In our new age of massive technological advancement, the influential entrepreneur holds a unique place in history. Every new technological development that you use on a daily basis has behind it someone who profoundly impacts the world. They make it look so easy, the Mark Zuckerberg’s and the Oprah Winfrey’s of the world. But the truth is, they have created themselves habitually and deliberately– as the influential entrepreneurs they are today.
In his years as an entrepreneur, investor, speaker, and writer, Murray Newlands has encountered many influential entrepreneurs and is a highly influential entrepreneur in his own right. Co-founder of Due.com, Newlands has earned his influence every single day in a labor of love — 500k Twitter followers and 341k Vine followers didn’t come overnight. “In my interviews with entrepreneurs, I have seen that they possess a focused, habitual pursuit of excellence that I think anyone can achieve,” Newlands explains. “With enough confidence, anyone can learn the habits they need to be highly influential.”
Here, with Murray Newland’s guidance, are the top nine habits that every influential entrepreneur possesses.
1 . They’re independent thinkers
Those who are the most influential do not let other’s opinions sway their own. They gather information, are critical in their analysis, and then form their opinions. They don’t follow trends or common beliefs, but are happy to listen thoughtfully to all the information they hear.
2. They add value to their relationships.
Influential entrepreneurs are the best at creating meaningful relationships. They have large networks and make it a point to get to know the connections of their connections. But beyond knowing everyone, they add value to as many of their relationships as possible. “Add value to your relationships by connecting people who you think should know each other, collaborate with others for mutual benefit, and share your wisdom and experience freely,” says Newlands.
3. They welcome healthy debate
A dissenting opinion or a disagreement does not bother the influential entrepreneur. They encourage and even welcome dispute, as it allows them to see all sides of an issue. Newlands says, “If you truly want to be influential, respond with inquisitive humility to a dissenting opinion. The first step to getting more people to listen to you is to listen deeply to others.”
4. They are grateful
Without gratitude, even the most powerful entrepreneur won’t have much influence. “People don’t want to spend their lives being belittled or dismissed, and won’t listen to or respect a person that isn’t grateful for their time,” says Newlands. “If you aren’t creating relationships based in a humble gratitude, you aren’t creating much of influence at all.”
5. They are proactive
“Influential entrepreneurs do not wait for the latest and greatest to come to them; they are the ones inventing it,” says Newlands. “They know what’s coming next because they are out there looking for it, soaking up knowledge and spreading the word.” Sitting back and seeing what happens is not in the influential entrepreneur’s vocabulary.
6. They keep the faith
“Influential entrepreneurs know that everyone around them is capable of greatness” says Newlands. “They have faith in their own ability to reach their goals and dreams, and they know beyond a doubt that others have that ability, as well.” Their belief in other’s abilities inspires the people around them to work harder to manifest their own dreams. Even in failure, influential entrepreneurs know that each failure is one step closer to success.
7. They respond thoughtfully
Influential entrepreneurs know how important relationships are to their business, so they are never hotheaded. They do not react without thinking, because to do so would destroy relationships and often, the respect of others. Entrepreneurs that influence others maintain their cool and respond with consideration, extending to others the respect that they deserve.
8. They read
By now you’ve probably heard that Mark Cuban reads a book a day. It’s true, and as Newlands says, “If you aren’t reading, you’re missing a vast realm of knowledge that you will need to be an influential entrepreneur.”
The benefits of reading books are countless. “Voracious book readers are smarter, more interesting conversationalists, have deeper concentration, and learn from the wisdom of the most brilliant people in the world,” explains Newlands. “Without books, you’re probably re-inventing the wheel instead of spending your time influencing on the leading edge.”
9. They focus on leaving the planet better than they found it
Though entrepreneurs are not always concerned with altruism, many of the entrepreneurs who have made a lasting impact on our world have used their success as a vehicle to make the world a more peaceful, humane and just place.
For example, Warren Buffet, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, started a philanthropic organization for the wealthy to donate the bulk of their fortune to charity. “Thinking only of capital and nothing else can only lead to an empty existence,” expounds Newlands. “Lasting influence that creates a legacy is founded in selflessness that expands the scope of human understanding.”