Within the world of entrepreneurial success, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.
As lonely and challenging as the entrepreneur life can sometimes feel, we don’t have to pursue it without support. Entrepreneurs who have struggled and succeeded before we have can share wisdom and advice to make our own journey a little less painful.
Although reading ideas and quotes from entrepreneurs can be inspirational, it’s often less obvious how to put the ideas into action.
Today, you’ll find ideas from four top-tier entrepreneurs, as well as some ways to put them into practice for yourself.
“Choose something that you both love and are good at.”
This quote from billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban addresses the common dilemma of which field we should pursue in our entrepreneurial life.
Too often, we end up pursuing paths that aren’t optimal for our own lives, abilities, and interests. At the same time, it’s impossible to choose a perfect path in advance. Things will inevitably change along the way.
Given both the difficulty and importance of choosing a path in this life of ours, how do we go about putting Mark Cuban’s ideas into practice?
- Ikigai. Have you heard of Ikigai? It’s a Japanese philosophy for finding a balanced life. Ikigai takes Mark Cuban’s quote and runs with it. To correctly follow Ikigai, you must seek a balance between not only what you love and are good at, but what the world truly needs and you can also be paid for. This framework might help you find the way when considering different paths.
- Regular Reflection. It’s important to reflect along the way during your entrepreneurial growth. Taking the time to sit back and assess whether you’re still in love with your work and whether your time might be better used elsewhere is an important part of the process.
- Skills & Improvement. In order to remain good at something, we can never rest on our laurels. We need to remain committed to pursuing education and development anywhere we can. Once you’ve chosen a particular path, keep seeking ways to strengthen yourself while you walk it.
No matter which area of business you are in, Mark Cuban’s ideas are valuable. Always seek out exciting opportunities you love and have a chance to be skilled in.
“If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”
Of all the things that stand in the way of entrepreneurial success, one of the most common is the entrepreneur’s own limiting beliefs.
Often, we’re our own worst enemy. We get stuck in our own head, letting our doubts and insecurities speak loudly for us.
To move past this problem, a couple of things are required. First, you need to realize that every entrepreneur feels this way. You’re not alone, and the way you are feeling is normal. Second, you can overcome it.
So what are some practical steps you can take to overcome your insecurity when it kicks in?
- Plan For Imposter Syndrome. Take the time to read up on imposter syndrome. By seeking to understand it, you arm yourself for when it strikes. Have a plan in place for when anxiety strikes, such as a series of mental reframes, or some kind of mindfulness exercise to recenter yourself.
- Know Your Strengths. When we’re tired, stressed, and feeling bad about our work, it can be all too easy to lose sight of our strengths. Keep a tangible record of your achievements so you can remind yourself of the positives when times are tough.
- Connect & Support. Mentally, one of the worst things we can do is isolate ourselves. Seek out the support of and a connection with others. This could be a mastermind group, mentorship network, or simply trusted family and friends. Getting stuck in your own head is often the worst thing you can do, so avoid it at all costs.
Take the time to put Tim Ferriss’ ideas into practice. Learn about imposter syndrome so that you’re ready for when it inevitably strikes.
“One of the things I tend to do is open myself up to a variety of voices. I try to expose myself to the kind of culture shock that occurs when you talk to people who speak a different language.”
Entrepreneurial isolation is one of the worst things that can occur.
When we get too used to the sound of our own ideas and the people around us also think the same way, we end up stuck in a rut, devoid of new ideas, inspiration, or fresh perspectives.
So how can we practically open ourselves up to a variety of voices, ensuring our entrepreneurial energy remains fresh?
- Avoid Online Echo Chamber. It’s probably easier than ever before to get stuck hearing the same old ideas. Thanks to the prevalence of social media, people often end up only hearing opinions from people like themselves who think the same way. If you use social media, deliberately cultivate a diverse range of connections, so you can be exposed to new perspectives as often as possible.
- Don’t Hire Yes Men. Given the way that the entrepreneurial life can cause stress or doubt, it can be tempting to hire the people that will help us feel the best about our own ideas. However, seek out the opposite. You want a wise team of advisers who will offer diverse perspectives and be unafraid to challenge you.
- Seek New Social Circles. Commit to being a voracious seeker of new perspectives and ideas. When you switch up the people you spend time with, you avoid getting stuck in a rut where you never hear a fresh take or way of doing things. Education courses, professional development organizations, and charitable organizations can be good places to start.
New voices and perspectives lead to the potential for fresh and exciting ways of doing business. Seek them out, no matter what.
“Every entrepreneur should self-publish a book because having a book is the new business card. If you want to stand out, you need to show your expertise.”
It’s hard to overstate the way that the self-publishing industry has disrupted the book industry.
The old gatekeepers and inefficiencies are being swept aside, allowing each entrepreneur to get their book out there.
If you’re excited by the possibility of self-publishing a book, here are three things to keep in mind.
- Idea. Your book needs a unique idea or angle. Consider ways that your book can make a difference, such as a memoir that serves a certain audience or pain points you know how to address.
- Audience. Who will your book serve? Consider choosing a more niche audience than you initially imagine. You can consider narrowing it down demographically or psychographically. This will help during your book-writing process.
- Plan. As your book will represent you, like a “business card”, as James Altucher puts it, it’s important to make sure it represents you in the best way possible. Have a full self-publishing plan in place to avoid overlooking any part of the process.
Take the time to brainstorm some potential book ideas you could pursue. Becoming an author might just be your next exciting entrepreneurial project.
You Are Not Alone
When times are tough or you’re feeling a little lost, turn to the wisdom of others to help move ahead.
That might involve considering love and skill like Mark Cuban suggested, following Tim Ferriss’ advice to avoid imposter syndrome, seeking new perspectives like Pierre Omidyar, or getting your book out there like James Altucher.
There is no new entrepreneurial challenge under the sun. No matter what you’re facing, seek out the perspective of those who have faced it. You don’t have to do this alone.