SUCCESSFUL entrepreneurs are an increasingly common sight these days.

With the rise of the Gen Y aka, the Millennials, becoming an entrepreneur is increasingly common amongst them as they seek new challenges and niches to better serve the market. 

Although the immense growth of entrepreneurship is evident, the fact is, not everyone can be an entrepreneur or a successful one at that.

Successful entrepreneurs may seem like a different breed altogether, but certain traits and beliefs are commonly held among them.

To be a successful entrepreneur, your personal mindset should be different.

Here are some tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur, as shared by Andrew Tan, venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur, who had successfully listed two companies, despite filing for bankruptcy twice.

He was the CEO of CrowdPlus.asia, ASEAN’s first equity crowdfunding platform and is the managing partner of TBV Capital Sdn Bhd.

1. Take Massive Action

Our actions, or inactions, determines the shape of our lives. Very often, fear stops us from taking concrete steps forward towards our goals. 

We fear criticism, rejection and the prospect of failure when we are uncertain with the results. 

This fear of taking massive action is also caused by the choice of words in our daily conversations.

Saying I hope, I wish or I want will not motivate you because it does not generate an emotional attachment to your goals. 

Saying I want merely shows a desire to obtain your goals superficially.

Look around you, notice how many of them have said “I want” and contrast it with the number of people that have achieved their goals.

Instead, try saying “I am committed to”.

This gives you cognitive inspiration and motivation because your emotional attachment is higher. The higher the emotional attachment, the higher the patience and risk confrontations. 

Do you doubt it? Why not give it a try.

As quoted by Albert Einstein, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.

To be successful in business, taking bold actions distinguishes you from the rest because you possess a competitive edge that no one has.

2. Learn to Sell

Very often, many of us underestimate the power of selling.

The ability to build relationships with customers and generate repeat purchases all lie within selling.

Without effective sales strategies, you would not be able to persuade your consumers, vendors or suppliers to continue doing business with you.

You might wonder what is the best way to sell.

There is no cookie-cutter answer, but the highest level of selling suggested by Andrew Tan is emotion contagion.

Emotion contagion means transferring emotions. The basic components of emotion contagion include the vision, tone of voice and confidence level.

Transferring emotions provides a sense of certainty and reassurance because it taps into the emotions of your consumers, like happiness and sadness to evoke consumer responses as it builds more connections and strengthens brand loyalty. 

The role of selling should not be underestimated.

By mastering the art of selling, you will be surprised with the surefire sales growth of your company in the long run. 

Are you starting a business or running one? Click here to learn how to build your business kingdom successfully!

3. Competence Development 

Competence, one of the basic human psychological needs is defined as the capability to apply a set of skills and abilities required to perform a task. 

In psychology, competence development is divided into four stages:

  1. Unconscious incompetence
  2. Conscious incompetence
  3. Conscious competence
  4. Unconscious incompetence 

The four stages of competence involve the process of progressing from incompetence to competence in a skill.

i. Unconscious Incompetence

In the first stage of competence, unconscious incompetence shows that you are unaware of that the skill gap exists.

ii. Conscious Incompetence

In conscious incompetence, you are aware of your lack of skill, and understand the importance of acquiring the skill.

However, you are unsure of where to find the sources and information about the skill.

iii. Conscious Competence

After conquering the second stage, the third stage of competence is called conscious competence. 

At this stage, you are able to perform the task with the knowledge you have learned but the task still requires your concentration. 

Here are some examples. Can a six-year-old child tie a shoelace or ride a bicycle? The answer is probably yes, but it requires high concentration for them.

iv. Unconscious Competence

The difference between conscious and unconscious competence is you are able to perform a task without conscious attention. 

In the prior example, once the six-year-old is familiar with tying their shoelaces or riding a bicycle, they can easily tie shoelaces and ride bicycles without paying much attention at the age of 15 after countless repetitions in the tasks. 

How do you achieve unconscious competence? 

Practice. Practice, practice, and more practice.

When you are practising, not only you are familiarising with the task, but you are also receiving feedback and training your consistency during the progress. 

Once you are familiar with a task, your brain is wired to be accustomed to the specific skill set and is why you are able to perform without conscious attention.

Making a commitment to practice is uncomfortable. After all, practice is the only way to become proficient in a new skill.

As a leader, you should embrace discomfort to grow and improve continuously. 

4. Set Your Goals High

Setting your goals high can sound frightening. On the flip side, setting a goal too low will not help you grow. 

Change your mindset. Think big. Once you have mastered your new mindset, setting an extra inch above your comfort zone gives you the desire and motivation to work for it.

When you wake up motivated and excited for work, that’s when you know you have set the right goals.

After all, who are we, as human beings, if we do not have goals?

5. Having a vision 

What is the difference between a goal and a vision? 

A vision as the destination that you visualise, but the path to it is unknown. That is where your goals come into play. Goals set the path by acting as milestones that get you closer to your destination. 

So, vision is complemented with goals, and they come hand-in-hand. 

Ask yourself this question, how would you react if you were facing hundreds and hundreds of obstacles every day? 

If your first answer is to give up demotivated, you might not have the right vision. 

If you were equipped with vision, you would not be demotivated because you understand that cutting through obstacles get you closer to your vision, and that is truly where you want to be at.

Ask yourself, how do you craft the right vision. Also, how do you know it is the right vision? 

It is not as hard as you think. Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither is your vision. 

Andrew Tan suggests crafting your vision by jotting down your train of thoughts, point by point, words by words. It will not take minutes, hours or even days. It takes years to build. 

The moment you feel motivated and inspired by what you have written is the moment when the right vision is found. You feel the need to commit, to create and to change. That is your vision. 

Unfortunately, not everyone has a compelling vision; but the thirst for a vision appeals to everyone. Some do not possess a natural vision of their own and gravitate towards others who do. 

As a successful entrepreneur, having a clearly understood vision allows you to motivate and influence others without vision. You exert your enthusiasm and positivity to energise them to work for you. 

A win-win situation. 

You can also read: Starting a business? You Must Know These Challenges Waiting For You!

6. Be honest with yourself 

Telling extravagant stories about yourself does not improve you. It shows a sign of inadequacy.

If you are not being with yourself, you are not giving yourself a room for improvements. 

You could possess a billion-dollar idea, but not getting honest with your strengths and weaknesses could be fatal to your success. 

Be honest with yourself, ask yourself these three important questions if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.

  • Where are you in the stage of life?
  • Where do you want to go from here?
  • How do you intend to go there?

By knowing where you stand in life, knowing where you want to go and knowing how to go will improve your mentality in achieving success. 

7. Master your internal world

What is the internal world? 

The internal world can be perceived as the emotional states, beliefs, and values within your mindset.

By mastering the internal world, you are able to exert control over different aspects, and also understand that everything takes longer than you think.

You need to understand that overnight success, is not exactly ‘overnight’. It takes years and years to build a kingdom or a legacy. 

Although the future is always uncertain, that does not mean we do not have control over what the future might hold. 

By controlling the emotional states, beliefs, and values, you will be able to think long-term, you could control and predict the outcomes more accurately than the rest.

First, master your internal world. Then, control and predict the future.

8. Try Your Hardest

Trying your hardest may sound like an easy task, that is because you often lower the threshold of what is ‘hardest’.

In fact, you might have never unleashed your full potential because you often find excuses to stop yourself from trying the hardest. 

Giving excuses makes you lose the power of wisdom and the power of execution. 

I am sure we all have given excuses. Here are some common ones.

  • “I am tired.”
  • “I am a beginner.”
  • “I have no experience.”

Trying your best is about performing to the fullest, and failures do not affect you from trying again and again. 

Failures should be seen as a drive, a source of motivation for you to work harder. After all, failure is inevitable, but it isn’t eternal. 

  • Without trying, Elon Musk would not develop the first all-electric car. 
  • Without trying, light bulbs would not exist. 
  • Without trying, personal computers would not be possible. 

So just remember, every day, little by little, you will get better at it.

9. Create your own destiny

Do you believe you are destined to be a failure? Do you believe life owes you? 

If your answers are no, congratulations, you will eventually be successful. 

There are some who love to blame. They blame the government, they blame the economy, they are always blaming.

They believe the outcomes of their lives are not within their grasp so they develop learned-helplessness which escalates blame into another level – justification. 

How to define justification in this context?

Justification is when they find reasons and excuses to solidify their beliefs. They try to prove their way of thinking is appropriate and believe life exceeds is out of their control. 

To express their thoughts and beliefs, they complain.

As defined by the Law of Attraction, the same energies are attracted together. The poor mindset they possess only attracts like-minded people.

The more you complain, the more you attract, the longer you stay in the loop.

Passion & Learning Drive Success

In the 21st century, the term entrepreneurship is not uncommon to hear. With the gradual elevation of competition, achieving success is hard.

Did you understand that? Let me repeat it again.

The road to becoming a successful entrepreneur is not easy. Many of them have tried countlessly, suffered under the dim light to become who they are today. 

What they all have in common is the passion that is driving them to succeed. It gives them a reason to keep learning and work towards mastery. 

But where do you learn? Learn from the master.

If you’d like to learn how to grow your business and position yourself at the forefront of the market,  join the Building Smart Business In Challenging Times seminar by KC See, the strategic business consultant and coach for many notable businesses in Aisa.

In this seminar, you’ll learn the opportunity to learn these 6 modules:

  • Module 1: Smart Business Principles – How Not to End Up With Another Job
  • Module 2: Your Smart Business Idea, Opportunity, Identification & Innovation
  • Module 3: Marketing Mathematics – Proven Formula To Multiply Your Smart Business Profits
  • Module 4: Smart Business Modelling The Key To Business Success
  • Module 5: Marketing Physics Re-Engineer Your Marketing
  • Module 6: Leverage Your Way To Grow Your Smart Business

Over the past decade, KC has trained, mentored and coached over 120,000 people from all walks of life, helping them achieve breakthrough results in their life, income and business goals. 

From professionals to CEOs, directors and business owners, KC has also worked with SMEs and multinational corporations to improve their performance, productivity and increase their organisation’s bottom line. 

Click here to know more.


Cheah Gene Yan
Cheah Gene Yan

Cheah Gene Yan has always shown interest in learning all aspects of business and entrepreneurship. As a writer, he also enjoys writing about the business industry and personal finance.

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