my confidence hacks is to sing songs in the morning. It always makes me feel energized and gives me the energy to go after my objectives. Mindfulness: Mindfulness builds on confidence. Those who are successful in business take the time they need to think about their options and focus on their overall mindfulness. Listen to your body and your mind, and absorb those thoughts. I recommend yoga, but taking a hike or simply sitting in silence is effective, too. Being mindful helps guide every decision that you have to make. Integrity: Getting rich should never be an entrepreneur's ultimate goal. Instead, it should serve as another much-appreciated result of your efforts. Setting out with the intention of gaining wealth is an indicator that your ethics are unbalanced, and an unethical businessperson is sure to be an unsuccessful one. While some will enjoy wealth in the short-term, this house of cards eventually tumbles. In my experience, the most successful entrepreneurs are ones who set out to fill a need in the market and do so with their consumers' best interests at heart. This type of businessperson succeeds because his or her intentions are pure. As a result, they tend to make ample money.
Don't get me wrong, these are not the only habits that successful entrepreneurs possess, but they are a great place to start. Keep these habits as a foundation, and success will follow you wherever you go.
Dr. Roshawnna Novellus is the co-founder of Bootstrap Capital, Host of Startup Funding, and serves on the Commission on Women for Atlanta.