Where brands share their insights.
Mary Delaney | The Oracles
A brain trust of high-level entrepreneurs
7 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Every successful entrepreneur must possess “A-Player” qualities. These extraordinary entrepreneurs and Advisors in The Oracles share the characteristics most important for success.
I love the word “stickability” — your ability to persevere and persist. People will often advise that your idea won’t work. Turn that negative into a positive and don’t give up.
Growing up, I was frequently on the move, hungry, and homeless. Along my journey, strangers extended glimmers of kindness. After several brushes with death and a chance meeting with a dying child, it answered the question we all face: “Why am I here?” —Frank Shankwitz, author and co-founder of the Make-A-Wish Foundation
You need complete clarity about “why” you’re doing what you’re doing so it feels like your life’s mission. Some days will challenge you to the point of wanting to quit. When those days come, the love for my students and commitment to changing their lives gets me through.
If you start a business only for profit, you’ll quit at the first hurdle. You won’t have the resilience to push past challenges. Find your true purpose, and nothing will stand in your way. —Amy Sangster, co-founder of Infinite Prosperity; learn to invest, trade and build wealth with Infinite Prosperity’s free lessons
Wake up each day and know it’s going to happen — not wishing and hoping. Doubt resides in “I wish” or “I hope.” There’s no room for doubters and haters in any aspect of your life. Replace doubt with fearless faith in your ideas, actions, and those you surround yourself with.
As the inventor Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” We’re all made of energy, so choose to charge yourself with an unshakable belief. —Claire Cooper, award-winning actress, co-founder of Om & Ah; follow on Instagram
4. Overcome self-doubt.
Shut down the little voice in your head whispering, “What are you doing?” or “You’re going to fail,” or “You’re the boss, stay in bed.” It’s hard being the boss if you have no one to answer to. Some days you’re the hammer (kicking butt) and other days you’re the nail (getting your butt kicked).
Never quit, no matter what. Stay humble. When you inevitably doubt yourself, just tell that voice, “Maybe, but I’ll give it another day and see what happens.” — Steve Griggs, founder and CEO of Steve Griggs Design; NYC’s premier landscape designer transforming backyards and rooftop gardens into private getaways
5. Believe that everything is ‘figure-out-able.’
Every day, I get a front row seat watching thousands of entrepreneurs create and launch online courses and products. There’s one characteristic that sets the successful ones apart: the unshakable belief that everything is “figure-out-able.”
The entrepreneur with this belief can launch a program and get 50 people in the first time. Then they dig in, figure out what to tweak, and get 500 the next time. This mindset gives you an edge and agility to move quickly — even before every part of the product or strategy is perfected — which builds confidence. Without this belief, entrepreneurs often pivot from one idea to the next when things move too slowly or don’t go as planned. They end up running in circles. —Jeanine Blackwell, bestselling author, creator of The Expert Experience Method; trained over 40,000 experts (including Fortune 500 companies) to package their expertise into products; connect with Jeanine on Facebook
Everyone can control their drive and attitude. You need the drive to work harder and smarter than anyone else, every day.
You must also perceive every negative as a positive in disguise. When your world is crashing down, you need the drive and discipline to plan, execute, and pivot. Focus on the benefits of the situation — because there are always positives, whether it’s a divorce, losing a client, or running out of money. With those attributes, you’ll succeed at anything. — Craig Handley, co-founder and CEO of ListenTrust; read more about Handley: This founder trains his employees to quit
7. Be all-in.
People like Elon Musk and Richard Branson are passionate, charismatic, confident, and optimistic. They love their job and remain open to new ideas. Starting a business requires commitment beyond imagination. You must be “all in,” willing to devote more than the standard 40-hour week. Successful entrepreneurs are disciplined self-starters with a strong work ethic — often the first to arrive at the office and the last to leave. They never lose sight of their objectives and work weekends to accomplish them.
Exceptional entrepreneurs draw on strong communication skills to market their product or service. They know how to motivate and coach employees. They’re always reading, researching and learning new ways to make their business better. —Vladimir Ninov, co-founder and marketing director of Webcoin, a peer-to-peer social media exchange platform which pioneers the technological dawn of global marketing digitalization
Business is no longer just about selling. It’s about building long-lasting relationships and helping customers at every stage of their journey. Instead of focusing on hard-sell methods, educate your prospects. Education is selling, and selling is education.
Your product or service brings no value if prospects and customers don’t know how to leverage it effectively. The more you teach them about your product and its value, the stronger your bottom line. That’s why the mission of our webinar company is to share knowledge about webinars that helps our users grow their business. —Simon Grabowski, founder and CEO of ClickMeeting
I wasn’t the top student in high school. Ten years later, my business has flourished but many of my more intelligent peers have struggled to transition into adulthood and business. I used to say, “It’s not about who is the best. It’s about who wants it the most.” Now I realize it’s called grit.
It’s the combination of passion, perseverance, and belief that you can overcome failure. It’s what keeps you motivated to work at ambitious goals for a long time, even in the face of obstacles. Scientists have studied the traits of highly successful individuals, and grit always rises to the top over talent.
It doesn’t matter if you weren’t born with natural gifts and talents, grit can be learned, practised, and developed. —Sarah Chrisp, founder of Wholesale Ted, 27-years-old and the only established female in the Ecommerce educational video world with over 200,000 subscribers and 7-figure profits
There’s only one way to success: forward. It’s a continuous grind. There’s no “easy” button. You’ll encounter adversity and tough times. Have faith and keep charging through. Do the work. You’ll make sacrifices and leave with scars, but eventually, you’ll come out on the other side. Through the process, you’ll gain wisdom, humility, and a tremendous feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
I recently experienced this at a whole new level. We were onboarding over 20 companies to our new blockchain funding platform when the regulatory landscape evolved, which froze our access to capital for several months. We had to completely pivot and built one of the first funding platforms compliant with the new regulations. This was an incredibly tough transition, but perseverance and hard work got us through. —Thomas Carter, founder and CEO of DealBox Inc; read about Thomas: This FinTech Veteran Is Making Cryptocurrency Startup Funding Legitimate; connect on LinkedIn and Instagram
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