6 Best Mental Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs



Becoming an entrepreneur is the hardest task you can imagine. The hours are long and you can expect a physical and emotional roller-coaster ride. Mental toughness is mandatory.

A famous song offers sound advice for mental discipline. It’s applicable for dealing with the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship.

The song is the 1966 rendition of “That’s Life,” by Frank Sinatra. Many of his songs about life can be inspirational.

He was one-of-a-kind as an entertainer – an award-winning singer and actor. Depending on a person’s perspective, he was dubbed “the voice,” “the sultan of swoon,” “ol’ blue eyes” or “chairman of the board.”

Having grown up in Palm Springs, a playground of the stars, I returned there as a young broadcast journalist. In nearby Rancho Mirage, a huge story in July 1976 was the Sinatra wedding to Barbara Marx who was divorced from Zeppo Marx.

Dozens of us reporters persevered outside in about 118 degrees to report the noteworthy event, which had worldwide appeal. As a journalist, I was there as the news director for an all-news radio station and a free-lance contributor for the NBC Radio network.

So the 60-year-old entertainer was even relevant for 20-somethings who needed to learn the right perspective:

That’s life (that’s life), that’s what all the people say
You’re ridin’ high in April, shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June

The lyrics are a good reminder, as entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart.

For the right mental approach, here are six best practices:

1. Keep a positive point-of-view

Entrepreneurs become successful, in part, because they keep life in perspective. They aren’t distracted by mundane events – even if they’re problematic.

Always remember: “No matter what, there are no big deals, no matter what.” Problems occur every day. That’s life.

As the song goes:

Each time I find myself flat on my face,
I just pick myself up and get back in the race

2. Work hard

You must plan to work hard, especially in the early stages. That means long hours – start early and work late. You must be more intense than your competitors.

If you have employees, delegate. If an assignment is important, pick your best employee to do the work.

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”

-Patricia Neal

3. Set attainable goals

Don’t make it all about the money. Your happiest days are when you focus on getting the work done for the work’s sake.

You must manage your expectations. Dream about the footwork to achieve the desired results, not about how much money you’ll spend when you become wealthy.

4. Enjoy your work

If you don’t love your work, you’ll be miserable. You won’t enjoy any success if you hate your career.

Look for ways to make it fun. When you’re able, take time off to re-charge.

5. Accept pressures

You must have a mindset to succeed, not just merely to cope. Unhappiness sets in when you allow pressures to become stress.

Keep focused on the means to the end – the daily footwork needed to compete successfully.

6. Stay authentic

Be the one person your clients and customers can count on. In other words, always strive to be the go-to person.

As young consultant, I’ll never forget a lunch with a client and a prospect. My client was in the process of persuading the prospect to hire me to help turn around a financial institution.

My client said I was intense and “a pain in the ass” but “Terry will fall on the sword” to get the job done right. At first I was a bit stunned in how my client talked about me to his counterpart. But as a result, I was given a nine-month project.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related strategies:

Career Tips: 5 Morning Habits of Winning Entrepreneurs — The key is to manage the highs and lows synonymous with a dynamic roller-coaster ride. You must stay on an even keel, despite all the negative surprises. Develop habits that make certain your attitude is contagious – an attitude worth catching — to prepare for daily success.

Successful Entrepreneurs Smile from 20 Practices — Successful business owners smile because they are different. They take positive approaches that help them emotionally, physically and financially.

10 Best Practices for Entrepreneurial Success — For top financial performance and the creation of jobs, there are 10 best practices for entrepreneurs. They range from innovation to monitoring your marketplace.

Best Practices for New Women Entrepreneurs to Stay Focused — The keys for business women are to plan well, create the right balance, persevere and have the right support system. It isn’t commonly known, but women entrepreneurs inherently have stronger skills than men in key areas. Women are more organized than men in financial and other administrative matters, says a longtime business associate in Washington state.

16 Desirable Mental Approaches for Entrepreneurial Success — Humor me, as I recall a great sports metaphor for business. The greatest switch-hitting slugger in base ball history – Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle – was at his best in clutch World Series action. He set several World Series records – 18 home runs, 40 RBIs, 42 walks, 26 extra-base hits and 123 total bases. Before the term “walk-0ff home run” was used, he had 13 game-winning homers.

“A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.”

-Patricia Neal


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.