Step Into the Extraordinary: 15 Ways to Become an Extraordinary Entrepreneur

by Kelly O'Neil

I believe that excellence is never an accident. This is a mantra I've long used in both my personal life... and my professional life.

Excellence is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, skillful execution, and the vision to see obstacles as opportunities.

Excellence leads to extraordinary things. But you aren't born extraordinary. You have to work at excellence -- foster it, nurture it, educate it. How? One way to effectively embrace excellence and step into extraordinary is by recognizing common traits among extraordinary individuals.

Over the years of working with amazing entrepreneurs, I've identified these 15 traits as markers of true excellence. Recognize them -- and work toward achieving them yourself -- and you'll be well on your way to eliminating mediocrity and becoming a high performer in your industry... and reaping the rewards of that commitment.

step into the extraordinary: 15 ways to become an extraordinary entrepreneur

High-Performing Entrepreneurs:
  1. Aren't just working for the money. They care about their company beyond the profits and take great pride in its performance, impact on society, and ability to help others through its offerings.
  2. Are truthful. They do what they say they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it. People know they can count on them time and time again.
  3. Embrace opportunities. They look for -- and find -- opportunities to improve themselves, their work, and their business. Others? They see no opportunity.
  4. Are focused on solutions. They don't bring problems to the table without recommending a solution.
  5. Focus on CAN. High performers focus on what they can do rather than what they can't accomplish.
  6. Don't blame. High performers take responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof). When they make a mistake they own it, fix it and learn from it.
  7. Are busy, productive, and proactive. While most people waste too much time planning, over-thinking, sitting on their hands or going in circles, high performers are out there getting the job done.
  8. Are life-long learners. High performers constantly work at educating and improving themselves, either formally (through academics), informally (by watching, listening, asking, reading, etc), experientially (by doing, trying)... or by employing all three educational strategies.
  9. Consistently do what they need to do. No matter how they feel or what curves life has thrown their way, they get it done. High performers don't let life become an excuse and don't allow their personal life or mood to impact their work. They work extra hours, nights, or weekends if they need to.
  10. Have a desire to be exceptional. They will typically do things others won't do. Becoming exceptional is a choice, and high performers are committed to that choice.
  11. Accept feedback. High performers aren't just open to feedback, they are more likely to act upon it.
  12. Set higher standards for themselves. The result? Greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and (of course) better results.
  13. Are more interested in effective than easy. While the majority of people look for the quickest, easiest way, high performers look for the course of action that will produce the best results over the long term.
  14. Finish what they start. While so many people spend their lives starting things they never finish, successful people get the job done -- even when the excitement and novelty have worn off. Even when it's not fun.
  15. Are resourceful. High performers don't wait around for someone to hand hold them through something. They figure it out and get it done.
Recognize these traits in yourself (and in the team members you hire) and put concentrated effort on growing them. You'll be optimally armed in your quest to become one of the best. Do you see other traits consistently in other extraordinary entrepreneurs? Which of these traits come easiest for you? And hardest? Drop by my Facebook page and let me know.

Next time, I'll tell you how to identify -- and squash -- mediocrity.

© 2011 Kelly O'Neil International

Kelly O'Neil, Founder and CEO of Kelly O'Neil International, best-selling author and award winning brand marketing strategist, is one of the most sought-after brand marketing and results coaches for conscious entrepreneurs and aspiring women leaders. Kelly is the inspirational driving force behind a rapidly expanding business empire that includes Ignite Business Coaching™, Millionaire Prodigy Club™, The Women's Leadership Academy™ and The Excellence Society™. She is committed to helping entrepreneurs find their authentic voice, design strategies and brand platforms to share their unique message and strategically build profitable businesses. For free resources, training materials and to sign up to receive a free CD "7 Simple Success Practices of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs," as well as Kelly's Arrive Ezine, visit


pTsaldari said...

Read your excellent and well written article this morning with my coffee. I'm a woman and a boomer. Kudo's to you dear writer, Kelly O'Neil.


Deb Bailey said...

Hi Penelope, Kelly makes a lot of great points in her post. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comments!

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