As I shared in many previous writings, the biggest engine for jobs growth is small companies and the entrepreneurs that run them. Research from the Small Business Administration (SBA) proves that these business risk takers created almost 70% of the net new jobs in the U.S. over the past several decades prior to the latest recession. During my over 25 years of executive recruiting, I have had the pleasure of working with many of these successful entrepreneurs. In the process I have observed five major traits that guide the best of them.
First, be persistent. Don’t let the word “no” stop you. No only means not today. For example, if you are trying to recruit a key engineer, scientist or technical professional for your startup company, their lack of interest today doesn’t mean they will not be interested in the future.
Second, take chances. As you saw in my previous article at “Going For The Gold: Creating New Companies And Jobs With Great Ideas!” Sage Kotsenburg took a major chance at the Sochi Olympics, which netted him a gold medal! In your case, do something that pushes your comfort level every day. For example, cold call at least one industry leader, that you do not know, every day. Do not assume that they will not be interested in doing business with you. Instead, remember that business is a numbers game and the more people you call on, the more likely you will close a big deal!
Third, do not procrastinate. Make a list of your top ten most important tasks for the day. Then rank order them from the most loathed to the least. Next attack the most hated tasks first. The rest will become a lot easier to manage afterwards.
Fourth, surround yourself with good people, delegate and promote. Uncover quality mentors who can help you during troubled times. Also, recruit good employees who will make your dream a reality. Then delegate important tasks to both and reward them with significant promotions and bonuses. Follow my advice for executive recruiting in three past articles for investigating, selecting and promoting good talent:
a) Three Steps To Successful Technical Recruiting!
b) Hiring Errors Prove The Need For Thorough Background Investigations!
c) NBC follows 3-Step Succession Plan In Replacing Jay Leno
Once you have secured excellent workers and mentors, do not try to do too much yourself. Instead, assign as much as possible in order to free yourself from the minutia.
Finally, find balance in your life. As the old saying goes, “All work and no play makes for a dull day!” Finding balance is tough especially if you are launching a cutting-edge engineering, scientific or technical operation. However, engaging in daily exercise, yoga or meditation will significantly reduce stress leading to increased productivity. Research shows that stress clouds your mind and leads to poorer decisions. Therefore, by planning some time every day to be good to yourself, your productivity will actually increase!
These five traits for successful entrepreneurs are by no means exhaustive. Instead, they are ones that I have observed during executive recruiting assignments for some of our most successful small company clients. The key is small businesses are the real engine for jobs growth. Therefore, assisting the entrepreneurs that create new companies can only help our economy grow.
Please share your thoughts with us …