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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
- Proverbs 3:5-6
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Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur
There used to be a simple formula for building a good American life – go to school and make good grades. Then find a job with a good company. Work hard. Save money. Enjoy retirement. These days, the traditional path leads only to daily stress, crushing debt and uncertainty about the future. The most remarkable part is that so many people continue to blindly follow it —when what they really need to do is make an about-face and learn how to think about work and wealth in a whole new way. Anyone can make the leap to entrepreneurship, and financial freedom. You may have to learn new practical skills, but mostly it is a matter of changing your mindset.

15 universal laws to help anyone become a successful entrepreneur

Always do exactly what you say

Being trustworthy is critical to success, but what about the promises and pacts you make with yourself? Most people are far more likely to break agreements with themselves than with others. Yet, since becoming an entrepreneur requires a dramatic change in both mindset and habits, you will not get far if you keep letting yourself off the hook.

Take action in your life now

Every day that you do not take a concrete step forward is another day of the status quo, another day of accepting a mediocre life. Life rewards action. Every morning, ask yourself what action can be taken to move toward with the dream of financial independence and self-reliance. Then do it.

Remove all unconscious, negative and scarcity-based programming

The middle class has been “programmed” with belief systems that weren’t designed to help us attain wealth and that, indeed, barely work at all anymore. But because everyone around us is buying into the formula, we assume it’s the “right” way. We all have an inner “sheep” that is afraid to go against the herd and fears it will be punished if it goes against cultural norms. And that’s a shame, because while we’re staring at the hindquarters of the sheep in front of us, we’re ignoring a huge world filled with riches for the taking.

Today and every day consciously evaluate and reconsider what works for you as you strive toward a life of wealth and abundance. First, think critically about risk and reward, and determine how to effectively balance the two. This involves looking closely at your emotions, your willingness to take action, and your desire to move forward when an opportunity to build wealth arises. As you begin to experience greater rewards, you will confirm the beliefs and actions that create wealth.

You are 100 percent responsible, 100 percent of the time, for the results in your life

It’s easy to blame disappointments and failures on everything other than ourselves. For instance: “I could be a lot wealthier if the economy hadn’t tanked.” Or, “How was I supposed to know that there would be a storm and I’d have to clean out my savings to replace my roof?” While it’s true that you can’t always foresee or control what happens in your life, you can choose how you respond to those circumstances. There are bills to pay, problems to solve, and circumstances that need attention. You need to deal with these issues, but you cannot allow them to stop you. Every day, you must make time to move toward the life of your dreams, no matter how small that step is. If you aren’t taking steps to change your reality, you forfeit the right to complain about it.

Invest in a financial education program to master the skills of being an entrepreneur

It stands to reason that if you want more out of life, you’ll need to seek some non-traditional education that will help you cultivate the skills that will enable you to generate multiple streams of income. Do not be afraid to pay for the expertise you need.

Remain coachable

Entrepreneurs, by nature, are go-against-the-grain types. It is easy for them to assume they know best and disregard good advice from those who have been there. Do not fall into this trap. Not only should you carefully consider advice, you should actively seek it out.

Stop telling yourself to work harder and learn to work smarter

It is crucial to understand that the work of an entrepreneur is the work of the mind thinking, planning, creating, leading and providing oversight. If you want to reach the highest level possible, you have to leave tasks that can be accomplished by others to those with the knowledge and skills to do them.

Always remember that time is more valuable than money

A true entrepreneur understands time is a precious commodity and must be used wisely and efficiently. You can and must devote time to creating wealth, planning and building business systems and leading your team. Once you have this foundation firmly in place, you’ll find you’re free of the obligation to work nine to five.

Maintain a credit score of 760 or higher

As an entrepreneur, it is crucial for you to be able to borrow money whenever you need it –regardless of what the market is doing. Make it a priority to become a master at understanding, evaluating and controlling your credit score.

No longer view debt as negative

It is not that debt itself is bad, it is that the way the average American uses it is destructive. Commit to using debt to invest and build wealth. Used wisely, debt can give you leverage and make you rich.

No longer listen to people who are not where you want to be financially

The saying “Those who cannot do, teach” does not apply to building wealth. Seek advice only from those who are where you want to be financially. Be respectful of others’ opinions, but realize that you are on a different financial path from most people, and that they will not necessarily understand or approve.

Fulfill the unmet needs of others

If your business does not address and fulfill an unmet need, it is not going to be successful. In today’s highly competitive world, it is critical to identify what others are not doing, or not willing to do, so that you can compete and win customers.

Always be on time

Tardiness is a character issue. Not breaking agreements is a cornerstone of all the Universal Laws of Being an Entrepreneur. When you are not on time, you are essentially breaking your word to yourself and the others in the meeting.

Become a master at creating systems and processes

This means that you will need to understand the steps that lead to success, clearly define them and explain them to your team. Once you have done all this work up-front, you will no longer have to run day-to-day operations.

Build the right relationships with the right power team members

You will need a strong team of the right people. Your power team is the power behind your skill as an entrepreneur. It is so important to be respectful and helpful to everyone you meet. You never know when you will be making a connection that can benefit you next week, next month, or next year. They may also refer customers your way.

Some of these laws are deceptively simple, but it is their very simplicity that gives them their power. Most people take the path of least resistance. Those who do not are the ones who will create rich, full lives that are truly worth living.

By Gregory Downing, author of "Entrepreneur Unleashed: Wealth to Stand the Test of Time"