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The 20 New Rules for Successful Entrepreneurs

Striking out on your own? Follow these tips, and you'll succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

Beyond the platitudes and fauxtivation, there are real reasons why some entrepreneurs succeed where others fade. If you're tired of dreaming your dreams and are ready to wake up and start living them, here are 20 new rules to guide you along your path to success. And to make the most of your newfound success every day, check out the report that's changed thousands of lives: 100 Ways to Live to 100!

Redefine success

Men shakeing hands in office building

Success in entrepreneurship is largely dependent on your ability to cultivate quality relationships. Behind every successful startup are visionaries with the volition to turn dreams into reality. Behind them are the people who believe in them: their investors, their advisors, their vendors, their spouses, family, and friends. Without their support, their guidance, their faith in you, you cannot succeed. Success is more than just positive cash flow, it's validating the faith of everyone who believes in you.

People invest in people

People conversing in office setting

Once you've got your big idea, you'll need to procure two key items in order to proceed: OPE (Other People's Experience) and OPM (Other People's Money). Your financial projections need to be solid, and you must be able to demonstrate the ability to execute your grand schemes. But at the end of the day, people do not invest their time, money, and access to their social networks because you had the best spreadsheet. Be the kind of person that people want to believe in, the kind people want to succeed. How? Make sure you're doing these 25 Things Rich People Always Do!

Identify and solve a problem only you can see

Man relaxing on beach

If your product or service doesn't solve a need, there's no reason for it to exist. Successful entrepreneurs provide something that the general population doesn't know they need, until they can't live without it.

Eschew market research

man giving presentation at work

The Old Way was to commission a study, hire focus groups, convene a marketing team, and create via groupthink. This archaic method of product development would never have produced the laptop, the mobile phone, or Airbnb. The best way to predict trends is to create them. For tips from real-life visionaries, read up on how How The World's 15 Richest Men Got That Way!

Don't just make money; make a difference

man in suit with red cape

If all you want is to make money, go be an investment banker. The world doesn't need more money. It definitely could use more ideas, and better solutions. Any good businessman can make money, great entrepreneurs make money and make the world a better place.

Never sacrifice values for valuations

son, father, and grandfather fishing together

The hardest thing in a capitalist society is making a legal fortune. Second hardest would be making an ethical fortune. Never sacrifice your beliefs for the sake of winning. If you're lucky you'll make a living. In the meantime, make a life. That's just one of these scientifically proven 25 Ways to Be Happier Now!

Fuel your passions

people in business attire running on track

When you're exhausted, broke, and utterly frustrated, passion will make you jump out of bed on a Monday morning and work late into the evening, long after your friends with jobs they hate are sleeping comfortably. Never lose track of the reasons behind your endeavors.

Court luck

Die about to hit the table

There are some circumstances that are forever beyond your control: where you're born, the family you're born into, the schools that begin your education. If you weren't born lucky, learn to create your own luck. More than persistence, more than intellect, nothing lends itself to success quite like being in the right place at the right time. When Luck shows up, make sure you're ready. Opportunity rarely presents herself a second time to the unprepared. That's only one of these 25 Life-Changing Lessons from Super-Successful Men!

Circumvent reality

Man on a motorcycle

An entrepreneur is someone who doesn't allow limited resources to remain a hindrance. Figure out how to bend reality, to recreate it to suit your needs. If a rule can be broken, break it. If it can't, find out how far it will bend.

Bite off more than you can chew, then grow fangs

men in business suits about to fight with boxing gloves

Success–against all odds and in the face of all adversity–is a testament to just how much you can accomplish through sheer force of will. Reach beyond your means. Set unreachable goals. Nothing great was ever accomplished by being realistic. To keep dreaming big and making the most of every day, start checking off these 50 Things You Must Do Before You Die!

Identify one insurmountable task per day, then surmount the hell out of it

man raising fist on edge of mountain cliff

The affairs of the day can usually be divvied up into two categories: a seemingly innumerable amount of mundane tasks, and one behemoth feat, suitable for Ahab himself. Let your people handle the minnows, you go after the whale. Keep the heaviest lifting for yourself: heroes are heroes because they attempt–and achieve–the impossible.

Business is always personal

Men working face to face

Always err on the side of basic decency. If it's a good way to live, it's a good way to do business. Ethically, strive to be kind. Strategically, strive to be badass. Ideally, strive to be both. Make sure you're practicing these 4 Ways to be a Better Boss!

Master the art of risk assessment

Man ziplining

Learn the difference between a leap of faith and a jump of stupidity. Develop a tolerance for the discomfort of uncertainty, and remember: flying is just controlled falling.

Confidence is sexy. Tenacity is sexier

man working at night in office

Most success stories are a series of narrowly avoided catastrophes. Your path to success is going to be generally littered with pitfalls, setbacks and minefields. You won't know who you are until you discover that rock-bottom has a sub-basement. When your confidence is gone and you resolve is entirely spent, then you will meet yourself. When all else fails, conviction is your greatest ally. Never forget: problems are temporary, tenacity is forever. Here's how real-life business titans keep pushing: 8 CEO-Proven Resilience Builders!

Going crazy is easy. Staying crazy takes commitment

Crew rowing

Sane people are needed to run successful companies. Crazy people are needed to start them. Once you're up and running, surround yourself with folks saner than yourself, but never relinquish the zeal that got you started; it will keep you innovating long after others have faded into obscurity.

Control the narrative

man giving presentation at work

After food, clothing and shelter, stories are an essential human need. In a world that's increasingly more social through digital media, make sure your story is compelling, and jealously guard both the content and tone. Make your tale the stuff of legends, and your customers will always be loyal. For more surefire success tips, check out this exclusive report: The 25 Best Wealth-Building Tips of All Time!

Sales are a byproduct

man reaching out for handshake

In a consumer-driven market, people bond to products and services through interactive user experience. Form emotional connections with consumers and allow them to demonstrate their devotion monetarily. Sell a product and nobody will buy your beliefs. Sell a belief and everybody will buy your products.

Convince the consigliere

men conversing in office

In every organization, there's usually only one person with the absolute last word. There's also someone who holds their counsel. Find the person who bends the king or queen's ear, and persuade them. Never accept no from someone who's not qualified to say yes.

Choose influence over power

People working at large table in casual attire

An accurate measure of your gravitas is not what people say or do in your presence, but in your absence. Nourish an environment where people are motivated by a deep desire to please rather than a fear of punishment, and you'll create a business that's self-sustaining. Remember, power is the ability to do things. Influence is the ability to make other people do things.

Be unreasonable

Man staring out of office window

The sun revolved around the earth for six millennia. Then Copernicus proposed heliocentrism. Newton defined gravity for four centuries. Then Einstein gave us special relativity. Go against the grain, swim against the tide; when they zig, zag. Don't be afraid to break convention. No reasonable person ever changed the world. Remember: Aiming high is one of the 25 Things Rich People Always Do!

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