For many entrepreneurs, Labor Day marks the beginning of “back to work” season, and it’s coming upon us rapidly. It’s not too late to make the most of the last months of the year to grow your business. I have interviewed many entrepreneurs who achieved 7-figure revenue in one-person businesses or with a small handful of employees. Here are five things I’ve learned about what makes them successful.
- They show up for their businesses consistently. I have yet to discover a single entrepreneur who hit seven-figure revenue while dabbling in running a business. These entrepreneurs keep showing up for their business and, as a result, benefit from the cumulative gains that steady effort brings. It’s similar to exercising Working out three time a week will pay off—but three times a month, not so much.
- They pay a lot of attention to relationships. It may seem like meeting clients or potential new hires face-to-face in a cafe or over lunch takes more time than you can afford. But as these entrepreneurs know, forming genuine friendships with others in your industry makes almost everything easier. These types of colleagues are the ones who will tell you about new opportunities, offer helpful coaching, bring you into their projects and otherwise support you. Block out time on your calendar for getting to know others in your field, whether it’s by going to in-person conferences, joining cameras-on livestreams or inviting them out for coffee. Otherwise, it may not happen.
- Read. A lot. Many seven-figure entrepreneurs are big readers. Often, it’s on audiobooks, as they make the most of time spent in transit, or on walks. It doesn’t matter where you read. What will help you is fitting it into your schedule. There are many lessons you won’t have to learn the hard way if you learn from others’ mistakes. If you’re looking for ideas o what to read, check out “Great Books, Great Minds,” a free digital newsletter by Michael Scott on Substack.
- Don’t do it all yourself. When I surveyed 50 seven-figure entrepreneurs for my book Tiny Business, Big Money, all of them said they use contractors in their businesses, and 90% use automation. It’s hard to spend time on idea generation and new business development if you’re bogged down in minutia.
- Be patient. It took the businesses I surveyed four years, on average to get to $1 million, and four years before they hired their first employees. Why is the fourth year so important? That remains to be explored but the “overnight” seven-figure business is very rare. These entrepreneurs are investing enough to become very proficient and make what they’re doing look easy. But it’s not. Steady, consistent and sustainable win the race.