How do you define success?
I have seen it defined as consistently achieving your pre-determined goals. Others have said it's your level of "grit" or ability to fail consistently without losing your motivation or giving up from self-doubt.
Your business goals and dreams are unique to you. While the object of success is different for every person, we have been able to determine the characteristics that are shared by those who have found success and fulfillment, as they define it.
The industries and pursuits of successful people are very diverse, so mimicking their actual day-to-day behavior is not always a true model of how to get what you want (unless you're trying to succeed at the same thing they are).
Watching the actions of successful business people reveals their mindset that motivates them and, more importantly, gives them the perseverance and consistency to take the actions needed every day to achieve what they dream.
This is a humbling reminder that growing your business is more than just knowing what to do, or finding out the secret technique or method that will make you more money.
While that helps in choosing your strategy and making the execution easier, the reality is that anyone with a strong enough success mindset will have the attributes needed to find out what to do, commit to it, and then get to work through thick and thin, changing their course as needed until they've realize their goal.
What are the elements of this "success mindset?"
Confidence in your dream and your abilities
How strongly do you believe in your company's potential? How strongly do you believe that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to pull it off? This is self-confidence. Entrepreneurs who don't fully believe in themselves are more likely to quit, or make excuses that keep them from trying in the first place.
Part of confidence comes from experience. After all, if you've made money in business in the past, it's not too hard to see yourself doing it again, or more of it. When you see your hunches pay off, you'll learn to trust your gut even more.
Part of confidence is knowing that you are probably going to run into challenges and fail at a few things along the way. It means you can handle setbacks without questioning your own ability. There will always, I repeat, always be setbacks. The difference is that a confident entrepreneur knows he can figure out what to do when the time comes and overcome them.
My point here is that when things don't work out the way you planned, it does not mean that you are personally lacking in some way. The point is to achieve your goal, not to have a flawless plan.
Flexible and willing to learn
The sharpest entrepreneurs are continually learning from whatever source presents itself. This means getting expert knowledge in their field and learning how to run a business in general. But it also means listening along the way for ideas that you can implement directly in new or current projects.
It doesn't matter who the ideas come from. Constantly look outside yourself for new ideas and be flexible. After all, there is no one right way to run your business, and copying your competitors exactly is more of an exercise in flattery than a strategy for success.
Your results are also a source of learning if you'll listen to them. This applies to both successes and failures. If you succeed at something, it's not because you're invincible-it's because you took certain actions that produced a certain result. Same goes for failures.
Focus more on actions and results and what they can teach you through trial and error, rather than making things personal.
Persistence and determination
The most persistent entrepreneur will usually win. There are plenty of talented, highly-intelligent, and educated people out there. Why aren't they all successful?
My guess would be their mindset. Perhaps they don't believe they can achieve what they want, or set their sights low to avoid the risk of failure and pain.
We can learn a lot from entrepreneurs like Henry Ford-a man of average intelligence who surrounded himself with the very best people. His job was to consider their input and make decisions accordingly. People look to the leader to press forward-that's you!
So even if you don't currently have the know-how or the funds (or whatever you think is holding you back) to achieve your dream right now, know that you will eventually if you continue to make proactive efforts towards your goal. It's just a matter of time!
Ask any fighter and he'll tell you that focus and concentration are crucial. Would you want to get distracted by shiny objects in the crowd if you were in the middle of a heavyweight battle? You'd probably get your clock cleaned, or at least fail to be effective at attacking.
Why would your business be any less important? Every day, you will have a ton of information, thoughts, and cries for your attention coming at you. The average person comes in contact with as many as 2,000 advertising messages per day, for example.
How well do you focus on your goals? Do you review them often? Do you make plans for their achievement, and revise them when they don't work as well as you thought?
At any given hour of your workday, ask yourself, "What am I doing right now, and is it helping me achieve my goal or is it busy work, a distraction, or something I could delegate?"
The topics of confidence and self-esteem as well as mindfulness and concentration are not only fascinating studies in self-knowledge. They can help you make money. They can help you grow your business, and find success.
To apply this, take a look at your own mindset lately. Has it been conducive to success, or do you find yourself getting in your own way? The process of developing the right mindset is not as simple as a one-time task list. It's based on setting the habit of consistently paying attention to your thoughts and feelings, which reveal your higher thought patterns and beliefs.