Here are six unconventional ways to pave the path to success as an entrepreneur.
1. Set milestones instead of goals
Goals are lofty and can take years to complete. As the months and years pass it can steadily grind you down until you'll want to quit. However, milestones will keep you going. Milestones break down goals into more easily manageable pieces, providing a roadmap for how you're going to achieve your goals. Focus more on your milestones, and small goal setting to reach those milestones will come naturally.
2. Stop underestimating how much your bad habits are hurting you
Whether it's eating fast food several times a week or an unhealthy addition to your Instagram feed, your bad habits are a huge obstacle to being happy, healthy and prosperous. You may think that binging on fast food or checking your Instagram feed every 15 minutes is just a routine part of your lifestyle that isn't affecting anything else, but you are sorely mistaken.
Make real inroads by targeting your bad habits one at a time, and understanding what healthy habits you can replace them with to better your overall quality of life, which will directly affect your overall likelihood of being successful.
3. Don't reinvent the wheel
Mentors and inspirations are all valuable sources of knowledge. You may think they have it all figured out, but don't get cocky. Seasoned, successful entrepreneurs not only give you new ideas but increase the chances of not making the same mistakes as they did. It's the equivalent of getting a head start in a running race. Don't be afraid to admit you don't know it all, and gather underneath the learning tree.
4. Check even the unlikely places for opportunity
You never know when inspiration is going to strike. That may sound cliche, but if you ask any entrepreneur, it couldn't be truer. Walking past a community hall offering salsa classes could be what sets you on a new path on life and spark an idea flow you never knew was there. Don't shy away from new opportunities, even if they take you out of your comfort zone. The only way we learn and grow is by going places we've never been before; you never know where they might take you.
5. Network, network, network!
You've probably heard that success in this world is not about what you know but who you know (or, more to the point, who knows you). It's up to you to make those connections and make them worthwhile.
Absolutely no one has ever gotten ahead in life without other people. Network as much as you can. You'll open doors, learn new things and eventually meet the person who opens the door to the next level for you.
6. Find an inspiring mentor
Don't just be inspired by the rich, the famous, and the successful. Get a mentor who can show you the way directly. Find someone who's achieved what you want to achieve and soak everything up like a sponge. Check your ego at the door and learn the way from people who're older and wiser. Mentors can be anyone from a family member to your boss. Most importantly, it should be someone you admire for their work ethic and ideas. They're found all around you, and you don't necessarily have to go to classes or pay for their services. Work your network!
Integrate these six principles into your entrepreneurial path, and you will no doubt be set up for success. You can't change your ways for a short time and expect to get the results you want; it's just not realistic. It's why successful people are continually learning and trying to improve themselves.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by the Entrepreneur.com.ph editors