When growing your business, it’s easy to get caught in the trap of trying to add more. More processes, more systems, more leads, more sales, because more is more — right?
Actually yes, it can be seen that the most successful entrepreneurs are adding more value, more often, to more people.
But the important distinction, that separates the best from the rest…
Is that before they added more, the world’s top entrepreneurs ruthlessly eliminate everything unnecessary from their lives and businesses…
Until only the essential remains.
Then, and only then, are they able to truly grow without restrains.
After working with dozens of the world’s most exclusive entrepreneurs, consultants, authors and experts — we discovered a pattern that these were the most critical 15 things they gave up first.
In order to gain the momentum to carry them for the duration of their career —and reach the heights of personal and professional achievement.
Here are the 15 things successful entrepreneurs give up, before they become successful:
1. They give up false securities
“A false sense of security is the only kind there is.” ― Michael Meade
The best entrepreneurs in the world know that nothing is static, or stable.
That all things in life are always either getting better, or getting worse. Growing more stable or more fragile, every moment of every day.
Which is why they don’t rely on a singular job, client, or project for their income or sense of security. They know false securities quickly lead to harsh realities.
They know the traditional path is fraught with these false securities and illusions of safety, or others having your best interest at heart.
And that the only truly secure future, is the one they create for themselves.
That the only guarantee for security, is the definite optimism that comes from taking responsibility for their own best interests. And taking any alternative path that puts them in control of their destiny.
2. They give up on pretending to care.
“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napolean Hill
At the end of the day, business is about relationships, often hundreds maintained at the same time and preceded by your reputation.
The world’s best entrepreneurs know that when dealing with other people, it takes more energy to pretend to care, than to actually care.
That it is less exhausting (and even rewarding) to actually care about those you help and do whatever it takes to help those you work with succeed.
As opposed, to simply pretending to care for the sake of pretenses.
The cost of actual kindness and good intentions is far less, than the mere presentation of goodwill. But the results that come from actually caring, and going the extra mile for other humans cannot even be compared.
3. They give up relying on others for leads and clients.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Everything in business, from:
– What you sell
– How you sell it
– Who you are
– How good you are at what you do
Doesn’t matter, if you don’t have a systematic method for generating new business. Because everything in a category-of-one business is reverse-engineered from demand. And servicing people who actually desire what you have and have a need for it.
Knowing this, the world’s best entrepreneurs focus on creating sustainable and predictable lead-flow before anything else, because everything is easy once that’s in place.
But without it, no amount of skill in marketing or sales will make up for not having enough qualified leads in the business.
The world’s apex entrepreneurs take control over this function of their business and make it a core competency, so they don’t have to rely on anyone else for the only thing that matters: the growth of their business.
Giving up this reliance on others, inevitably gives them control over the most important metric in their business: growth.
4. They give up doing things for free.
“I know what I bring to the table…. So trust me when I say I’m not afraid to eat alone.” — Anonymous
They say you have to give value, to get value. But the world’s best entrepreneurs start with respect, they don’t work their way up to it. And being respected means being paid for your expertise.
Apex entrepreneurs work with the best, because they are the best and they speak the secret conversational dialogue that only those with self-respect recognize.
One that honors the fundamental truth that more valuable than money:
Apex entrepreneurs charge for their expertise and especially their time.
Clients who put up a hard time paying to get started, are often giving you a red flag of what it will be like to work with them later on. So, save yourself the trouble.
Charge what your time is worth: a lot.
And always provide an ROI, whether that be money, efficiency, or the prevention of future problems.
5. They give up the quest for the ‘silver bullet.’
“The single most powerful pattern I have noticed is that successful people find value in unexpected places, and they do this by thinking about business from first principles instead of formulas.”― Peter Thiel
There is no perfect system. No ‘silver bullet’ ‘magic pill’ or ‘better mousetrap.’
There are proven systems and better systems (better likely than the ones you’re using now), but the best entrepreneurs in the world know that every proven system works on the same underlying first principles.
And that if you haven’t discovered the first principles that drive the success of all businesses, you must endeavor to uncover them above all else.
Until you illuminate, isolate and wield these first principles success will appear as if by chance. But when you become fluent in the underlying principles— success in business becomes a science.
6. They give up letting novelty manifest itself in business.
“Dispassionate objectivity is itself a passion, for the real and for the truth.” Abraham Maslow
Many business owners, once they get something ‘working’ completely abandon their success and reinvent the wheel.
This is one of the most common causes of failure in business. Boredom and the desire for novelty manifesting itself in business. Wanting things to be different, unique, and somehow more interesting than they already are.
This happens, because our brains are wired to generalize and ignore things we are used to, through a process called hedonic adaptation. But hedonic adaptation can wreak havoc if you don’t temper yourself against it in business.
This can show up as crossed wires, opinions representing themselves as facts, and the desire to completely reinvent what is already working.
Giving up doing ‘what works’ to prove to themselves or others that they can do it again. That the success was ‘them’ and not the strategy — making it personal, when it doesn’t have to be.
Real entrepreneurs know that the truth is, business is about being efficient, effective and being able to repeat the same scientific process of achievement as many times as humanly possible.
Be cautious of this desire for novelty to deviate your trajectory towards success. And instead take up a hobby on the side to channel these tendencies.
7. They give up trying to be objective about their own problems.
“Our perception could either be our path to nirvana or an invisible cage that bottles us up.” ― Pawan Mishra
When helping others, it’s easy to see their problems and be able to speak on the solutions to those problems.
But when the subject is you, what was once objective, becomes subjective.
Blindspots are called blindspots are a reason and apex entrepreneurs never try to consult on their own problems. They know that their way of thinking is what caused the problems in the first place.
So, instead, they prioritize getting outside help from people who have done exactly what they want to do before. Because they know that other people have spent their time solving these problems, so they don’t have to spend their own time solving thees problems again.
And instead, a third party can be objective and pair them with the answers, resources, and people they need to succeed.
8. They give up the fear of debt.
“I want to be able to save the world. And you know money? Money’s great. I can’t get enough money. And you know what I’m going to do with it? I’m going to buy wilderness areas with it. Every single cent I get goes straight into conservation. And guess what, Charles? I don’t give a rip whose money it is mate. I’ll use it and I’ll spend it on buying land.” — Steve Irwin
At the end of the day, not all money is created equal. Some forms have inherently more value and leverage than other forms.
Being a successful entrepreneur, means knowing when to finance your ventures, how to finance them, and with which form of capital over which period of time.
Especially, if you have a proven method of turning capital into more business.
In that instance, the only thing holding you back from a greater degree of success today, is the fear of debt. Societies’ conditioning representing itself in your hesitation to press the accelerator.
If you want to grow your business faster, but don’t want strings attached to do it, and you’ve got the personal energy to commit to growth now and the team in place to handle the demand…
Use the same financial system that has been around since the invention of currency to fund business growth.
Place a bet on yourself — and put yourself in the only situation on Earth where you control the odds.
9. They give up trying to sell something that no one wants to buy.
“People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. That’s why I never rely on market research. Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.” —Steve Jobs
The easiest way to fail in business, is to try and sell something that you think is interesting, but that no one else wants to buy.
If you find yourself in this position, then no amount of skill or energy can overcome it.
It takes tremendous energy to change people’s minds, and even then it’s often not possible. So, don’t make it harder on yourself than you need to.
Start your business with demand first.
Begin with what people want to buy, solutions to problems they know they want to have. Then educate them further once they’re already a customer.
After everything else is eliminated, this pragmatic heart remains with the world’s successful entrepreneurs.
10. They give up leaving their emotions up to chance.
“Your emotions are nothing but biochemical storms in your brain and you are in control over them at any point in time.” —Tony Robbins
One of the largest indicators of peak performance and therefore successful outcomes, is how you feel during critical moments.
Which is why successful entrepreneurs do not leave their emotions up to chance and circumstance.
They have dedicated, disciplined habits, routines and rituals that create their emotional states — when they need them most.
They know that the way you feel is the lagging indicator of your daily habits, rituals and routines.
So, if you want to be sure you’re on point, when you need to be, focus on these leading indicators, and the emotional states you want to have will surely follow when you need them.
11. They give up sacrificing themselves for their businesses.
“Self sacrifice? But it is precisely the self that cannot and must not be sacrificed. It is the unsacrificed self that we must respect in man above all.” —Ayn Rand
Business requires sacrifice, that’s true.
But what you sacrifice is a choice.
Some things you can afford to sacrifice and get back later, like certain deals, and even money. But other things can only be sacrificed once: friends, family and your own personal health and wellbeing. And when you are your own business, this becomes more true, because your health as a person is the only price you cannot afford to pay.
So, never pay the price of your own health and wellbeing for business.
Failure in business will not kill you, but failure to take care of yourself will.
Successful entrepreneurs do not succeed in business so that they can be healthy and happy. They focus on being healthy and happy, so that they can succeed in business.
12. They give up letting others have control over their time.
“You become mature when you become the authority in your own life.”— Joseph Campbell
The quickest way to position yourself as inferior to someone else is to let them dictate your time. Which is why, inversely, being strict with the use of your time is the #1 way to increase your authority.
When you make yourself too available, people will stop respecting you.
You teach others how to treat you.
So, when you value your own time — others will too.
Then, others will treat you with more respect and admiration, which will lend itself to a better use of your limited amount of time. And often better results, even in a shorter amount of time. Leaving a surplus of time to either be reinvested back into the business, or simply enjoyed.
13. They give up the fear of investing money in advertising.
“The man who stops advertising to save money, is the man who stops the clock to save time.”—Anonymous
When starting out in business, spending money on advertising feels like bleeding out with every dollar. Like the money being spent on advertising, is money is being personally taken away from you, which could be spent on something nice for you, or someone you care about.
But obviously, advertising works and is essential to a sustainable and scalable business.
Which is why the world’s most successful entrepreneurs cultivate thick skin around spending money on advertising.
They have to consciously and deliberately create a separation between their emotions and their results, which allows them to be more objective than the average individual — and leads to their category-of-one success.
And if they can’t create this separation within themselves, then they hire someone who can see their situation objectively.
When you it all comes down to it, the best entrepreneurs in the world can attribute dollars spent on advertising to deal flow increase and sales closed. One way or another. And they love spending money in advertising, because they know that what they spend there, they get make in multiples.
14. They give up being averse to risks.
“The dangers of life are infinite, and among them is safety.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
In normal life, avoiding risks means surviving. Not crossing the street at the wrong time, not walking through the wrong doors, not driving through the wrong neighborhoods. Taking less chances, can mean less consequences.
But business works the opposite way.
In business you have to be able to swallow risk and turn it into capital. You have to be fueled by risk and the flow state that comes with it.
You have to be making an infinite number of moves, all of the time. You need to be teeing up deals weeks ago, to negotiate today. And always making moves, taking chances. More shots on goal, means more goals.
Of course, just like you need to give up being averse to risks, you need to give up taking the wrong kind of risks.
But the truth is, you’re more likely to fail in business by not taking enough risks — than taking too many.
This is why most of the world’s wealth is concentrated into the smallest percentage of the population, because the barrier to entry to the top 1% means being able to take on more risk than anyone else. And for that reason the opportunity is larger than ever, yet harder to achieve.
But with risk, comes reward.
And in entrepreneurship, it’s winner takes all.
15. They give up trying to solve problems other people have already solved before.
The truth is, not everything in business is a creative endeavor.
In fact, not much is. Most problems, have been solved before by other people.
Things like: generating leads, closing sales, fulfilling services, retaining client loyalty and more have been mastered by others before.
Which is why, when the world’s best entrepreneurs run into an obstacle in business, they don’t waste their own time trying to solve these problems that have been solved before.
Instead, they spend far less time, finding someone who has solved that specific problem before and enlist their help.
Like Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, said,
“You get paid in direct proportion to the difficulty of the problems you solve.”
And apex entrepreneurs know this, but they also know that they don’t have to solve those problems themselves.
So, if they’ve identify a challenge standing between them and providing more value, the first thing they do is ask themselves, “Has this problem been solved by someone else before?”
If so, they get that problem solved for them.
So, they can invest their time working on the leading edge, not wasting their valuable time solving problems that already have solutions.
What can you give up?
The path to success is not paved with more, but with less.
“One does not accumulate, but eliminate. It is not daily increase, but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity.”—Bruce Lee
The same could be said with hitting the apex of achievement — the pinnacle is not reached with daily increase, but rather by eliminating the unnecessary and focusing on only what remains.
Achieving not only professional, but also personal success.
Are you ready to take it to the next level?
My organization and I have recorded a presentation on what simplicities are worth your focus, and exactly what you need to do in order to take your business to the next level as an entrepreneur, consultant and expert called: The Truth About Consulting.
If you want to grow your business, then watching this presentation is one of the single best uses of your time today:
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