Discipline: An Essential Quality for Successful Entrepreneurs
If you want to succeed in business, there is absolutely one thing you must have: discipline. Discipline to keep yourself working toward your goals. Discipline to work harder than you have ever worked working for someone else.
As a business owner, you need discipline. Owning a business is work. Owning a successful business is hard work. You set your own schedule, get paid on 100% commission. You have to go out there and find your own clients, and sell your own products. No one else will do it for you. At least not until you have established yourself as an expert, or what Chris Brogan and Julien Smith call a "trust agent". Once you establish yourself as an expert, people start doing some of the "marketing" for you, telling others about you and sharing your information.
But it still amazes me how many new business owners enter entrepreneurship thinking they're going to be rich in months without doing any hard work.
The hard work involves studying successful business professionals, learning how to manage and market a business, improving time management skills and productivity levels to maximize efficiency. Business ownership means that you never stop learning. Even when you get to your desired "success level", you still need to keep working hard at your business (or hire someone to do it for you). Why? Because you never know when the referrals will dry up due to an economic crash or the emergence of better products or information by a competitor.
If customers realize that someone else provides a better product, do you think they're going to stay with you? Why? Because they're loyal customers?
Loyal customers will stick around for a while, but eventually they'll decide that they need to cut costs or use a product that helps them become more efficient and productive.
People don't want to work any more than they have to. That's why most people aren't fit for entrepreneurship. Those people who are fit for it have a much greater chance of succeeding in business. But once they stop learning or become too confident in business, they start to falter. If they don't realize it soon enough, they'll eventually be out of business.
Hubris (exaggerated pride or self-confidence) is one of the worst traits you can have as an entrepreneur. And it's been that way for more than 2000 years. Just read some of the old classics like Euripides and Sophocles and you'll see what I mean.
But you still need confidence. Confidence in your products, in your services, in your ability to provide your customers something of value. Just don't get carried away. Be humble and always be learning.
So, what do you need discipline for? You need discipline to keep you on track for achieving your goals. If you don't have any goals, now is the next best time to work on goal setting. Keep your eye on your goal, and when you get off-track, slap yourself and get back to work! You'll be thankful you stopped yourself from procrastinating and being unproductive.
Remember, productivity is a must in business. And you need discipline to be productive.