Your beliefs determine a significant portion of your life. They inform your decisions, they dictate how you react to different circumstances, and even affect how you interact with the people around you.
This goes for any kind of belief, whether it’s political, religious, or philosophical, and it’s important for you to recognize which inner beliefs could be affecting your decisions, so you can adjust or at least consider them, accordingly.
There are some beliefs that have the potential to make you a more successful entrepreneur — these are beliefs that generally empower people, drive them to work harder, and allow them to make better decisions while resisting obstacles.
Here are seven of those empowering beliefs:
1. Anything is possible. If you believe you’ll never be capable of creating a multi-million-dollar enterprise, you’re never going to take the effort to create one. If you think your business can’t compete with the major players, you’ll lose enthusiasm and eventually fold under the pressure. Believing that some things are flat-out impossible becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; instead, successful business owners have a mindset that anything is possible with enough knowledge, effort, and determination. Having the confidence to move forward is half the battle, and as long as it doesn’t transform into foolhardy arrogance (more on that later), it will empower you to work harder and set higher goals.
2. Hard work pays off — even if it takes years to see it. Successful business owners also believe that fundamentally, hard work pays off. They aren’t afraid to invest hours, weeks, months, or even years of hard work into their businesses, because they have faith the outcome will be valuable. The key difference here with successful entrepreneurs is that they’re able to envision and embrace long-term payoffs. This ability is known as delayed gratification, and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku once referred to it as the “hallmark of human intelligence.”
3. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Even experts make mistakes — all the time. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll suffer in a number of different ways; you’ll set goals that are unreasonably high, you’ll feel defeated and discouraged when you don’t reach them or make mistakes, and you won’t be willing to move forward despite a flaw or two. If you wait until everything is perfect before you launch a product or move forward with a decision, you’ll never cross that threshold, which is why it’s important to start only with a minimum viable product and make gradual improvements from there. Embrace your mistakes, learn from them, and don’t let them stop you from taking the next step forward.
4. You can’t do everything alone. Even if you’ve managed to build something amazing for yourself, through your efforts alone, it’s still because of the people in your life who taught you and supported you that you got as far as you did. Even in matters like building a social following from scratch, you’re relying on outsiders to help support your own initiative, and in that respect, you’re always going to be relying on other people. The trick is to do as much as you can by yourself, then surround yourself by the most talented, capable, respectable people you can find to help you take care of the rest.
5. Risks are necessary. It’s true that not all risks are equal and not all risks are worth taking, but if you separate people into risk-takers and non-risk-takers, eventually, statistically, it will be people from the risk-taking pool who end up furthest ahead. Successful entrepreneurs don’t have a mindset that urges them to take every risk they find, but they aren’t afraid to take calculated risks, and that gives them more potential for bigger, more successful initiatives.
6. Perspective and experience matter. Successful entrepreneurs know that they aren’t the smartest, most experienced, or most rational person in the world. They recognize that other business owners have more experience, have different perspectives, and may have valuable ideas or insights that they haven’t considered. Successful entrepreneurs demonstrate humility, and aren’t embarrassed to ask for help or too proud to ask for others’ opinions. They’re willing and eager to gather information from many sources before moving forward with anything.
7. There’s always more to learn. That humility extends to this belief, as well. No matter how long you went to school, how many classes you’ve taken, or how many years you’ve spent on the job, there’s always something new to learn about your industry and about the world. Maintaining the desire and initiative to pursue your own education indefinitely keeps you sharp throughout your entrepreneurial journey, and keeps you a step ahead of your competitors.
It’s hard to redefine your belief system, especially when your assumptions are hard-wired into your brain, but if you can accommodate these beliefs in your own internal systems of philosophy, you’ll stand a far better chance of becoming a successful entrepreneur. The further you go, the more these truths will seem obvious to you as you start to experience them in your own entrepreneurial journey.