Curious what a serial entrepreneur is? A serial entrepreneur is someone who lives and breathes innovation. Someone who is always planning their next big venture or business idea. These deeply creative and high-energetic individuals typically have multiple businesses under their belts before 30 and thrive on problem-solving.
Why would someone want to join the ranks of a serial entrepreneur? Not only do these savvy businesspeople command a high level of admiration universally but they also typically have a formidable bank balance to match it.
Here are seven essential habits you need to become a serial entrepreneur.
1. Being Resilient
While resilience is often categorized as a trait, it’s also an essential habit for serial entrepreneurs. Statistics show that more than half of all new businesses fail within their first year. So, while entrepreneurs may not be born knowing how to take failure in their stride, they must learn in order to survive in the cutthroat corporate world.
The difference between a would-be entrepreneur and a serial entrepreneur is the drive to pick yourself up after a failure and try again. Where amateurs see roadblocks, serial entrepreneurs see opportunities to learn and develop.
In business, they say, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Serial entrepreneurs understand the key role that expanding their network has on their personal and professional opportunities. As such, they generally maintain profiles like this one on professional networking sites.
By participating in forum discussions on sites like LinkedIn, budding entrepreneurs can build strong relationships with prospective employees, partners, customers and even investors. These connections are invaluable for building brand awareness and credibility within your chosen field.
3. Goal Setting
Goal setting is another essential habit for all serious entrepreneurs, with numerous studies showing that people who write down their goals are up to 42% more likely to accomplish them. Goal setting forces you to truly identify where you want to be and removes ambiguity. Most entrepreneurs are driven by a key mission statement and goals act as subsets or the means to achieve the mission.
For goals to be effective, they must be SMART, or: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timed. An example of a poorly written goal would be, “I want to be wealthier by the end of the year.” Although it fits the criteria of attainable, realistic, and timed, it’s not specific. You could increase your net worth by a single dollar in 2023 and have met your goal, but this would not have a meaningful impact on your life.
A better goal would be, “I want to increase my net worth by 10% by December 2023.” Once you’ve set this goal, you can break it down into a series of smaller missions to help you attain it, for example, “I will increase my social media engagement by 50% by June” or “I will post on my business Facebook every day in July.” Both these goals are designed to increase brand exposure, which in turn may lead to higher sales and increased net worth by the end of the year.
Risk-taking may seem like a bad habit to have. In relation to driving or taking care of your health, successful people are likely to avoid risky behavior where possible. However, when it comes to business, it’s vital for serial entrepreneurs to be comfortable with taking calculated risks.
Risk-averse individuals would take one look at the failure rates for businesses in their first year and be reluctant to start one business, let alone build multiple ventures. Entrepreneurs, however, have the drive and the self-assurance to challenge the odds. They also understand that through diversification (multiple income streams, offerings in different markets), they can better safeguard against disasters.
By developing a risk-taking mindset, serial entrepreneurs embrace setbacks as a natural part of the entrepreneurial process and use failure to develop their resilience and understanding of the market. When you’re willing to risk everything, you’re more likely to gain something, as opposed to stagnating.
Highly developed listening and communication skills are imperative for serial entrepreneurs. Often, successful business people listen more than they speak. They naturally prioritize listening as a way to distill information and obtain insights from stakeholders.
Successful entrepreneurs are always looking to expand their understanding of the world and recognize that people from all walks of life can offer unique perspectives on current problems.
6. Embracing Collaboration
While serial entrepreneurs can be seen as having all the answers, a key trait of most successful business people is their ability (and confidence) to admit when they simply don’t know.
Self-assured entrepreneurs feel comfortable recognizing areas they’re not proficient in and embracing collaboration. This puts them in a great position to tap into the experience and wealth of knowledge that their peers and industry experts have at their fingertips. The best way to avoid pitfalls in business is to learn from people who have already experienced success in the same field.
Entrepreneurs take risks with money but not their health. Serial entrepreneurs recognize that self-care activities, such as diet, exercise and getting adequate sleep play a direct role in determining the ceiling of their success. With this understanding, many entrepreneurs practice mindfulness and meditation to manage their stress and ward off burnout.
The most successful entrepreneurs also strive to create a clear work-life balance and recognize that setting boundaries is vital for longevity as an entrepreneur. Some ways to improve work-life balance include turning off email notifications after hours and learning to delegate overflow to trusted members of your growing team.
Starting one business is hard enough. But to succeed as a serial entrepreneur in 2023 and beyond, you must embrace the discomfort of uncertainty, be willing to take risks and understand the importance of goal-setting and delegation. You don’t have to be born with these habits, but you do have to be willing to work on them every day if you want to join the ranks of Elon Musk or Sir Richard Branson.