How To Succeed In A World Full Of Struggling Entrepreneurs

As much as we hear about entrepreneurs who risk everything and succeed, there are also many who are still struggling and have yet to make it. Some will quit before they ever do.

Our world is full of struggling entrepreneurs and it’s essential that you learn how to work smart so that you can beat the odds.

Here are some tips on how to work smart:

  1. Do what you do best

“Do not try to do everything. Do one thing well.” ~Steve Jobs

As an entrepreneur, it’s tempting to try and do everything and be everything for everyone. But what makes you stand out is when you can do one thing really, really well. Something that makes people go, “WOW. You are awesome.”

Successful entrepreneurs want to stand out from their competition. They realize that in order to do so, they have to focus on what they can do best.

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  1. Keep focused

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you've got to focus on. But that's not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I'm actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” Steve Jobs

As an entrepreneur, you have trained yourself to look out for opportunities. Just as this is an upside, it can also become a downside if you continue to be easily distracted by the constant lure of new opportunities.

It can be very hard to keep focused on the thing that you are already doing when something else arises that seems so much more interesting. But this is something that you must learn to do if you want to succeed. Determining what you ultimately want and recognizing that you have to turn down good opportunities that don’t fit with your overall vision is essential in being able to stay focused.

It can be very hard to keep focused on the thing that you are already doing when something else arises that seems so much more interesting. But this is something that you must learn to do if you want to succeed. Determining what you ultimately want and recognizing that you have to turn down good opportunities that don’t fit with your overall vision is essential in being able to stay focused.

Determining what you ultimately want and recognizing that you have to turn down good opportunities that don’t fit with your overall vision is essential in being able to stay focused.

  1. Plan and prioritize

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Benjamin Franklin

Working smart means that you have to learn how to plan and prioritize your day and work. Every entrepreneur has the same number of hours in a day but very often, the entrepreneur who gets ahead is the one who has learned to complete the things that are most important in his or her day.

To be able to do this effectively, you must plan your work daily and work following your priorities. Avoid procrastination and taking the easy way out. Instead, start your day with the most difficult but important tasks. Your ability to take action where it is most important will put you further ahead than your competitors.

  1. Build a dream team and delegate

Entrepreneurs have to deal with many different variables- innovation, competition, sales, marketing, human resources, legal, operations, finance etc. It’s impossible to do everything yourself. Even if you could, you would probably wear yourself out trying to do so.

Instead, successful entrepreneurs focus on attracting, building and keeping a dream team. People who are amazing in their own right but are sold on your vision and want to help you fulfill it.

In the dream team formula, one plus one does not equal two but ten. In other words, a dream team will help you to grow exponentially beyond what you can do on your own.

  1. Automate

Entrepreneurs love leveraging technology to automate everything so that this frees them up to focus on other necessary areas of expansion and growth. There are lots of different software and apps that can help you to automate processes from emails and marketing to sales.

For example, many entrepreneurs use Salesforce automation software or email marketing from Infusionsoft. Here is another list of marketing automation resources.

  1. Simplify your personal life

Becoming an entrepreneur requires all the mental and emotional energy that you have. There will be ups and downs and exhilarating breakthroughs as well as crushing disappointments. You need as much mental headspace and emotional reserves that you can spare to deal with these ups and downs.

It helps if you can simplify your personal life so that you can save your reserves for the challenges that come with the entrepreneurship life.

One simple method is to remove daily non-essential decision-making from your life. Decide in advance what breakfast you are going to have every morning. Have a set of clothes that you will wear every day. Drive the same roads to work.

Make your personal life as clockwork as possible so that you don’t have to waste mental headspace and emotional energy on making simple daily decisions.

  1. Exercise

The benefits of exercise for work productivity has been talked about ages so I am not going to say too much more except that it is always easier to get into a habit of exercise if you  schedule it, have an exercise buddy or use apps to keep you motivated. Freeletics and the 7 minute workout all provide you with free workout ideas.

  1. Constantly seek ways to improve productivity

‘Kaizen’ is the Japanese concept of continually seeking ways to improve. Smart entrepreneurs are continually focused on finding ways to be quicker, more efficient, more productive and more effective.

Seek feedback from others on how to improve and never be afraid to look at the gaps in your work. In this way, you can not only keep a step ahead of your competitors but also, continue to enhance your results.

  1. Network

Successful entrepreneurs do live and work in isolation. Instead, they are always networking and meeting new people. They attend conferences, expos and events to network with like-minded individuals and to learn new things from others.

To find networking events in your local area, use Eventbrite, Meetup or search for events in your area using Google.

  1. Partner

Smart entrepreneurs are always seeking ways to create mutually beneficial partnerships. Perhaps you can leverage another entrepreneur’s marketing list in exchange for a commission sharing agreement. Or if you have complementary products and services, then you can promote him or her to your own customers in exchange for the other person doing the same to his or hers.

Entrepreneurs realize that they can grow and expand more rapidly when they work with great partners, rather than starting from the bottom.

  1. Get mentoring

Successful entrepreneurs realize that it would be too costly, too risky and too long for them to make all mistakes on their own. Instead they actively seek out mentors who are experienced and can guide them away from such mistakes.

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About the Author

Chris Dunn is the founder of Skill Incubator. He is an active investor and entrepreneur with the mission of helping people learn Skills to thrive in today's economy. Chris spends his time testing and building multiple streams of income and investing the profits. Read more here.