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4 Powerful Secrets Outstanding Entrepreneurs Know that Most People Do Not

Top entrepreneurs and experts have shared amazing strategies in this Inc. Magazine column. The best boil down to these four secrets to success

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BY Damon Brown - 28 Jul 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Today marks two years of writing this Inc. column. Many of the insights learned along the way I wish I had before the column started, back when my second startup, Cuddlr, was acquired. Now I've had the privilege to talk with or listen to some of the most insightful entrepreneurs and even include them in my Bite-Sized Entrepreneur newsletter and books.

Time allows you to notice patterns - and the past two years have been no exception. Here are commonalities the top performing entrepreneurs tend to share.

1. They get rest

Arianna Huffington did an entire book on the subject. The recently minted richest person in the world (albeit briefly) Jeff Bezos gets 8 hours a night. I saw my productivity fall apart firsthand when I sacrificed sleep for achievement. As discussed in my best-seller The Bite-Sized Entrepreneur, misguided entrepreneurs can mistake busyness for productivity - and your productivity drops with every all nighter you pull. Whether a nap or an early bedtime, the wisest move is prioritize rest.

2. They show gratitude

Seriously. As I recently wrote, gratitude serves the dual purpose of noting progress and creating momentum. Without gratitude, it becomes harder to feel like you are making a dent in the status quo. Worse, you are less likely to acknowledge how others are helping you along the way - which can sour your most important relationships and hurt you in the future.

3. They mitigate risk

Forget the stereotype, as the wisest entrepreneurs don't go all in unless they absolutely have to. Mark Cuban argues that risks aren't really risks, as you should know your product, audience and market in such detail that you aren't putting much to chance. As The Art of Risk author Kayt Sukel told me, even the riskiest entrepreneurial that prove successful are often the result of behind-the-scenes homework. Superstars just make it look easy.

4. They sacrifice a bit today for a lot tomorrow

Dedicating an hour every day to something for a month adds up to whole days of your life. Top performers know where their time goes and how to maximize it - and true progress means letting go of short-term satisfaction. Or, as Disrupt Yourself author Whitney Johnson put it, "It means they are effectively disrupting themselves, because when you develop capabilities for the future, you are taking a slight step back potentially sacrificing short-term productivity in order to have long-term gains."