5 Habits Of Relentless Entrepreneurs

relentless entrepreneurs

Anyone can start a business, but it’s hard to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are achievers but their achievements don’t come without pitfalls. What makes entrepreneurs tick? What is it about them that makes them so ambitious, confident, and, well…different from others? Let’s find out.

Habits of Relentless Entrepreneurs that Separate them from the Rest

The Start Habit

Entrepreneurs just start. They might not know what’s coming up ahead. They might not know what they are getting into. And they have no idea how they will succeed. But they’ll start anyway.

Gordon Segal, founder of furniture retailer Crate and Barrel, started off without knowing much about the retail business at all or what it entailed. His underlying philosophy:

What have we got to lose?

If you think that this “start no matter what” syndrome happens only when you grow older, think again.

Tyler Dikman started selling lemonade when he was only five years old. By age 10, he was performing magic at birthday parties and investing his earnings in stocks. By 15, he started Cooltronics.com, a huge computer supply business. Cooltronics.com earned him over $1 million in revenue by the time he was 17.

The start syndrome is, in fact, at the core of many entrepreneurial stories. Sony’s first product was an automatic rice cooker before it became a technology leader. Microsoft, Apple, Google and many other admired companies today took the time to find their main product or service but got started anyway.

Next time you get the nagging “when do I launch” question, the answer is “now.”

The Habit of Hustle

Entrepreneurs revere sales. They are born hustlers. While some shy away from selling, entrepreneurs consider it an art. And for most, it is a habit they developed early. The habit of hustle is ingrained in the very psyche of the entrepreneur, either naturally or by choice.

John Paul DeJoria, founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, a branded hair care product for salons, lived out of his car and sold Christmas cards and newspapers when he started out. Even after starting his company, he still sold shampoo door-to-door. Today he is worth $4 billion.

Sheldon Adelson started selling newspapers and later operated a vending machine business. He packed hotel toiletries, and dabbled with mortgage brokering. Today, he owns the Sands Hotel & Casino and also The Venetian mega-resort.

The Habit of Failure

Entrepreneurs can face failure. Thomas Zurbuchen of the Center for Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan, writes, “Entrepreneurship is about hope.” You’ll see this hope reflected in the lives of many entrepreneurs and founders who started businesses against all odds and even in the face of failure.

It’s this hope that keeps entrepreneurship alive and encourages entrepreneurs to innovate, create and make a difference in millions of lives.

Here are some stories:

  • Harland David Sanders, founder of the iconic Kentucky Fried Chicken brand, had his chicken rejected by more than 1,000 restaurants before eventually launching his franchise business. Today Kentucky Fried Chicken is a household name.
  • R.H Macy had a history of failed business ventures and investments before founding Macy’s, destined to become the biggest department store in the world.
  • Soichiro Honda was rejected for an engineering job at Toyota before going on to found Honda Motor Company.
  • And Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper for having no imagination or good ideas before founding his world famous company celebrating the power of imagination.

The Habit of Dealing with Uncertainty

Entrepreneurs can handle uncertainty. They launch businesses where none have existed before, create products and services with no idea how they will be received, deal with the uncertainty of irregular cash flow, work with new people and discover and market to customers with whom they may not be familiar.

Almost every business success begins with uncertainty. Only 80% of businesses actually succeed and manage to attain profitability. So we can imagine the uncertainties most entrepreneurs face.

The Habit of Management and Delegation

Entrepreneurs delegate. For them, it is a matter of survival. And that delegation involves inspiring leadership in others too.

Entrepreneurs lead by example. They know what must be done because they have done it and must now teach others the same skills. An entrepreneur’s leadership comes from the knowledge of how to build and sustain a profitable business. Most have had no option but to get their hands dirty building their businesses.

Unlike some managers, they have learned from experience and must now share that experience with others if their businesses are to be sustainable.

Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? If so, what habits would you like to cultivate within yourself?

Superhero Businessman Photo via Shutterstock


Pratik Dholakiya Pratik Dholakiya is the founder of Growfusely, a content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO. As a passionate SEO and content marketer, he shares his thoughts and knowledge in publications like Search Engine Land, Search Engine Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, Fast Company, The Next Web, YourStory, and Inc42, to name a few.

17 Reactions
  1. I have a lot of ideas in my head. I think about them. I think about them some more. And then it stops there. Until recently, that is.

    I’ve started starting. 🙂

    The other point you mentioned, about launching things that haven’t existed before and how it’ll be received once launched — that resonated; I can relate to it. I’ve been known to use it as an excuse to not go ahead with it at all.

  2. It is not easy being an entrepreneur. You have to deal with lots of uncertainties like irregular cash flow, inconsistent and sometimes mistakes of blue collar workers if you are in the construction industry, timeliness of deliveries and security guards who may want a certain cut just to allow your lorry of materials inside the premise.

  3. Wow, talk about perseverance! Sanders, Macy and Disney all went through quite a lot to get where they are. Many of is would have given up halfway through what they had to deal with.

    • I think it’s particularly hard when people don’t believe in what you’re trying to do, especially family and close friends. It takes a lot of perseverance and dogged belief in oneself and the idea itself to keep on moving.

  4. You have to admire the serial entrepreneur – the startup must easily be the most stressful part of any company’s cycle.

  5. ..This is very helpful as it has given me more ambition. I am 18 years old and launched an online magazine We Are Urban…I am learning as I go, I am still completing my matric

  6. Maybe what separates the serious entrepreneur from the passive ones is the willingness to hustle for sales. I must admit I, being more of the creative person, am always looking for that partner who shares my vision and can sell it.

  7. “what have we got to lose?” is a great mantra!

  8. Very inspirational article! Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle. It’s like working out and exercising; first step is the biggest step, never back down, improve yourself and always move forward.

  9. Pratik: Yes, I see myself as an entrepreneur. I have started several ventures, failed forward and dealt with uncertainty and external forces. I have to become better on the habit on delegation. At the start you have to do much of the stuff yourself for obvious reasons. I am not a salesperson, but I know how sales people think and work due to my long experience as a purchaser. I am “hustling” in a small scale and I will get the break when all the pieces of the puzzle are in place…

  10. I agree with starting. You should definitely start without trying to figure out everything. Planning too much will only result to analysis paralysis which will catch up on you later. You should always take action and never be afraid to fail.

  11. Wow! Entrepreneurs definitely are one heck of a breed. I’m going to use the what have we got to lose mantra from now on.

  12. Pratik – Excellent points. To me the habit of starting and failure are the key. Anyone can have hundreds of ideas, but without acting on it they don’t go anywhere. Also, not being afraid of failure and learning from it are very important because inevitably you will fail when you are working on something that has never been tried before.

  13. A great post on how entrepreneurs ‘tick’. Having your chicken rejected by more than 1,000 restaurants and STILL pushing forward, wow! Now that is determination/perseverance.