This article originally appeared on Quora: What makes a millennial become a successful entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. It’s risky and you don’t always have the luxury of a paycheck every two weeks. But entrepreneurship is the act of pursuing your dreams. And there’s nothing more satisfying in the world. Here are a few thing to help you be successful at it.
1. Prove Your Worthiness
In the hyper-competitive world of business, it’s becoming increasingly important to prove yourself to would-be clients and customers. Make a name for yourself in your industry. Help people. Become a go-to source of knowledge. Build a strong personal brand. Establish credibility for yourself and build trust with your audience. If you’re selling to older generations, this is how you take age out of the equation and prove from the get-go that you know what you’re talking about. Go to the exact places where pain points are being discussed—Quora, LinkedIn, Medium—and address them directly.
2. Defeat Distractions
We’re a distracted generation. Our attention spans are all of two minutes. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be able to stay focused. Eliminate distractions that are preventing you from keeping your eye on the prize, both in the long run and right now. If you have a side project in addition to your business venture, think hard about how much time it may be taking away from building your company. Side projects can be good but successful entrepreneurs go all in on their businesses. And more immediately, use smartphones to your advantage—don’t let them hold you back. Don’t get distracted every 15 seconds by an Instagram notification or a breaking news alert. Stay focused.
3. Adapt or Die
Entrepreneurial success has a lot do do with adaptation. If new information comes to light, adapt. If you find out that clients prefer things to be done differently, ask why—then adapt. Always be open to feedback but take it with a grain of salt. Always ask yourself (and your best clients) what you could be doing better. Then adapt, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. Strive to always be improving and building a better, smarter company.
4. Form Good Habits
Form habits that make you more productive. Write out a structured routine and stick to it. Here are some good habits to start with:
- Do what you say you’re going to do
- Make the bed every morning
- Remember names
- Give yourself time limits for tasks and finish what you start
- Build in time to be creative or to relax
- Get good sleep (at least 6.5 hours)
- Exercise several times a week
- Eat healthy meals
5. Stay Organized
From the very beginning, stay organized. Structure your folders in Dropbox, get a free Hubspot account to track leads, use a project management tool, track expenses, systemize everything. Do things right from the beginning.
6. Under Promise, Over Deliver
You’ve definitely heard this before, but I can’t stress this one enough (especially as a Millennial selling to older generations). Promise only what you know you can outperform. Constantly exceed expectations. Nothing boosts your reputation faster.
7. Be Disciplined
This one could stand alone. You can’t succeed as an entrepreneur if you’re not disciplined. Discipline makes you persistent—it keeps you going when others give up. It’s what makes you do what you say you’re going to do. Discipline is being a person of your word to yourself. If you say “I’m going to wake up at 6:00 AM”—do it. It’s that simple. Disciple is a choice. Start small: make the bed every morning. Then scale.
Drew Reggie is the co-founder of Digital Press, a ghostwriting and influence agency for CEOs and serial entrepreneurs. Drew is also a Quora contributor. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.