Excellence

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1. Discipline
1. Discipline: Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline. To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun. When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early. Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence). 2. Calm: Things go wrong when you run your own business. Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem. Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder. If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, he can move past it to find success. 3. Attention to Detail: Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’ As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down. Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you...
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