Success Monday: Three Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do That Most People Don’t

Successful author, speaker and sales consultant Rory Vaden says there are three things that successful entrepreneurs do that most people don’t do. See how you measure up to his advice.

“What are the biggest differences between successful entrepreneurs and everyone else?

I’ve heard that something like 95 percent of small businesses fail within five years.

This is a real dilemma for anyone who’s a business owner or someone who gets paid for their results, like a branch operator or franchise owner, or a salesperson or an independent contractor with a direct sales company.

If you’re paid for your results, and 95 percent of those people fail, what do the people who succeed have in common?

There are three things all successful entrepreneurs do.

First, they treat their business like a business, an entity that’s separate from themselves. They make decisions based on what the business needs and not what they need.

Why does this matter?

Entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and independent contractors separate their business from their personal identity to avoid making emotional decisions.

Personally, we make decisions based on what feels good. We make decisions based on what’s convenient and comfortable.

However, a business operates logically. A business operates objectively. A business operates financially based on what it needs and what it’s able to do.

One mistake entrepreneurs make is intertwining their own finances and emotions with their business. That means there’s no separation.

The second thing you have to do is feed the business first, and feed yourself second.

The word entrepreneur means a person who takes risks.

That’s one of the reasons why entrepreneurs get to have the big paydays, the nice cars, the big houses and the amazing vacations.

At the end of the day though, I definitely don’t think entrepreneurship is about material stuff. But you have to understand that you have to invest in and feed a business for it to grow.

You have to invest money in product development, customer service, sales, marketing, lead generation and branding. Otherwise the business won’t survive, so the entrepreneur must get paid last.

That’s not what we want to hear. It’s not convenient. It’s not fun.

When you started your business, you might have said, “I want to be wealthy. I want to be financially free. I want to make my own hours.”

Actually, when you’re an entrepreneur, you feed yourself last. The business and the people in the business get fed first. You get the leftovers.

When you’re first starting in business, that idea usually isn’t very exciting. But over the long term, the leftovers get to be pretty exciting if you do a good job.

That’s the second thing successful entrepreneurs do that most entrepreneurs don’t: They feed the business first and feed themselves last.

The third thing is that successful entrepreneurs ask the question: How?

This really matters.

If you’re going to face setbacks, opposition, rejection and failures, you’re going to get discouraged, frustrated, tired and overwhelmed.

These things will happen to you if you’re an entrepreneur.

How you respond makes all the difference in the world.

You can’t quit. You can’t give up—not if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur.

You have to keep going. You have to persist.

Keep asking, how? How can we solve this problem? How can we make this work? How can we expand? How can we pull this off?

When you ask how, your creativity comes alive.

That keeps you going in the face of rejection.

These are three things successful entrepreneurs do that most people don’t.

They treat the business as a business.

They feed the business and their employees first, and they feed themselves last.

They keep asking how.

It’s not an easy journey. But anyone who puts their mind to do it, can.”

Rory Vaden is a successful New York Times best-selling author, a renowned keynote speaker and the co-founder of Southwestern Consulting.