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February 4, 2020

5 Traits My Most Successful Entrepreneur Friends Have in Common

I’ve worked closely with entrepreneurs for over two decades.

In entrepreneurial organizations and in my inner circle, I’ve seen the entrepreneurial journey. From start to success, people who’ve built and sold high cash flow businesses have five traits in common.

The irony is, what makes them accomplished are not the things talked about after the fact in the media. My observations match the results in a book called “Power: Why Some People Have it and Why Some People Don’t” — the traits they preach are different than the ones that brought wealth. 

When you’re looking to build success — whether you have money or not — you need to avoid survivorship bias (taking advice from people who succeeded and ignoring all those who failed using the same advice). You need the real deal.

Most of my successful entrepreneur friends make coin without a silver spoon. But here’s the thing, bling doesn’t define their wealth. Real success runs deeper than money — it’s all about being pragmatic, entelechial, intellectual, and singular while raising your vibe. 


1. Pragmatic

First of all, they were all pragmatics. While entrepreneurs talk about following their passion later, I didn’t see passion at inception. Instead, they picked and solved real problems. The first core tenet to a great business is to find an issue and solve it well. Thus, these folks looked for solvable problems where people had vested interests. They didn’t have great, passionate solutions, but had logic and market viability.

They put Bling’s Five Fingers of Life to work because they were very good at accepting the situation, analyzing problems, and evaluating options. They didn’t see a problem and say, “well, it should be like this,” then design their business around their judgments. Instead, they took a pragmatic approach — they designed a hypothesis and talked to people about their solution, asked for opinions, experience, and value before taking action.


2. Entelechial

Entelechy means the realization of potential. Entrepreneurs with entelechy go from concept to implementation without friction. They recognize a problem, visualize the solution, then translate their vision into practical steps towards realization. 

Related: How to Legit Control Your Thoughts

Experience allows them to move from idea to action at high speed. Plus, they don’t get stuck in their heads before talking and testing. If they don’t have answers, then they tap their network and find valuable resources. Ultra-specific questions drive phenomenal progress in short periods.


3. Cultivated a High Vibe

Successful people do tons of self-work and invest in themselves more than most. They read lots of self-development books, go on retreats, work with coaches and groups, or talk to therapists. Not only to strengthen skills, but to see blind spots, change limiting beliefs, resolve conflicts, and understand relationships. 

Every part of their life is self-examined. Not in search of perfectionism, but to become the best person they can be, for themselves and for their business.

Related: High Vibes 101: A Practical Guide For Emerging Leaders

To realize your potential and build a successful business, you need to enjoy the process and let go of ideals. You’re grounded in your values and business mission, so when shit hits the fan, you’re chill. Contentment keeps you moving forward. 

Some may say I’m describing passion, but I’m going further. I’m saying have fun — regardless of the outcome. When you enjoy the process, you’ll consistently pursue goals with intense concentration to make your business thrive. 


4. Intellectual

Besides working on their inner selves, successful people also spend a lot of time honing their mind as a tool without it becoming the master. I’m talking about super-smart people that connect dots in new, unexpected ways because their minds are sharp and informed, but don’t get in the way. Meaning, their gut, their soul, their calling still plays a huge role in decisions. 

As great students, they are prolific readers, enjoying dense publications like The Economist and Harvard Business Review. Even more, they apply their learned knowledge to their business pursuits. Research validates their worldview or updates it since they believe in science.

Data is crucial to back up ideas. Even with contradicting facts, they may pursue ideas if a different angle could work. A well I can do it anyways mindset is never present because they listen and respect the data. Choices are not flippant, but scientific and calculated.


5. Singular

People at this level are singular because their actions may appear antisocial, self-centered, and dictatorial. Yet, their deep love for life, family, and friends drives them to go after their ambition. Plus, their belief in a higher power allows them to tap into the source to achieve beyond limits. 

People may call their reflective and articulate nature on their experiences, vulnerable. Instead, it’s a strength and a chance for honesty. For them, it’s the right thing to do. It provides an opportunity to evaluate their life without praise or prejudice but rather, to communicate their experiences objectively to help others. 


Success Peeled Back 

By sharing these five traits, I’m erasing the mystique around success without bias from the winners. People got big from having the qualities I’ve laid out — which are crazy different than the things you hear on TV. Though I can’t guarantee these traits alone will deliver, there’s no doubt they’re the basic building blocks for strong entrepreneurial mindsets. 

Look through this list and identify which area you’ve given the least attention. Figure out your plan of action to develop these traits, then put them to work. If it’s challenging, then reach out. I’m here to give you practical advice in your interest. 

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