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On the surface, successful entrepreneurs seem to be the same as everyone else. But look closely and you’ll see that in a few ways they are very, very different–and so is how they start and run their businesses.

1. They always prefer action to thinking.

A detailed plan is great, but stuff happens, and most entrepreneurs don’t make it past the first three action items before adapting to reality. (I started a company assuming I’d provide book-design services to publishers; I ended up ghostwriting those books instead.)

Spend some time planning and a lot more time doing. If you’re unsure, do something, and then react appropriately. It’s easy to ponder and evaluate and analyze yourself out of business.


While some research has found that companies with completed business plans are twice as likely to grow their business, busy entrepreneurs might be reluctant to dig in and revise theirs when circumstances change.

A business plan is a vital document for your company, even if you work alone or have no plans to show it to outsiders. Articulating and writing down your business goals can help your company succeed. It gives you and the rest of your staff something to strive for and refer to during challenging times and helps ensure everyone is on the same page and working toward the same vision.


Alfred A. Edmond, Jr. of Black Enterprise, a leading resource for Black business owners, highlights entrepreneurs who’ve left an impact on the African-American community.

Athletes and entertainers. Abolitionists and civil rights leaders. Poets and preachers. Authors and painters. Soldiers and politicians. Every Black History Month, our recognition of great Black achievers seems to run the gamut of human endeavor, with one glaring omission: Entrepreneurship. READ MORE

To paraphrase Jay Z, “Beyoncé is not a businesswoman. She’s a business, woman.” And so it made total sense when Harvard Business School announced that it would publish a case study about the perfectly executed secret-release of Beyoncé’s self-titled album, a visual masterpiece that arrived on iTunes unannounced — no promotional tour, no singles, nothing — on December 13, 2013. Read more.