No matter where you are on the journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur, I believe the following are some good habits to keep in mind. As you build your business and watch your dream become a reality, these disciplines will help you stay on track.

1. Be an initiator—you won’t be able to move forward standing on your heels. Get plugged in with people heading the same direction as you. Reach out and make new friends. Ask questions. Talk to people about what you’re doing. Communicate your vision, even if no one solicited it.

2. Recognize the need—no need to be selling ice cubes in the North Pole. Find a market that will need your business. You may have to ask a few questions and do some research, but it will save you a lot of time, energy, and money in the long run.

3. Make relationships—have you ever heard the saying, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know?” Of course you have. But seriously, most of the time, it’s true. Take advantage of networking and investing in relationships that will support your vision. The people you randomly meet and run into, may not be so random. Make the most of every opportunity to make a new friend.

4. Come back to the basics often—chances are if you’re a go-getter and taking the initiative, you’ll meet a lot of people with a lot of ideas. This is good, but it can easily throw you off course. Once you make up your mind about the business/product you’re going to develop, you’ll need to consistently come back to the original dream so that you won’t get pulled in the wrong direction—the direction of what others think your dream should be. Don’t be offended. They’re usually just trying to help, but stay focused.

5. Manage expectations—don’t be a taker who always looks for ways to benefit yourself. Nobody likes that guy. Sometimes you’ll have the opportunity to help someone else out through your connections or experience and they won’t be able to pay you back. Give generously without expecting anything in return. It’s a lot of fun! I promise!

Each of these disciplines has kept me on track and moving forward in running my own businesses successfully. I will continue to practice them because they will never go out of style.

What disciplines have you developed that allow you to be a successful entrepreneur? Do you have a specific example where one of these disciplines kept you on track? Let us know about it!

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