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US Trust studied individuals with assets of at least $3M and found that 77% of the individuals came from families that were middle to lower class. This means, more often than not, success is earned, not given. So how do you get there? How do you grow and scale your agency?
Many articles will tell you that the best entrepreneurs and business people read books before bed every night, wake up at 5 am, listen to classical music, or eat a salad for lunch every day. I call bull. Sure successful people may do those things, but so do plenty of ordinary people. So what really makes the successful different from everyone else? Below you’ll find the list of traits that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.
1. They Inspire Others
The best owners aren’t just good bosses, they’re good communicators and good leaders. They take an idea and get a group just as excited and passionate about it as they are, then great things happen. An owner shouldn’t do everything and manage everyone, they should create an environment and culture that motivates and inspires people to succeed and accomplish.
2. They Trust Their Tribe
If you want to grow your agency you can’t do everything forever. Steve Jobs would never have grown Apple if he wanted to do all of the programming, designing, and marketing himself. Instead, you must learn to delegate without micromanaging. You must hire people smarter than you, share your vision with them, and give them the freedom to achieve it. If you hire the right people and create an environment of success and determination for them to thrive in then you will succeed.
I know letting go of the reigns can be scary, you probably can do a better job than them but that doesn’t mean you should. They have got to learn, grow, make mistakes, and experience success on their own terms. Trusting your tribe will give you the peace of mind you deserve and free up your time to focus on more important matters (like growing and running your agency). And who knows, your tribe might surprise you.
(RELATED: Trusting your tribe is much easier if you hire the right people. Check out this awesome read on our 7 Step Hiring Process.)
3. They Aren’t Afraid to Fail
Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. Michael Jordan was kicked off his high school basketball team. Walt Disney was fired from the local newspaper for lacking creativity. Milton Hershey’s first two chocolate businesses went bankrupt. Everybody fails. The difference is how you handle it.
These are just some of the dozens of inspirational failure stories, rags to riches tales, and overcoming obstacles quotes. It all boils down to your outlook on failure and how you react when times are hard. You can let failure defeat you or you can acknowledge it, learn from it, grow from it, embrace it, and move on. You must accept that it’s a BIG part of the process.
4. They’re Flexible
Part of being a business owner is being able to handle all of the challenges and bumps in the road. You’ve got to learn to be flexible if you want to succeed. James Dyson spent 5 years creating over 5,000 prototypes before he manufactured his first vacuum. If he was determined to make a vacuum look one specific way he wouldn’t be where he is today. It’s okay if things don’t go as planned, that’s what makes the experience so exciting.
Especially being in a digital space you’ve got to be ready to adapt to the newest trends and latest and greatest software. The world is evolving faster than ever and if you want to keep up you’ve got to be flexible. Ask any successful business owner what their original business plan looked like and it’s probably drastically different from where they are today. Have a goal but be flexible in your methods.
5. They’re Humble
You won’t make it far if you piss off everyone on your way to the top. Admit when you’re wrong. Ask for help when you need it. Recognize your faults. Listen when others are speaking. Give credit to those who deserve it. Welcome constructive criticism. Being humble starts well before you have a success to boast about.
6. They Find a Balance
No matter how passionate you are if all you do is work, eat, and occasionally sleep, you will burn out. Long term you’ll jeopardize your health, relationships, and happiness. And what’s the point of building a prosperous agency if you’re not around to enjoy it? Find a balance. Taking a break to rejuvenate and clear your mind will allow you to come back to work with new ideas and a fresh perspective.
Taking a break is healthy and beneficial. Everyone needs a chance to breathe. It doesn’t make you any less dedicated or committed. It means the exact opposite, it means you’re taking time to invest in your agency’s greatest resource: yourself. So set aside some quality time, enjoy it (that means no checking your email, taking calls, etc.), and then get back to work.
7. They Take Action
Plenty of people have good ideas, what distinguishes an entrepreneur from everyone else though is the ability to go out and turn that idea into something tangible. You’ve got to see possibilities that others don’t and execute them. Keyword being: execute. Have a clear plan with mapped out goals along the way. The hardest part is taking the first step. The second hardest part is keeping that momentum going, and having a plan holds you accountable and keeps you on track.
8. They Persevere
You probably won’t be an overnight success, nobody really is. Patience is a virtue when it comes to growing your agency because the best things in life take time and effort - relationships, raising children, growing a business. The journey probably won’t be easy either. But the best entrepreneurs, the best founders, the best owners, they see opportunity where most people see struggle. They wake up in the morning and put in the work even when they don’t want to. They are dedicated to their dreams and they won’t take no for an answer.
If you’re going to pack up your things as soon as it gets tough, this probably isn’t the field for you. You’ve got to keep going through the motions even when you don’t want to and even when the world feels like it’s against you. This resilience and determination allows you to persevere and come out on top.
(NOTE: Take your leadership skills to the next level with the Agency Leadership online course.)