6 Habits & Mindsets of Successful Entrepreneurs | The Truth about Successful People
When you hear the word “CEO”, what comes into your mind?
The tv shows I was exposed to growing up portrayed successful entrepreneurs as people who are always grumpy, who didnt have time for their families, who treated their employees horribly and looked down at other people. They were portrayed as secretly miserable with their personal lives despite the career success.
And so I grew up having a very distorted mindset about business owners and CEOs. When Id hear it, I thought of people in business suits and polished shoes and straight serious faces. I thought of people in big offices with lots of paperwork to sign on their desks.
I didnt wanna be in business because I wanted to have a happy family one day. But guess what? They are the ones who are the happiest and have the greatest relationships.
I didnt wanna be in business because I have made an enemy out of money and I didnt want to “take advantage of other people just to be successful” but guess what? They are the ones who are lifting other people up, who are creating opportunities and jobs, who are using their money as a tool to support their causes.
I wanted to have time.. and i thought they are too busy to enjoy life. And yup, I was wrong again. Because they are the ones who have the most time. Time is their currency.
The past few months, through my photography journey, I have been fortunate enough to have come across and work with them Aad I was slapped in the face.
I realised how wrong those beliefs were and the more I immersed myself in their energy, everything I grew up believing about them they proved to be WRONG. So wrong.
They’re the ones with the helping hand, wearing t-shirts, casual jeans and the brightest smiles on their faces.
I thought you could only have one or the other. That you have to choose between personal & career success. But it turns out, not only can you have both, you NEED both. It is a must for you to have both to be truly fulfilled and live a life where the amount of people you help, the things you do, the person you could become, isnt limited by any constraints set for you by OTHER people.
Where you are free to be the best version of yourself, to be able to give to others because you dont have to strive thinking about how youre gonna survive next. Where you can be kind because you’re not stressed about time or finances or exhaustion.
Below I share the six habits and mindsets of successful people that I learned from the time I spent watching and observing them. The photos are from the recent Ace Class x Helcim Founders Series where they talked about Building An A-Team at the Work Nicer Co-working in Calgary! :)
They’re not afraid to do the unglamorous dirty work.
When I got to the venue an hour before the event, Mandy was setting up the whole place including the microphone, the chairs, the catering tables.. She did it all by herself because her whole team was in another city for another event.
After the event when the seats and tables were put back into the original place, I wondered, “she did all this??? By herself???” The place looked so different and the chairs and tables were megaheavy. Wow.
From the previous events I attended, the speakers would always talk about working the behind the scenes. And that includes cleaning their office washroom. And theyre not afraid to do it, they never hold themselves higher than it. A panelist from the Start-Up Stories event said, “Delegate but still be able to clean the floors if that’s what you need to do. Learn your business from the ground up. Learn every employee position so you can help them.”
I remember during an event at Central Social Hall downtown. We were having microphone difficulties and there was this guy fixing it and making sure everyone is having the best experience. At the end of that event I was talking to a friend about the place and she mentioned the owner. I was like, “have you met him?” And she told me that the owner was the guy earlier handling the technicals and talking to everyone with the biggest smile on his face. I was like, “NO WAY.” I was really amazed that time and I think it’s one of those moments that has changed my beliefs forever-- my beliefs about CEO’s being too busy in front of their computers to even bother to manage the event, let alone handle the messy microphone. I dont think I would ever forget that.
2. They acknowledge other people.
I found out about Nic from someone I met who works for his company a few months ago. Now, in the rise of entrepreneurship and side-hustlers, I would ALWAYS read stories about people quitting their 9-5 jobs or hating their bosses or feeling stuck in a job. But this person, this person challenged all of that. He talked about his job with so much fulfillment, his face lit up and he regarded so highly of his boss Nic. I remember him saying, “I just feel like Im part of building something, you know?”
I was SUPER curious after that. It just didnt align with everything else I heard about having corporate jobs especially in this world of “if you dont build your dreams, other people will hire you to build theirs.” I mean.. I was.. Almost confused.
I did my research and watched their weekly company vlogs. I learnt about Nic and how he runs his company, his values, the way he treats his people, his beliefs, their company culture. And from there, Ive been a fan. I promised myself I would treat my people that way too. Your people are what’s most important, more than the clients, more than the customers. And he acknowledges everyone not only in words of affirmations, not only financially, but wow, he treats them like friends. ANOTHER THING. Those tv shows told me that the bosses are rude to their employees. I know better now.
One of the panelists from the recent event was James from Fiasco Gelato. And girl, did he talk about his employees multiple times! I dont think he ever held the mic without shining the light on his employees. It was just amazing. I wouldnt have been able to count the times he did and keep track even if I tried. After the event, I went to their “booth” because they were giving away ice cream (!!!!) and I talked to his people. They looked so happy and so smitten about him as much as he was with them. Relationship goals to be honest?! Haha. But SERIOUSLY. It was amazing.
Successful people acknowledge people. And give credit where it’s due. Listen to every speech at award shows, listen to every speech during graduation, just pay attention. And you’ll notice how they all never fail to acknowledge those who helped them and say “thank you.”
3. They’re the biggest givers.
One of my favorite books ever ever ever, the Go Giver, has changed my life forever. After reading that, I found evidences to support the laws held in that novel.
I found that they are the first who are willing to help. That they are more than happy to give, and it’s not because it’s a marketing strategy or something, it’s just their lifestyle and how they are as a person.
From a recent shoot with Chelsea and Shawn of GetSocialYEG, I almost felt like I should be the one paying them because they were just more than eager to give me advice and consultation. And they talked alot about the things they have learnt along the process. While listening to them, I was able to realise and ponder about the way I run my business. I kept on thinking to myself, “wow. I want to be this big of a giver too.”
I could go on and on about this giving thing that Im learning. But from the hundreds of books and podcasts about success, I know one thing remains in all of them-- giving. “The secret to living is giving.”
4. They carry themselves well.
One thing I also admire about these people is the way they carry themselves and their stories well.
For example, when I got there, I felt so nervous, almost out of place. I dont know why. But I remember being just outside the door and jumping around trying to shake it away. I chanted “I can do it I can do it I can do it” and thanked the whole universe for the opportunity. There was this feeling again of feeling like a fraud I talked about in my previous blog posts.
I remember feeling so nervous to click the camera because the flash might bother someone. Or moving around too much or that being in that front couch to take pictures would come off negatively.
But then when the even was just about to end, here comes Mandy. So effortlessly composed. My focus turned to her and how she just sat down at that couch I was so afraid to sit on. And I said, “of course, she’s Mandy” She knows who she is and she is not afraid to take up space and it was such an empowering moment for me. Almost funny because I shouldve known, after all these preaching about acting as if. I shouldve known.
I watched her throughout that day and saw her office full of motivational quotes and her iMac filled with sticky note reminders. I couldnt help but think about how she’s the breathing, living, smiling, walking manifestation of the woman I aspire to become.
4. They embrace the whole story and are in love with the process.
There are some things that they dont even need to do, that wont even give real-time conversations, things you wont be able to notice or measure the results right away, and yet they do it. Why? Because theyre in love with it. They’re so into the process.
There are some things that when we look from the outside we cant understand, but theyre on to something. And they do it because they love the game so much.
6. They see opportunities EVERYWHERE.
I remember before the event, Mandy and Russ (a friend I met that day too) were talking and somehow their attention went to the drying plant in a pot. And then they went on to talk about how there should be an app or something to help with it and they just jokingly bounced off ideas. And I was like, “I love the entrepreneur mindset. You just see everything as an opportunity!”
And I love how unapologetic their response was. That when you’re in business, you come up with solutions to other people’s problems. (Hey, do you see business that way?) And when you solve problems, it is just right to be compensated for it. (Hey, do you see business that way?)
These are the people whose energy I just want to be near because it is so beautiful to watch them. It is so beautiful for my beliefs to be challenged and undone. For my eyes to be opened. It is such a beautiful thing to learn by experiencing and witnessing firsthand, instead of immersing myself in made-up stories from a screen that planted a belief in me that not only wasnt healthy, but also untrue.
I’m so grateful for everything that led me to be there. Even if it took every ounce of me to push open that door. Im so grateful.
If you had similar beliefs about successful people, what was it? I would love to discuss!
And hey, let’s put ourselves into more situations wherein we learn and expand, shall we? :)