10 steps to becoming a badass entrepreneur in 2016

Pedro De Abreu stops by to give us is annual guide to being a badass entrepreneur. If you didn't quite manage it in 2014 or 2015 then here's your chance to grab 2016 by the horns... 

1. Be able to change your mental state at will. It’s too easy to let your emotions and overall mood dominate your every thought and action. You could wake up to a rainy day and let the weather be the deciding factor of how you’ll feel for the next twelve hours. In fact, that’s what most people do - but remember, you're not most people.

You're someone who has taken charge of your own life: you're an entrepreneur. You need to make the conscious decision, every day, that you will have a great day. Nobody cares about what you’re going through. Nobody cares about the petty things that are bothering you. Flip on the switch of positivity and spread goodwill everywhere you go.

Read: How to prevent technology from becoming a distraction at work

"A professional is a person who can do his/her job when he/she doesn’t feel like it. An amateur is a person who can’t do his/her job when he/she does feel like it." – James Agate

2. Wake up early. This should be a given, but it is not. I can’t count the times acquaintances who "were in business" called me at 12:00pm saying they were just waking up. That won’t work. Not only will waking up early give you more time to take care of business, the morning is also the best time of day to catch the people you want to do business with.

Learn from the best: Jack Dorsey is up at 5:00am. He meditates, works out, makes coffee, and checks in. He is also able to run not one, but two publicly traded companies. Gary Vaynerchuck is up at 6:00am. Every minute counts. Don’t be one of those people who wakes up late and doesn’t know why they can’t get much done.

3. Take care of business first. As an entrepreneur, before fun, you need to take care of business. Before going out on the weekends, you need to take care of business. Don’t ever be the person who is always leaving things for later, for tomorrow. Be the person who gets definite about things, and is known for getting things done. Take care of business as soon as it comes in. Don’t leave the house before you have finished your sales calls and quota for the day. Know your priorities. Push yourself.

Remember that mediocre people will do mediocre things, and put fun before business. Ideally, you will want to reach a point where business is fun.

4. Divide in order to multiply. Delegation is the name of the game. Realise you cannot do everything on your own. You will only be able to grow your business once you start delegating responsibility to others. To that end, it is imperative you know your strengths and focus on them. 

If you’re bad at organisation, let someone do that job for you. If you’re bad at following up, let someone do that job for you. Whatever it is you’re bad at, hire someone with complementary skills to do that job.

5. Work smart and work hard. More than ever, you need to work smart. But you also need to work hard. There is nothing easy about starting and growing a business. It takes countless hours and effort; it takes phone calls; it takes making meaningful relationships; it takes sales; it takes interviewing; it takes growing; it takes studying; it takes strategy; it takes delegating. So please don’t believe people who tell you that you can live off of your passive income and chill on the beach all day. 

Read: Why entrepreneurs should embrace failure in 2016

6. Be your awesome self. Authenticity is key. If you want authentic relationships, you must be authentic. If you want an authentic and positive audience reaction when you give a talk, you must be authentic and positive. Being authentic pays off tremendous dividends, as people are able to see B.S. from a mile away. Don’t be afraid to be you.

7. Be a leader. If you have to remind people that you are the boss, and that you’re the one who calls the shots, then you have already failed. You are nothing but a manager. A leader doesn’t have to ever remind others of her title. A leader works through influence. Management is recognition you get from the bottom, while leadership is permission you get from those below you.

The best way to motivate employees is by being a great leader to them. Put them up, give them praise, smile, communicate well, have high standards and create a culture where it is safe to fail and to try new things.

8. Know you won’t please everyone. When you stand up for what you believe in, when you put yourself out there and start to go after what you want, some people will inadvertently stop liking you. Truth is, they never really liked you in the first place. Or perhaps they just wrote you off as 'safe'. But the moment you started doing something that they didn’t have the courage to do themselves, they panicked. That panic translates itself into, "I don’t like that guy/girl". Don’t let that get to you. Don’t internalize it. It’s a perfectly normal reaction, and it happens at all levels.

Read: Will entrepreneurs see the late payment culture change in 2016?

9. In everything, give thanks. Just the fact that you wake up every day is something to be thankful for. Being thankful will not just allow you to better function, but it can also have lasting effects on your health. "It can lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep," says Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis. People who are thankful exude a different vibe and energy to which we are all attracted.

10. 2016 will be the same as 2015 if you don’t change. No matter how good the intentions, your 2016 will be the same as your 2015 if you don’t make the effort to change it. Take a good look at your daily habits, at your relationships, and ruthlessly change anything that doesn’t fit a paradigm of success and accomplishment. In the words of Jim Rhon, "change begins with a choice."

​​This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.


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