Smart entrepreneurs know how to do one thing extremely well—leverage the success of others. Leverage is the power to effectively get more done with the least amount of effort. When you know what successful people are doing, you don’t have to spend years trying to figure it out.
That’s not to say that knowing what others are doing will make running your business effortless, but it will provide you with the ability to identify ways to succeed without having to stumble around in the dark.
Here are four things that genius entrepreneurs do on a regular basis, and that you should consider emulating in order to find similiar success:
1. They focus on personal development
When entrepreneurs take on the challenge of personal development, they don’t do it just to get ahead or make more money (although financial success often comes on the heels of their personal transformation). The appeal of personal development is that it illuminates the possibility of becoming more.
Success achieved in the form of tangible goods, money, and fame only provides temporary satisfaction. When you can buy everything you want, it’s only a matter of time before you ask, “What’s next?”
Personal development pushes you to become more by getting you to define the kind of person you want to be, the impression you want to leave on the world, and pushes you to take action and be it. This naturally translates to a more successful business because your business can only be as great as you are.
2. They read books written by other successful entrepreneurs
Whenever a successful person presents a new idea to the world, genius entrepreneurs will take notice to see what can be learned from those discoveries.
In the entrepreneurial world, perhaps the most well-known formula for success can be found in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This book emphasizes the importance of your thoughts when it comes to your success; countless people credit Hill’s book as being the driving force behind their success.
Genius entrepreneurs also read books that help them understand the psychology of human behavior, like these five books, including Predictibly Irrational by Dan Ariely. A professor of psychology and behavioral insights at Duke University, Ariely takes a cutting-edge approach to smash the notion that people make decisions rationally, and shows that irrationality has a pattern of predictability to it.
In addition, many successful entrepreneurs become authors, publishing books that detail how they’ve uniquely created their empire. When you read books written by successful people, you get a wide variety of experience and wisdom to draw from that you can apply to your own life and business.
3. They think of responsibility as accountability
When you think of the word “responsibility,” you might recall a time when you did something wrong and your parents sent you crying to your room and told you not to come out until you could take responsibility for your actions.
Have you noticed how difficult it is to take responsibility for something when you feel bad about what’s happened? This is because people have merged the concept of responsibility with blame and shame in everyday conversation, so naturally we have a hard time separating the two. When responsibility stands on its own, however, it’s simply the ability to respond to something that requires attention. No blame, no shame—just the opportunity to take action.
Genius entrepreneurs know the value of taking responsibility for anything that happens in their business, even when they weren’t involved. They avoiding placing blame and view it as accountability.
While responsibility asks, “What did I do wrong?” accountability simply asks, “What happened and what can I do to fix it?” The difference is subtle, yet important.
Taking responsibility doesn’t mean beating yourself up for what went wrong. It means realistically assessing what isn’t working, finding a solution, and moving forward.
For example, when a CEO takes responsibility for the failure of their company to meet client deadlines, they aren’t stuck in the mud defending that it’s not their fault. They are on the front lines, facing the public. They account for what happened, without any blame attached to anyone, and do whatever it takes to make things right.
4. They train others in accountability
When you’re working closely with your team members, you have the opportunity to train them into a new perception of responsibility and accountability, a perception that will mitigate their emotional reactions when something important needs to be addressed. This decrease in emotional reactivity will help them to respond in a more positive and productive way that moves the entire business forward.
Because they see the long-term value, successful entrepreneurs will nurture accountability in their company like a delicate garden.
Be a Genius Entrepreneur
The difference between being a genius entrepreneur and a regular business owner lies in the degree of your willingness to be responsible for all successes and failures you encounter.
Entrepreneurs don’t create a business just to make money or escape a cubicle. They have a burning passion inside to make a difference in society. And when you’re on a mission to change the world, you only have time for solutions.