This blog item looks at one primal directive and ten skills that can elevate an entrepreneur to super success status.

The primal directive: Pursue your passion

Success in any business is very demanding. Many entrepreneurs spend 80 or more hours a week for years building a business. You’ve got to love what you do or you simply crap out.

All businesses today are highly competitive. If you are not passionate about what you do, rest assured that at least one of your competitors will be, and they will eat your lunch.

Could Bill Gates be the super success he is if he wasn’t passionate about developing computer operating systems and software? Could Walmart be the colossus it is had Sam Walton not been passionate about discount retailing? Could anyone be more passionate about homemaking then Martha Stuart or real estate development then Donald Trump?

Super successful entrepreneurs allow their passion to become a driving force for success. Most will tell you that despite their long hours, they don’t work at what they do. Rather they channel energy and ability that comes from a higher place.

The really good news is that it doesn’t matter what your passion is. Whatever it is can be turned into a moneymaking business.

Skill 1. Planning and organizing

The most common reason things go wrong when building a business lies in the simple fact that not enough time is devoted to adequate planning and preparation. Many new businesses that succeed do so more often by chance than through actual organization.

Yet super successful entrepreneurs have both a strategic and a tactical plan of action. They then pursue clarity of answers to the following fundamental questions as their foundation before taking action:

• What is the reason I am building this business?
• Who is my customer? How many of them are there? How do I reach them? And, what is my unique selling proposition to them?
• How do I buy low and sell high?
• How much cash is it going to take?
• How can I minimize the amount of cash needed?
• Where and How do I get the money?
• What are my strengths and how do I capitalize on them?
• What are my weaknesses and how do I finesse around them?

Sam Walton looked at every one of his competitors from K-mart to Sears, asked these questions and then copied the solution used by the competitor which was best at that aspect of the business. He took the best features of every competitor, implemented them into Walmart and then totally out competed each of them.

Skill 2. Taking care of details

So much of pursuing clarity means taking care of the details, and there are usually more of these than you care to think about. In business, the detail not considered or taken care of becomes a grain of sand in the gears. No matter how much oil you use to lubricate the gears, that one grain of sand can bring your machine to a screeching halt.

Being detail-oriented is a definite plus. The key to so much of an entrepreneur’s success is having a system that works. Creating checklists is one of the best I know. With the hundreds of pieces that make up the business development puzzle, the only way to put them together and keep tabs on all the details is with a checklist. No pilot, no matter how experienced, would fly an airplane without one.

Become a checklist fanatic and consider having a checklist of checklists.

If you have great instincts and are incredibly lucky, you can wing it. But sooner or later you or someone you hire has to be great at managing details or super success will remain beyond your reach.

Skill 3. Practicing savvy marketing

A significant part of a successful entrepreneur’s role involves developing a pre-, at- and post- marketing plan. Most entrepreneurs fail to have a plan that encompasses all three areas. Available cash is naturally going to play a major role in deciding what and how much promotional activity is possible.

Super successful entrepreneurs know the importance of developing a meaningful theme or message that ties into their strategic marketing plan, and that will guide their promotional decisions. They know and understand their target market and plan promotional programs aimed at the specific demographics that comprise their target market. They continually gain clarity of their market by reviewing each marketing effort looking for what’s working, what’s not working and what’s working well.

Skill 4. Being a team manager

Business is a team sport. An entrepreneur cannot win at this game on their own no matter how capable they are.

Super successful entrepreneurs know exactly how to motivate others to work together as a team, appropriately supporting each player whenever and wherever necessary. They help everyone get acquainted, develop a level of trust, and know and understand each other's strengths. They know what it takes to create an environment of camaraderie where the staff, as a whole pulls out all the stops to succeed and set themselves apart from the competition.

Skill 5. Knowing how to manage time

Super successful entrepreneurs have mastered the art of managing their time. They are well organized and have essential information at their fingertips, which means that their work environment is orderly and efficient.

They know their priorities, don’t over commit themselves, and can differentiate between important and urgent tasks. They are superb delegators and are not afraid to ask for help whenever they need it.

And, finally, they don’t procrastinate; on the contrary, they practice the credo “do it now”.

Skill 6. Negotiating skillfully

Skillful and savvy negotiators know exactly what they want. They spend time doing their research so that they know as much as possible about their opponent. They are prepared with strategies and tactics, questions and possible concessions.

They are masters at finding alternative ways of talking about, reacting to and solving problems. They use their talents of intuition, flexibility and concern for others to reach an agreement where both sides win. They look to create a feeling of cooperation to build a mutually beneficial negotiating environment and outcome.

Skill 7. Applying a positive attitude

Research successful people and you’ll find that having a positive, “can do” attitude ranks high on their list of characteristics. Not only are they positive and upbeat, they surround themselves with naturally positive and successful people. Give it a try and see it their attitude rubs off on you.

When you focus on what you can do versus what you can’t do, expect to find solutions to your various challenges. Try changing your vocabulary to reflect your optimistic thoughts and feelings, and see what happens. People find you more attractive and want to be around you, especially when you focus and direct your conversation onto the outcomes they want.

Skill 8. Evaluating results

Anyone who has ever mastered anything continuously looks to improve on their performance. A super successful entrepreneur is no different.

Create a system to evaluate your results. Ask your customers, employees and suppliers for their feedback. Find out what they liked about your company, its products or its services, and what they would like to see improved in the future. Research your competition to see how they have mastered some of the challenges you face.

In addition, ask yourself what you thought went well and what you would do differently if you had an opportunity to reorganize this business. Then create the opportunity. Chronicle all your data and keep accurate records so that you can assign appropriate tasks to each member of your team.

Skill 9. Being a perpetual learner

We live in an information age and are surrounded by more stuff than we can possibly cope with. However, successful people love it, as they are perpetual learners. They know the pitfalls of relying on what worked in the past as a guide to what will work in the future. That’s why they constantly look for new and improved ways of doing things, learning from the masters and staying open and willing to try different approaches.

Skill 10. Keeping a sense of humor

If you don’t laugh you cry. In business there’s no lack of situations where it’s easy to shed a tear. Keeping a sense of humor will definitely help prevent you from getting angry and frustrated with those around you who seem incompetent and disorganized.

Learn to laugh at their mistakes as well as your own to keep a saner perspective on life. If nothing else, remember that laughing is good for your health and will help reduce your stress and blood pressure levels. If you are a supper successful entrepreneur, you're going to be rich. That’s not a bad way to live a long health life.

So what now?

If you’re now motivated to achieve super success status, try this. Print a copy of this blog.

Every morning before you start your workday read one of the skills and ask yourself how can you use this skill today to help build your business.

Every evening before you retire reread the same skill and ask yourself was there anything you did today that you should have done differently? Was there anything you didn’t do today that you should have?

Each day for the next month, select a different skill. Before the end of a month you will notice an acceleration of your rate of success. Continue this process for as long as you want to continue accelerating your rate of success.

One more thing...

Do you remember Skill 9: Being a perpetual learner? Check out my free online video Getting Rich Your Way and see how other entrepreneurs are using my strategies to start, buy or expand their own successful businesses using little or no cash of their own.

To really explode your entrepreneurial capabilities, understanding how to use financial leverage to buy and expand companies can multiply the amount of wealth you can create for yourself 10 fold. You owe it to yourself to find out how.

Gordon Bizar

Gordon Bizar - Expert Business Buyer and Finance Coach Gordon simplifies business purchasing and financing. He makes understandable the use of financial leverage to start, buy or build any business with little or none of your own cash. His unique expertise and success track record has led to his appearances on NBC's Today Show, PBS's Late Night America along with segments on more than 120 other radio and TV news and talk shows. He has been featured in articles in more than 25 of the nation’s leading newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Gordon personally bought and built companies in fields as diverse as manufacturing, financial services and business education. He also served as Chairman of the California Task Force on Taxation and Regulation of Small Business during the Brown administration and is sought after as a consultant by businesses large and small and government agencies such as NASA for their technology transfer program.

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