Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s also a great starting point for beginner and even intermediate entrepreneurs. There are some things that you may only learn from observation, and if there’s anyone to observe, it’s people who’ve made it. Billionaire entrepreneurs have their own quirks and preferences, but if you study them long enough you’re bound to find a few common points, practices and habits you can integrate into your own life.
They Keep Learning
Becoming an entrepreneur is easier than ever before, which means you’ll find competition in almost any industry. The problem is even if competing start-ups are terrible and doomed to failure, they’re going to slow down your progress by splitting the market. That could be enough to make your start-up fail.
You can fight that by learning. Never stop learning new things. There’s always something about your industry you can become an expert at. Get ahead of the competition and become an authority in the field.
They Are Generous
Being an entrepreneur is not just about monetary satisfaction — it’s about going to sleep at the end of each day thinking you’ve made a difference. You don’t have to limit that satisfaction to your products; you can make a difference by being generous.
Donate to a charity that means something to you; there are hundreds of causes to choose from. You could also integrate this generosity into your start-up. Offer employees paid time-off for participating at a charity or an outreach program of their choice.
Don’t feel pressured into giving back immediately. Early in your start-up’s life you might not even have a salary of your own. When the company’s flourishing and you find you have a little extra, that’s when you can make up for lost time.
They Never Gamble
At some point in your entrepreneurial career, you’ll have to take a risk. The mere act of founding a start-up is a risk in itself. Successful entrepreneurs take risks all the time, but they never gamble. They never bet on anything; they measure the risk versus the potential reward, then act on the plan that presents the most benefit to the start-up while exposing it to the least amount of loss.
Being an entrepreneur is exciting, and taking risks takes that excitement to the next level. Don’t feel ashamed if you find your hand shaking as you take your first big leap of faith; but don’t let that excitement take over the decision-making process. Don’t take actions just because they’re risky. Take actions because they have the potential to improve your start-up.
They Work Hard
Successful entrepreneurs, without question, work hard. Getting lucky can accelerate their success, but whatever they gained will fade away fast if it’s not backed up by elbow grease. Lottery winners, for example, tend to burn through their winnings simply because they don’t work hard enough to sustain their new spending habits.
There are no shortcuts when it comes to succeeding as an entrepreneur. The only thing that works is putting in the time and effort. You’re going to miss out on a lot. There will be times when you’d rather just watch a movie or hang out with your friends; but every minute you spend slacking off is a minute the competition has to either catch up with you or widen the gap. Stay in the office. Don’t blow off that meeting. Work hard and it will eventually pay off.
Focus is the name of the game. If you want to make it as a successful entrepreneur, you don’t just need to work hard, you need to consistently work on the right thing. Don’t be a dilettante and jump from one project to another; when you start something, you had better finish it. Being an entrepreneur is a marathon, not a sprint. Get-rich-quick schemes aren’t real. You’re not going to get a huge bank account three months into the start-up. If you’re lucky, that’ll happen in three years.
Don’t get distracted by the next big thing. You founded the start-up for a reason: because you saw potential in a product you came up with. Stick to it.
Don’t try to apply these habits all at once. Depending on your character, some of these habits may take a while to take root. Pick one, do it until it is second nature, and then learn another one. With each habit you learn, you take yourself one step closer to being a billionaire entrepreneur.