Three Fundamental Decisions That Successful Entrepreneurs Make

Dan Sullivan
Hero image

During this recession we’re still partially in, I got to see how far I’ve come since the 1970s. In the past three years, I’ve never felt worried or insecure for a moment. I knew that my main responsibility was just to keep everybody’s morale up. All I wanted to do was say, “Look, I’ve been through this before. We just have to get up every day and be better this week than we were last week, and everything will be okay.” Although there were stresses and strains on our organization, I just had this sense that this is how it works.

Three years later, we have an incomparably stronger, more powerful organization. We kept everybody moving forward, we learned a lot, we tried out new things, we came away with a better value creation proposition than we had three years ago, and we identified new people in the marketplace to talk to.

In the last post, I spoke about the three multiplier decisions it takes to become a successful entrepreneur:

  1. You decide that there’s no alternative for you but to be an entrepreneur.
  2. You commit yourself to going through whatever it takes until you learn how to succeed.
  3. You realize that your business is not about you but about making life better for your clientele.

Once you’ve made these decisions for yourself, it’s as if magic doorways open up:

  • Other individuals’ talents become available to you.
  • Other people’s money becomes available to you.
  • Other people’s opportunities become available to you.

There are four concentric circles of your business: you, tools, teamwork, and technology. The three multiplier decisions happen at the “you” level, and then results radiate out through all the other levels. There’s a certain testing period you have to go through, and when you come out the other side, all these resources become available and the doorways open up.

The vast majority of people who work in large organizations never get anywhere near those doorways. For entrepreneurs, though, this is the progression that leads to success. Strategic Coach is designed entirely to facilitate entrepreneurs’ evolution through these personal and organizational stages — which is why it works.

At any point in your career, you can return to these three multipliers and work with them at higher and higher levels, asking:

What is the path I’m committed to?

What is my experience teaching me?

What can I do to help my clientele reach their goals?

When you think about these multipliers in terms of your own situation, what insights come up for you? Feel free to share them in the comments.