Enter: Shannaan Dawda
This is part of the Entrepreneurship Series that I'm creating. A lot of people ask me how I became a writer; and more so, independently, without the financial backing of a major publishing house. I've posted my thoughts before on this, but I've asked a friend of mine, Shannaan how he has managed to create his own business.
Shannaan runs a financial coaching company called True Financial. I've seen his work and the man is amazing at what he does--which is help people gain control over their finances, and consequently their life. I asked him to write up a column about what he thinks are the most important traits for an entrepreneur, and as always, my boy delivered.
Enter: Shannaan Dawda
5 Needed Traits to Be a Great Entrepreneur
Being an Entrepreneur has this glorified reputation in this country and it should because that it what the principles of business were founded on. When I tell people that I run my own business their eyes tend to light up as if they were saying “That is so awesome! I wish I could be like you." Being an entrepreneur is great! You get to work on something that matters to you, set your own hours (this really depends on your customers), etc. Along with positives there are some negatives such unpredictable income and that everything is dependent upon you. What most people don’t realize is that being your own boss is probably the most challenging person to work for on the face of the planet because you will be harder on yourself than anyone else could ever be. Pushing yourself like that is good though. It is pushing through those barriers that develop great businesses. There are plenty of traits that most entrepreneurs need to be successful. I will discuss 5 of those traits that I think are necessary to have if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur.
Discipline is one of the most important traits needed as an entrepreneur to be successful. One of the definitions of discipline is a regimen that develops or improves a skill. If you want to be great at anything you have to constantly be on regimen that develops you and increases your ability or skill. Motivational speaker Eric Thomas said, "That he studied the top successful people in their respective fields and noticed that they typically wake up before 5 am, work out, eat breakfast and read the newspaper before the average person gets out of the bed. It is regiments like that that separate you from the rest. Discipline forms good habits and it's those good habits that lead to success. As I always say, "Nobody likes discipline but we sure do like its results.”
Many people start a business to just to make money or be their own boss. Making money is great but if that it just your sole purpose to be in business then eventually as quickly as you came into business is as quickly you will go out of business. The truth is that a business should be built on a passion. Many people know their passion at a very young age but for some reason they close the doors on that passion due to parents, societal pressures etc. Combine that passion with a need in the market place that helps people and you have a business that has the potential to thrive. As humans we are emotional beings and we can sense when someone is passionate about what they do which gives the buyer more confidence in your product/service. I encourage you to take time to rediscover your passion. A great book for that is "Quitter" by Jon Acuff.
Don’t reinvent the wheel:
Too many people try to create something that doesn’t exist yet and never make progress because they are constantly trying come up with the "master plan" that they think is going to be amazing. How you go about it is what separates the successful from the unsuccessful. I am all for awesome unseen products or services but one should not reinvent the wheel. One of the greatest inventions in the first decades of the 2000's was the iPhone. What made the iPhone great was that it took two previously existing devices, a phone and an iPod, and combine the two together. Apple didn’t reinvent the wheel they just modified the wheel and gave it new awesome capabilities. That is how we have to be as entrepreneurs. Study what has already been done and figure out how you can improve it. It makes the road to creating your own business a lot easier instead of creating it out of thin air. As my barber says, “Study the blueprints of the successful then create your own so others will study you."
Failure is Necessary:
One of the most difficult challenges in life is facing failure. As an Entrepreneur the challenge goes even further because an entrepreneur must learn that failure is necessary to grow. It's through the failures that we further develop our product or service by making them more pleasing to the customer. Failure it what takes businesses to the next level otherwise they go out of business for never taking risk. You can't be afraid to fail in life or business. Within failure you is where you find the valuable lessons and gems that cause you to perfect your craft or product sadly most people experience failure and stop dead in their tracks never continuing the journey to becoming successful.
This is a critical step that I think most people over look. Serving your customers well is what determines how successful your company will be and how long it will stay in business. What many tend to forget is that the overall experience a customer has when doing business with you not only impacts your transaction with them but with their network. In the world of social media a person can share a poor experience through various social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc. and instantly thousands have shared that experience. As an entrepreneur you have to be willing to go the extra mile for the extra mile to make sure your client is satisfied because word of mouth is not digital this day in age. The old saying “The customer is always right" is more relevant than ever these days with so many things being automated.
As I previously stated these are not the only traits an entrepreneur will need to be successful however these 5 are detrimental to the growth and long lived success of your business. Stay strong, dig deep and keep pushing forward at some point you will reach your destination.
Two things that struck me here which are normally missing when a lot of people think about running their own business were: Failure is Necessary and Serve Well.
Personally, I hate failure. I look at it as a comment on me as a person, and I fear it. Shannaan's right here, though. It is necessary. Failure is the only way any of us are going to grow and the only way our businesses are going to find the correct path. Only Jesus walked on water, and I have serious doubts as to whether that ever happened. For the rest of us, we're going to sink until we're able to find the tree stumps hidden a few inches beneath the water.
Serving well is so important, and I loved the way he termed this. When you serve someone, you almost subjugate yourself to them, and I really dig that. You're working for someone; you're trying to make THEIR life better. That attitude is going to separate a lot of would be entrepreneurs from the pro's. Service is how you build clients who love your work. Don't forget that.
Now, if you have debt, don't know how to save, or are living paycheck to paycheck--I can't recommend checking out Shannaan's services enough. The man is a genius with money; he personally has over two years worth of expenses in savings, has paid off tens of thousands in debt, and if he never contributes another dime to his retirement, will retire a millionaire. He can help you get there too. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact him from his website above.