We all know at least one entrepreneur who always gets things done, and appears unstoppable in his quest. All of you probably know many others who talk incessantly about their great ideas, but never seem to even get started, or they give up at the first obstacle. What are the attributes that make an entrepreneur unstoppable, and is it possible for people to learn to be unstoppable?
According to my own observations, and the classic book by Bill Schley, “The UnStoppables: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial Power,” there are some key “emotional mechanics” that put entrepreneurs in motion, and principles that help entrepreneurs succeed in startups, as well as big companies. I believe we all have the power within us to learn and adapt to these principles.
Every entrepreneur needs to accelerate his proficiency by adopting and using this proven set of skills, rules, and emotional power principles, like the Graham Weston experiences at Rackspace summarized in the book.
Here is an outline of the key essentials:
- Follow the law of motion versus contemplation. Everyone dreams and talks. Successful entrepreneurs do. This means yearning and starting, not quitting, and ultimately achieving some value that wasn’t there before. In a startup, the founding team and their key employees have to all be entrepreneurs, with an impassioned leader.
- Limit focus to the top three or four priorities. It turns out that focusing on three or four activities at a given point, like positioning your brand, prospecting for leads, or managing cash flow, are all that you need to survive. It’s also all that any entrepreneur can manage concurrently with proficiently. Adhere to the familiar 80-20 rule.
- Rely on mental “rules of thumb” or heuristics. Being unstoppable must include the power to think and innovate on your feet under real conditions in real time. That means developing an intuition or “gut feeling” based on preset “rules of thumb,” continually updated from peers, advisors, positive experiences, and prior failures.
- Simple beats complicated. If your unique difference can’t be explained on the back of a business card, you don’t have one yet. There is virtually no idea, no process, and no vision that simplicity and brevity can’t improve – and never let a consultant, attorney, or investor try to tell you otherwise.
- Find the center of an issue and go there. Unstoppable entrepreneurs wake up every day on a quest to keep the center of their brand, their performance, their culture, or their status as #1 choice locked in the crosshairs. They win by going all in where it counts, and nothing counts more than the center.
- Conquer the fear that is preventing action. When a person has something important to do, and they are not doing it, then some type of fear is stopping them. The biggest counter to fear is love – as in passion for the idea, love for teammates, and desire to change the world.
- Seek out smart risks. We can’t achieve any human progress without risk. In this new dynamic world, where change is accelerating all around us, the safety we feel by hiding behind a rock instead of putting ourselves in motion has become an illusion - the riskiest decision of all. It’s always less risky to do it, than to have it done to you.
- Embrace the unsurpassed power of belief. Henry Ford said simply, “If you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Thinking “it’s possible” triggers confidence, determination, and energy. Thinking the opposite makes any task impossible. Belief is the outcome of mastering all the other emotional mechanics
Notice that none of these mention anything about how much money you need to start, extraordinary intelligence, or academic credentials. Accelerated proficiency is all about the art and science of getting entrepreneurs to be Minimally Functionally Qualified (MFQ) in a sharply accelerated time frame so they can get in motion, start doing, and effectively teach themselves, rather than talking and observing.
To be unstoppable, every entrepreneur has to decide to dream, to dare, and to do. Decide to stand with your fear, and turn the struggle into your best advantage. Decide to learn the essence, then get in motion. Where are you along this spectrum as an entrepreneur?