7 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs That You Can Apply to Your Creative Career

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04Aug

7 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs That You Can Apply to Your Creative Career

Eda Utku

I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business 


Is it really crazy to think that all fiction writers are entrepreneurs? All writing, especially fiction, is a way to introduce new ideas, or re-introduce classics, with a new spin, to get readers to dare to see and think differently.

Writing is powerful stuff. Think of all that imagery that you can place in your readers’ heads. Learning to write in such a way that engages readers, gets them thinking, responding, and even taking action, that’s power.

Logic should dictate, then, writers are powerful people. We have the power at our fingertips to focus people’s attention and make change in the world through an age old tradition, storytelling.

Do writers get the respect we deserve? I’m not sure. I’m not far enough in my writing journey to have met enough seasoned writers who can give me an indication of the respect society gives them.

I can tell you, that when I woke up one day, and outed myself as a writer, those closest to me simply said “Why? Writers make no money”.

OK, so I’m not quitting my day job yet. I will always have marketing. So maybe, I’m not quite a writer, but more a “wri-keter”. That is, I believe that best writing begs to be read. It calls the reader to itself, takes hold of the mind of the reader, and is then passed onto other would-be readers through word-of-mouth.

The narration of my writers’ journey, and the whole premise for the round-table of writers I call NeedHelpWriteNow, gained a whole new strength in my mind last week.

By chance, I was invited to the launch ofStart-up Australia, a non-profit organization of entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. The whole vibe was upbeat, enthusiastic and semi-inspired. I say “semi”, because I was skeptical. I mean, entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs, it does have that tone of sharks feeding on sharks, am I right?

The term ecosystem was thrown about a bit. I looked around and there were many traditional finance/corporate types about, you know, the lions, top of the food chain in the business ecosystem men. Half of the blue tie guys were as half convinced as me, some wondering how much the government was paying to get the rental on the floor (FYI – the government is not paying a dime. It’s an NGO). However, all that skepticism aside (and besides, Start-up Australia becomes what we want it to become. If I don’t feed it, then how can it achieve its full potential?) I could see the opportunity in being involved.

When I got more into it, that is once I signed up as a member on their website, to view the first instructional video on becoming a successful entrepreneur, I could see the parallels to becoming a successful writer.

Siimon Reynolds introduces How Great Entrepreneurs Think and has prompted those who watch the video to keep a workbook with their notes. I’m a blogger. I will blog about it. I hope you, out there, can find ways to apply it to your personal journeys towards becoming bestselling authors.

So, how do great writers (and entrepreneurs) think?

1) Contrarian – Got friends and family saying writers make no money? Show them otherwise. You can. Dare to think differently and dare to express your views. Who cares if people laugh? Henry Ford thought differently. As did Steve Jobs. As did Richard Branson. The world is a better place for it.

2) Long-term vision – Your first book won’t make you rich. Your second one won’t either, probably. Be in it for the long haul. Plan for trilogies or series.

3) Optimism – As writers we must sometimes dip into the wells of despair, but don’t stay there too long unless you want to drown. Find your guiding ritual, for me my daily latte, that brings you right back into the positive mindset. Siimon says that to develop optimism, you must focus on it, look for good and uplift those around you. Mention someone in your book (in a positive light) and then tell him or her about it. Watch their eyes light up. It’s magic.

4) Improvement Orientation – Your first draft is crap. Get over it. Don’t be afraid to rewrite. You must. Write, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite…

5) Hardworking – On average it takes a writer 14 years to get recognition, or make bestseller. Could success be expedited if you got up earlier, went to bed later and wrote more? Perhaps. But don’t forget that it’s the process of writing that makes you a writer. If you don’t write for a day, don’t write for weeks, months, and so on, are you still a writer? A writer must write. That’s our affliction and it’s what makes us what we are.

6) Resilient – You will face rejection. People will hate your writing. Critics will do what they do best. Publishers will knock you back. Develop a mind like water so when the stone is cast, yes, ripples go out, but then the surface should go back to calm.

7) Don’t make money your primary aim – In other words, don’t chase the market. Wizards were in, vampires had their go, zombies might rule for a while, but don’t write what you think the market wants. Write what you want and not for the purpose of cashing in early. I call entrepreneurs who are only in it to flip and cash-out, entrepreun-whores, don’t let your writing put on a red dress and walk the streets for money. It’s not the way. Money likes those who don’t chase it. Stand your ground, be cool, don’t let desperation take the keyboard.

Practice

It’s your turn now. Take a look at these 7 characteristics of great writers carefully. Score yourself from 1-10 on each of these characteristics. Take one area you scored lowest in and come up with 3 solutions to improve this characteristic.

Finding it hard to be optimistic? How about 1) uplift those around you by writing about them positively, 2) take time to meet with friends and make their day, 3) write pro-bono for a NGO and get the benefit of feeling good.

Comment below on what steps you will be taking so that others might be inspired by you.

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  • Daniel Lissett
    Daniel Lissett2nd

    Researcher/Writer/Copywriting/Philanthropy

    Great article for all of us budding writers out there. Also the comparison to an entrepreneur is a very relevant one. Writers are often outspoken like Steinbeck, who speaking from people that knew him on a visit to Cannery Row even got death threats. Like the poet and writer Milton we are often politically vocal. We are often passionate about life, about people, not about routine or fitting the normal bell curve. Also many writers have a wide range of life experiences and careers before they become writers. I think there is a lot to be said for writers who start later in life.

    1 day ago

    1 Reply
    • Eda Utku
      Eda UtkuAUTHOR 1st

      I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business outcomes

      I couldn’t agree more, Daniel! I look forward to seeing your writing too.

      1 day ago

  • Leslie Jiang
    Leslie Jiang

    Alibaba B2B solution sales manager at Alibaba.com

    Thanks, I thought those seven characteristics can apply to approach any goals.

    1 day ago

    • Tiffany tihany Harris
      Tiffany tihany Harris

      Entrepreneurial painter and designer, fine art on clothing and canvas.

      Love it! I am a painter also. Your article applies to me. Excellent. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration. Look forward to more of your articles.

      1 day ago

      1 Reply
      • Eda Utku
        Eda UtkuAUTHOR 1st

        I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business outcomes

        Hi Tiffany, it’s great to hear that and I will definitely be writing more! I’ve got some interviews coming up in the “12 minutes with” series talking to creative professionals to discover how to strike that delicate balance between art and money.

        1 day ago

    • Su C.
      Su C.2nd

      RM/NA at GMS-ISO, & Metro Adjustment, Inc.

      best of one this year.

      1 day ago

      • Jasmine Terry
        Jasmine Terry

        Founder of LAIDIECLOTH

        Fantastic article

        1 day ago

        1 Reply
        • Eda Utku
          Eda UtkuAUTHOR 1st

          I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business outcomes

          I’m humbled that you found some inspiration. Thank you.

          1 day ago

      • Jill Cueni-Cohen
        Jill Cueni-Cohen

        Freelance Journalist

        I’ve always said, I don’t work for money. I work for the love of my craft; the way it makes me feel to see my by-line and know I’ve affected lives with just my words! I make my living mostly through non-fiction news and magazine feature articles, but I’m also a poet and creative writer, too. I just dont sell those pieces. Real-life stories don’t yeild me a princely sum, but being my own boss has its own rewards. I could probably make more $ in a marketing or PR position, but I love my writer’s life! Thanks for a great article reminding me how incredible this career is. And to answer your question; yes, I get tremendous respect for being a writer, but the pay is not commensurate with either my experience or skills, which does hurt a little. 🙁

        1 day ago

        1 Reply
        • Eda Utku
          Eda UtkuAUTHOR 1st

          I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business outcomes

          Jill, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. I will start a LinkedIn series of 12 minute interviews with people within the publishing industry as a way to learn, network and write. I say marketing is easy money, provided you can stray from your personal beliefs (flexibility, I suppose) and pretend to be interested in the business of high paying clients (often, pretending leads to really caring, so I don’t feel too bad about this). It all goes to show that pretending, serving sizzle and a touch of superficiality are valued higher by society than in-depth pieces with integrity where research is put on the table. I hope there will be a paradigm shift as those of us fortunate enough to live in the developed world discover that we really don’t need to buy whatever’s being peddled.

          1 day ago

      • james losch
        james losch

        v.p. partner losch beverage co. retired

        ninety percent of success is showing up eailer than your employees, everyday. and brew some coffee for them, it goes along way.

        1 day ago

        1 Reply
        • Eda Utku
          Eda UtkuAUTHOR 1st

          I listen to marketing problems and connect businesses to marketing resources to achieve measurable business outcomes

          I couldn’t agree more James! If you want your employees to be early and care for your business, you must set the precendence.

          1 day ago

      • Harry Marii
        Harry Marii2nd

        Project Manager/ Director at Ucreate Multimedia Limited

        Hi Edna UtKu, food for thought most definitely, and thanks for your inspiring viewpoint.

        22 hours ago

        • George Abney
          George Abney

          Airlines/Aviation Professional

          Yo!

          1 day ago

          • Sandeep Menon
            Sandeep Menon

            Associate Vice President-Sales Promotion, DHFL Pramerica

            Dont make money your primary aim! Brilliant!

            1 day ago

            • Ashleigh Kinder
              Ashleigh Kinder2nd

              Network Marketing and Communications Professional

              Love it!!

              1 day ago

              • nicholas kimanzi
                nicholas kimanzi

                driver

                I love it

                1 day ago

                • ashwani pandey
                  ashwani pandey

                  operation excutive

                  so rememberance movement

                  1 day ago

                  • K. Lynn
                    K. Lynn2nd

                    Connecting the claims industry to its specific needs through technology at Claims Resources and Solutions LLC

                    Hi Eda Utku Thanks for writing and sharing this valuable post & I would like to update you that Claims Resources and Solutions LLC is a full service site devoted to all claims-related industry professionals. Our extensive online business directory connects a wide variety of insurance companies, claims specialists and businesses, enabling them to network and collaborate through public forums, resource documents, discussion boards and news articles.

                    1 day ago

                    • soroush yazdanmadad
                      soroush yazdanmadad

                      student

                      I appreciate such tangible articles that you can really easy understand them. Viel Erfolg

                      1 day ago

                      • Bárbara M. Pinheiro
                        Bárbara M. Pinheiro

                        Experienced Marketing Professional

                        That’s great article!

                        1 day ago

                        • Eveth colley
                          Eveth colley

                          Founder Jamaica Ambassador Programs

                          Great article. 5 hanks for writing and sharing these great yet simple tips.

                          1 day ago

                          • Richard Prins
                            Richard Prins

                            Retired at Home

                            Very professional

                            1 day ago

                            • MJ LaBorde
                              MJ LaBorde

                              1SG ARMY at TEXAS ARMY NATIONAL GUARD

                              James, I have never it heard “Selfless leader” put that way. I like it!!

                              23 hours ago

                              • james losch
                                james losch

                                v.p. partner losch beverage co. retired

                                thank you m.j. best regards, james

                                22 hours ago

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