5 Things Successful Entrepreneurs DON’T Do

Image of a female entrepreneur saying no to doing some things in order to be successful

Successful entrepreneurs are defined by what they don’t do just as much as what they do. Here are five things you won’t catch the best in the entrepreneurship game doing when it comes to their businesses.

If you are a fan of shows like Shark Tank and The Profit, chances are you have a hunger for learning what makes successful businesses tick. Perhaps you even find yourself scouring through some of the many articles written about what successful entrepreneurs do, what habits they adopt and how they approach their business. But have you ever stopped to wonder what entrepreneurs avoid in their quest for success?

Why would that be important? Knowing where not to invest your time, energy and money can be one of the most effective tools to preserving your resources for the things worth investing in.

To that end, we’ve put together a short list of things most successful entrepreneurs DON’T do:

  1. Sleep In…

This isn’t a knock on the pleasure of staying curled up and care free on a Sunday morning until you feel like rolling out of bed. However, studies have shown that there is a sweet spot for the amount of sleep a person needs, coming in around 7 hours give or take. One thing many truly successful people do is have a routine around their sleep habits. They go to bed at a consistent time, sleep soundly and rise at a consistent time. In other words, they don’t sleep too much, or too little. Even fewer hours of uninterrupted sleep are better than more hours of restlessness. By getting the right amount of sleep, their waking hours are more productive and they are filled with more energy.

  1. Isolate Themselves…

Image of an isolated entrepreneurWhen it comes to business, you hear the word networking almost as much as you might hear a farmer say “crop.” If just about any conversation could be considered “networking”, then why do people keep talking about it? It’s because networking is a skill that, when executed well, has the ability to create connections and value, and like any other skill it can be developed and honed. Truly successful entrepreneurs know they can’t create, grow and thrive in a business all alone. It takes contacts and a real network of people with skills and experiences to create a strong enterprise. They practice their networking skills, even though, like everybody else, they may not always feel like being social. The best entrepreneurs know that even if someone can’t do something for them right now, their is always potential value in a relationship. Who knows? Down the road, that contact may change positions, companies or industries and become a valued partner or even a client.

  1. Give In To Fear…

To be clear, not giving in to fear is not the same thing as not being afraid. Entrepreneurs have a lot on the line and many can be understandably afraid of the myriad things that can go wrong when starting a new business. However, they don’t let that fear control them and take over their decision making. They are not frozen by constant change and course corrections. For example, allowing yourself to feel overwhelmed, is the result of fear overtaking rational thought. The common reaction to this feeling is to lock up and do nothing, because in the face of overwhelming odds, what can you do? Well, if you’re a successful entrepreneur, you recognize this feeling as an obstacle, you get over it and you take action. They don’t let fear rule, but instead use it as motivation to tackle whatever they have on their to-do list, taking baby steps if necessary, but moving forward no matter what.

  1. Try To Do It All…

Image of an entrepreneur trying to do it all himselfIt takes drive, passion and a clear vision to succeed as an entrepreneur. The person that takes an idea and turns it into a business knows what they want and knows how to make it happen. Yet, all too often, business leaders and managers fall into the trap of “If you want it done right, you’ve got to do it yourself.” That’s a fine saying and has some value in the right context, but, delegating in a strategic fashion is often the only way to free up valuable time so you can accomplish more at once. Successful leaders hire the right people, train them correctly and empower them. They also think outside the box, or the company, and seek other effective ways to delegate, such as using cost effective virtual receptionists or call center solutions. Taking yourself out from behind the phones so you can focus on the bigger picture for your business can be a pivotal point of growth and realizing opportunities your company may have completely missed otherwise.

  1. Hold On To The Wrong Employees…

Hiring, training and empowering the right people for your business is crucial for success. However, it is equally important to make sure the wrong person isn’t bringing morale and performance down. While it is never an easy decision to let someone go, highly accomplished business leaders understand that there comes a point where it would less expensive to pay to recruit and train someone new than it would be to constantly be having to recover from the mistakes and damage that a current employee is causing. It is an owner’s job to insure every person on the team is competent, productive and the right fit for their job. They can’t afford to continually coach or discipline an employee who simply isn’t going to improve. By making the hard decisions at the right time, the business stays on track.

If you are aspiring to be a successful entrepreneur, then it makes sense to study and try to emulate the habits of other successful entrepreneurs. However, it can be just as important to learn what these business owners DON’T do so you can try to avoid losing time, energy and money that could have been used to take your business to the next level.

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