What makes one small business owner more successful than another? Trust me, it’s not lack of fear.
We’re all afraid of failing, of our offer being rejected, of making a complete flop of a project, of screwing up a business relationship.
What’s the difference between entrepreneurs who are successful and those who aren’t? Successful entrepreneurs have an even bigger fear: fear of what their life will look like if they don’t pursue their dreams.
They aren’t willing to settle for the way things are now. They don’t sit around hoping things will change. They take action. They go out and try things.
They can’t stand the idea of missing out on the big win, or how they will feel about themselves if they don’t put their total focus, emotion and effort into creating the life they want.
Successful entrepreneurs love to feel progress; they like to move forward towards their goals. They don’t wait until they’ve hit rock bottom and are so desperate that they’re finally motivated enough to do something about their situation. Instead, they create clarity about what they truly want and then they take action each day.
Six things successful small business owners do daily:
- Constantly ask, “What’s next for my business?”
- Understand your motivations and why you want your goals.
- Choose one thing each day to focus on and accomplish, even if you only have 15 minutes a day to work on that one thing. Daily momentum is what creates success, not the huge once-a-year breakthroughs.
- Only work on projects and goals that you’re passionate about and will lead you to your ultimate goal.
- Know that if you follow a set of steps that you’ve outlined for your business or project, that you will achieve your goals. It goes beyond merely “believing” that these steps will create the outcome you want; you know they will at a gut level.
- Trust yourself and be willing to make mistakes and try new things. What you’ve done previously had a certain result. Doing that same thing again will simply get the same results. So trying new things is the only way to break out of the pattern of getting the same results over and over again.
Five morning rituals of small business success
Most successful small business owner I know have a quirky morning routine that goes something like this:
- Every morning, map out in your mind what you’re going to do that day. Imagine it before it becomes a reality so you can repeatedly “practice” these steps to success. Imagine what the results will look like and feel like once you’ve achieved your goals.
- Imagine what “a little further” feels like and enjoy playing this imagination game with yourself.
- Tell yourself emphatically, “THIS is how it’s going to be.” This keeps you fresh and motivated, and changes your limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs. If you see the results in the advance, you condition your mind to know what’s possible.
- If you can’t envision what a future success looks like, spend time remembering what past successes look and feel like, reminding yourself that you’ve been successful before and you can do so again.
- Don’t just do it once, or even once-in-a-while…envision your success every day. (Twice a day, if you need to!)
You can let disappointment kill your dreams — or you can take disappointment and let it drive you towards success.
People who are fearful of getting hurt, rejected or disappointed never even attempt to reach for their dreams. But successful entrepreneurs know that hurt, rejection and disappointment are part of life. They don’t try to avoid them, they use those feelings to propel them forward.
This one knocks it out of the park, Karyn. So many people are afraid of fear itself, but it is a fuel when put into the right context. I don’t know a single successful business owner who isn’t afraid. But it’s way more scary to not pursue your dreams!
Thanks, Sherri! I have worked with hundreds of thousands of small business owners over the past 17 years and I never met one who didn’t have at least one fear, one place where they felt nervous, one limiting belief that was holding them back. Including myself. 🙂
Thanks so much for this article and all of the others you write. I gain so much from them.
Fear can be crippling and just making the effort to go beyond the fear is liberating, even if it is only a small move forward.
Bonita Richter, MBA
Karyn, this article gave me chills it’s that great! Excellent advice about what to do to get to where we’re going. What I especially loved was all the actions are so incredibly “do-able”. ~Bonita
So much of what you reference in this post, Karen, relates to having a clear vision. I share the following link because it leads to the best info (in my opinion, ☺) on the net about creating and using a vision board. If you think it’s appropriate please share it with your “tribe.”
A great post-Karyn, Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our everyday issues of business ownership we forget to stop and take a moment to think about the things you raise in your post.
So true, Francis. Maybe we need to have built-in “pause” times, perhaps once month, where we stop and take a look at how things are going in our businesses?
I have come to believe exactly what you wrote: Successful entrepreneurs take action every day. I believe it is easy, especially now during COVID, to be lulled to sleep thinking we can’t do anything. But there has never been a better time than today to move forward! Thanks for the encouragement!