Five Tools Every Entrepreneur Should Master

The following is derived from an article in Forbes magazine that I have adjusted to apply to the start up entrepreneur.

1.) Passion

You better have some serious passion for what you do. This is no time to whip out the tiny tack hammer. You need a sledge hammer sized amount of passion. Think of it this way — passion is the fuel to keep you fired up about your idea, industry and business every minute of every day.  You will need to call on this passion during times of frustration.  What frustration?  Read my entry “Entrepreneurship is Not for Wimps.”

Let me give you an example: Bill Phillips, current CEO and Founder of Transformation, has earned a sizable amount of money over the years as an entrepreneur. The guy is some kind of fitness guru. Fully engaged in exercise, nutrition, muscular science and anything else to build a better body and live a more healthy life. A genius at what he does — and he’s got the bankroll to prove it.

But how has he literally earned tens of millions of dollars in the fitness industry? I propose to you because he has a fanatic passion about it. Yes —fanatic.

Lives it. Breathes it. Sleeps it. Eats it. He was a kid sneaking off to lift steel barbell weights in a dark closet next to the gym during lunch in junior high. Yes – over 34 years of fanatical passion.  This is a perfect example of my own client, Feel the Burn Bootcamp.

2.) High Risk Tolerance + Tenacity

Next up is a big dose of risk tolerance combined with tenacity. Are you afraid to step out? Fearful you’ll fail miserably as an entrepreneur? So scared out of your wits it stops you dead in your tracks from even trying?

Well, shake it off. Rise up out of your chair and grab risk by the throat. Stare it down and confidently press on with a tenacious glare in your eye. 

Take for example Clate Mask, CEO and Co-Founder of InfusionSoft. The guy is a fighter. Willing to risk it all in pursuit of his vision for a stellar company. But unwilling to quit in the face of adversity. His wife tells a great story of the early years of InfusionSoft and how they almost decided to throw in the towel. Clate was about to go find a job somewhere so they could feed the family. But guess what? He didn’t cave. He kept going. Shooting flames of tenacity from his nostrils. And the company he co-founded and didn’t quit on?  They just raised $54 million in capital led by Goldman Sachs.  It’s about perseverance . . . tenacity.

3.) Domain Dominance

Remember how fanatical passion is a must for your entrepreneurial toolkit? If you’re one step ahead of me — you’ll see the connection between passion and domain dominance.

If you’re truly passionate about something. Living, breathing and eating it every day, guess what happens over time? Yes — you become an expert in it. You gain absolute domain expertise. Again I will refer to both Mills and Phillips as examples. These guys both became so naturally immersed in their areas of passion they couldn’t help but become domain experts. When you and your business are looked to as the experts in your field — you’ve reached an unparalleled position of power and influence. 

4.) A Team

If you ask any successful entrepreneur about the reasons for their success — I guarantee you (unless they’re complete ego maniacs) they will mention their “team” as playing a major role. Ask Bill Gates. Ask Jack Dorsey. Ask Richard Branson.

But what if you call yourself a “solo-preneur”? Does putting together a team still apply?

Absolutely. You are not a one-man (or woman) band. Even if you think so.

The bottom line is every successful entrepreneur needs to build a team around them. A team motivated toward the same vision and goals. And no — it doesn’t have to be people punching time clocks on your payroll. Author Scott Fox (“Click Millionaires — Work Less & Live More with an Internet Business You Love”), declares that “today you don’t need all the physical infrastructure of traditional business — no storefront, office, furniture, parking or even full-time employees.”

With the availability through sites like oDesk and Elance — you can easily put together a team of players to help you reach your entrepreneurial goals.

And don’t forget — your vendors, contractors, mentors and partners all play a major role on your team as well.

5.) Mentor & Coach

Speaking of mentors — Jeff Walker, CEO and founder of Internet Alchemy,says “having coaches, mentors and role models is absolutely critical to success”.

The right mentor and coach can add value beyond anything you can imagine. Why? Because here is your challenge:

You are currently unaware of the things you do not know.

Basically, you have blind spots. But it’s okay because we all have them in different areas of our lives.

Basically, you have blind spots. But it’s okay because we all have them in different areas of our lives.

So just like every entrepreneur out there — you have a choice to make. You can either choose the path of the wise and get a mentor and coach to help you see those blind spots; or you can choose to go it alone. I would encourage you in the strongest language possible to get a mentor or coach. Just find someone you can trust; who knows what they’re talking about with business and is a good fit for you. Believe me — you’ll look back and see it was one of the smartest moves you ever made.


Entrepreneurship Is Not for Wimps

JEFF STECK MANAGEMENTIt has been a year since my last post. A lot has happened this past year that made blogging seem unimportant. Ironically, blogging would have kept everything in perspective.  In the last year Jeff Steck Management has gone from a small home-based business with a couple clients to a boutique agency with a large portfolio of clients representing many different industries.  I’ve learned two major things.  The first is that being poor sucks.  The second thing I learned is that being an entrepreneur is not for wimps.

The majority of my clients are entrepreneurs.  I have heard most of them scream, cry, break down, and apologize for the screaming, crying, and breaking down.  I’ve done the same, but typically in the privacy of my shower.  There are certain life experiences that only entrepreneurs experience.  There are about 11 inevitables, but today I am writing about “self-doubt.”

As an entrepreneur you will doubt yourself hundreds, if not thousands of times before you achieve success.  You will convince yourself that you do not know what you’re doing and you will grow increasingly concerned that your clients will discover this fact.  This can become overwhelming at times and you will entertain the notion of giving up.

If you don’t know what you’re doing then you shouldn’t keep doing it, right?  Wrong.  The fact is you do know what you’re doing, but as your business grows you hit business acumen plateaus.  You shouldn’t expect yourself to know everything all at once.  There’s a reason experience grosses more money.  When you hit these plateaus, and you will, you need to educate yourself and push your comfort boundaries so that you grow.  Conquering your fear will be what allows you to invite success into your life and grow rich.

The key here is perseverance.  Make sure you have done your research, have a quality product or service, and a good marketing and sales plan.  Most will give up when it gets tough.  Don’t be most.