40 Winning Principles for Startup Entrepreneurs

Throughout the years of meeting with many successful entrepreneurs, I’ve noticed a difference in their mentality as to the way they approach life and their business. In this article I share with you 40 winning principles for startup entrepreneurs. These principles benefit anyone planning on taking the entrepreneurial road to success.

Today I want to talk to you about 40 winning principles for startup entrepreneurs. I’ll cover the first 10 here. At the bottom of this article you can fill out the form to get a free PDF with all 40 of the principles.

#1: Successful entrepreneurs celebrate victories quickly and move on to the next goal.

This is very similar to when an athlete is interviewed and asked, “So, are you guys thinking about winning the Super Bowl?” What do they say, “We’re taking it one game at a time.”

This success principle for entrepreneurs is taking one celebration at a time. Celebrate one night, and then come together with your team the next day and get back to work as if that victory is behind you.

#2: They focus more on leading their business instead of controlling their business.

When I consult with amateur entrepreneurs I often find that they’re micromanaging too much of their business. Instead, you should constantly cast a vision. Say things like:

  • Here’s what we want to do.
  • What if we did this?
  • What could we do to make this happen?
  • I want you to think about doing this.
  • Can we think about what we can do to get this department to the next level?

When you give clear and concise expectations and direct people on what you expect from them, you lead, rather than control and micromanage.

Speaking of micromanaging, there is one time when you should micromanage, and I get into that in this article and video:

The One Thing to Micromanage as an Entrepreneur


#3: They continuously improve themselves and their business through reading books and listening to inspirational business leaders.

There is nothing like feeding your mind with books and information. In addition to being inspired, great books can also help you:

  • Improve operations
  • Hire better
  • Recruit better
  • Improve sales
  • Create better systems
  • Provide better support
  • Improve relationships with partners and vendors

You can improve in all of those areas as long as you have the attitude of somebody that’s willing to feed your mind.

Here are 10 books to get you started:

The Top 10 Books for Entrepreneurs


#4: They demonstrate and practice good personal financial habits.

You’ve heard the numbers;¬†95% of businesses go out of business within the first three years. Why? A big part of it is because of bad financial habits. And sometimes this is a result of bad personal financial habits such as spending too much money. Some entrepreneurs buy big expensive things too early, before they’re in business long enough to really reap the bigger rewards.

#5: They avoid working from a panic standpoint (and never let anyone see them panic).

When we first started our business, one of our competitors came to our office. He asked to speak to me, so one of my guys brought him in to see me. He said, “You guys will be out of business within the next few months. You’re doing a disservice to everybody, because everyone knows you’re going to go out of business.”

I said, “There is the door. I need you to leave the office right now. Don’t call me, talk to me, or any one of us. There’s the door. Good talking to you, bud, please leave.”

I asked him to leave because I don’t need that kind of energy around me or the organization. Why? Panic is a spirit. And when the spirit of panic comes in, it goes inside you and shuts you down. Don’t let the spirit of panic come near you.

#6: They are not seasonal with their work ethic (they don’t work hard one month and then casual or lazy the next month).

Successful startup entrepreneurs don’t work one month, and then take a month off. They don’t work three months and take three months off.

Sometimes you hear someone say, “I just made $38,000 this month” and then they take three months off. Next thing you know, they’re out of business, and have to get a job. You can’t do that as a business person even if you have a big payday. You can’t even do it if you have a big pay month, quarter, or year.

Instead, you have to get back and grind it out because you don’t yet have the bigger, established victory of a real business that’s running effectively with or with you. You don’t yet have a bunch of leaders that think like you and are taking your business to the next level.

#7: They never stop selling and prospecting.

Some of you may say, “Well, Patrick, I’m not a salesperson. I’m more:

  • Technical
  • Relational
  • Biz dev
  • Action oriented
  • Structured
  • Organized

It doesn’t matter. If you want your business to last, you need to never stop selling and never stop prospecting. You need sales, and you need new potential prospects, recruits, and clients. Your job as a startup entrepreneur is to constantly sell and prospect the next good partner, employee, good leader, good client, or the next good concept you’re selling.

#8: They take responsibility when things go wrong and do not blame others.

Everything comes back to you as the leader. It saves a lot of time when you take responsibility when things go wrong, rather than making excuses or blaming others. It’s very simple. Say things like, “It’s my fault. Here’s what I could have done differently. As a leader, as the CEO, I take responsibility. What can we do to improve?”

#9: They feed their mind with positivity and do not allow negative influences to linger in their minds.

Successful entrepreneurs read positive books and stories of successful people. There are a lot of tools available today with free content, such as what you find on YouTube. Watch stories about people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates who took a business from being small to what it is today.

#10: They choose not to obsess about profits too early in their business.

Often people come up to me and say, “We’re not profitable yet. We’ve been in business for a year (or two or three), and we’re not profitable.”

If you focus on profitability too early, you may do things like cut advertising or other things only so you can raise profits. If you do this, you won’t see explosion in your business. In the early years, instead of obsessing about profits, instead focus on gross revenue. Pay attention to how much revenue is coming in. That’s the number you need to pay attention to. Profits will increase the longer you’re around and the more efficient you’ll become.

So those are ten winning principles for startup entrepreneurs. Click on the button below to get a free PDF with all 40 principles.





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