Habits form our lives and they provide a framework on which we build professional success and personal happiness. In life, there isn't a formula that fits everyone's lifestyle or career choice, but there are certain skills that make or break a new entrepreneur. In my experience as an entrepreneur, there are certain life habits that are not only perfect for day-to-day decision making, but also for business on small and large scales.
1) "NO" is not an option, dude.
Most start-ups and entrepreneurs will fail (yes, with full certainty) if they allow the nay-sayers to take control of his/her idea. Bringing a new, exciting idea to the world often means listening to plenty of friends, family, and co-workers smile, maybe even laugh, at the idea of changing something so pragmatic, so commonplace. However, be a badass and smile back knowing that you're queen bee and have the recipe for a successful business venture, even if nobody else knows it yet. Successful individuals, such as Steve Jobs, were known to have never accepted "no" for an answer: they simply found a route, strategically planned the journey, and made it work for them.
2) Run the extra mile (literally if you can)
As someone who ran track and field, cross country, and the like, I can assure you that there is no better time for clarity then when you're smelling freshly-cut grass in the summer during a jog, or focusing on taking in that cold Chicago wind-chill in the winter during your final 1/4 mile. As entrepreneurs, we have to mentally and physically go that extra mile and prep for whatever happens. Yes, I am a firm believer in providing a relaxed and comfortable approach to life whenever possible, but the business world requires a certain ferocity that makes former competitors, athletes, and the like successful in this field. Why? Because we're goal-driven. Start jogging in the mornings/evenings/nighttime and plan to run a certain amount: that'll be your first goal. Your next goal will be to slowly but surely think about how you're going to create that next billion dollar idea (and how you've planned for today, tomorrow, and the next day).
3) Your client is numero uno.
Whether you're in finance, model management, or health administration, you have to prioritize the people you were hired to help. As the creative director for one of the most exciting lifestyle platforms, I multitask quite regularly and wear multiple hats (fashionable ones, of course). However, you must always remember to treat your clients with respect and deliver what you promised (in writing preferably) in a timely fashion. Communication is key and honestly is truly one of the make-or-break traits that challenges entrepreneurs. Yes, in Chicago we're all beautiful A-listers but that doesn't mean we don't work. Treat your client(s) to coffee, a cocktail at one of your favorite whiskey bars, or to a trip to the coast to network. After all, they are supporting your business endeavors.
4) Learn to play with your life
Many companies and individuals fail: that’s a reality. However, persistent entrepreneurs who are willing to try something different end up being the ones that ultimately succeed. Many incredible businesses and services are the second, third or even fourth attempt of an entrepreneur who just flat out refused to give up and instead decided to try something different. When I lived in Bangkok, I worked with the children of some of that nation's start-up trailblazers. These were the offspring of Thailand, and Southeast Asia's, nouveau riche: stock brokers, financiers, media gurus, business insiders, etc. In addition to having some of Asia's best noodle dishes, Thailand also has some of the best start-up stories ever. Many of these super rich, such as the the founders of TRUE Corporation, started off selling noodles on the street, working their way up to running their mom and pop's noodle and rice shop, to selling 120 noodle stalls in the course of 6 years to fund the first media conglomerate in the nation's history. It's possible, people: sometimes you just need to play around with your industry and have big dreams.