What makes some entrepreneurs stand out from the crowd? Is it the quality of their ideas, brand, great marketing, or something else?

I attended the 2017 Mindshare Summit—a gathering of top health and wellness entrepreneurs hosted by New York Times bestselling author, JJ Virgin.

The summit brings together entrepreneurs to learn, share, and collaborate. Virgin’s mantra for the summit is, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”

The spirit of sharing and helping others was evident. What’s more, many of the entrepreneurs are crushing it. They are running profitable online businesses, helping millions through their health platforms, and landing publishing deals.

How are they able to do this? Despite different topics and expertise, effective entrepreneurs have several habits in common. How many of these habits do you share?

1. The best entrepreneurs niche down.

Many entrepreneurs will over-generalize when first starting out. There’s a fear that if they are too specific, they will turn people away. I’ve seen this happen with many authors as well—the fear that if your subject matter is too narrow, you won’t reach enough people.

The highly effective entrepreneurs at Mindshare were specific in their niche. By narrowing their focus, they connect more with the people who are exactly right for their message.

Which of the following platforms seem more effective to you?:

  • “Health and Fitness for Women” versus “Yoga for Women Over 50.”

  • “Women’s Hormones” versus “Birth Control Effects Advocate.”

  • “Men’s Fitness” versus “Optimizing Men’s Health Through Strength Training.”

How can you niche down so that your message is clear? The more you know about your ideal reader or customer, the easier it becomes to find them.

2. Great entrepreneurs own their space.

During the summit, I heard phrases such as:

“My authentic truth.”

“Discover your magic sauce.”

“I stepped into my truths.”

“Own your space.”

The most effective entrepreneurs have a story that matters. They are not afraid to be vulnerable and to share their hero’s journey.


  • “I went through my twenties being tired and sick; I took matters into my own hands, researched, experimented, and defeated my symptoms.”

  • “After being abused as a child, I now advocate for awareness of the impact of traumatic events on autoimmune disease.”

  • “As a doctor, I’ve seen firsthand the effects of poor posture on our kids. As our phones get smarter, our children’s posture is getting worse, and I aim to fix that.”

What’s your hero’s journey? Can you tell that story in 90 seconds? Practice until it’s perfect. Then, use it everywhere—your website, books, and social media.

3. They have multiple streams of income.

It’s not about one book or a single event. Effective entrepreneurs are always looking for new ideas and new ways to spread their messages.

The entrepreneurs I met were in various stages of publishing their first or second books. Others were collaborating with their colleagues to film a documentary. Those just starting out, were looking for ideas to grow their online business.

Regardless of the venue, effective entrepreneurs don’t sit back and wait. They work on many projects and use the results to grow their business.

4. They use creativity.

When marketing their books or any launch, the best entrepreneurs look for what others are not doing. They focus on where their ideal customer is hanging out, and they look for new and interesting ways to connect.


  • One author placed book ads on dry cleaner hangers in Manhattan because his audience was urban professional men in their 20s/30s.

  • Another author sent her book to 1,000 hairdressers.

  • Clever authors survey their audience and garner excitement by asking them to help choose a cover or a title for the new book.

  • Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning, had a strategy of doing 1-3 things to promote his book each week leading up to the launch.

How can you use creativity to differentiate your book from all the rest?

5. Highly effective entrepreneurs show others how they are fascinating.


My Fascination Archetype is the Secret Weapon. Discover yours at howtofascinate.com.

Sally Hogshead gave a keynote presentation that blew the audience away. Her message to the world is, “You are fascinating.” She offers an assessment on her website that tells you how the world sees you, and what your primary and secondary advantages are.

Sally points to a study done where women indicated they would be willing to pay $388 per month to be the most fascinating person in the room—more than most monthly car payments. Most people don’t feel that they are fascinating to others. Do you?

But when you recognize your primary advantage (Sally doesn’t use the words strengths and weaknesses), you become empowered by it. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Use your primary advantage because it’s what makes you fascinating.

Truly powerful entrepreneurs know how to fascinate. But they also show others how they are fascinating. Sally recommends identifying the top 100 people with whom you want to work. Find their most fascinating tweets, Facebook posts, and tell them what makes them fascinating.

After struggling to grow her speaking business, Sally mailed small suitcases to 100 people describing how they are fascinating. The results? Not only did they love hearing about themselves, but she also ended up getting so many speaking requests, she had to turn many down.

To recap: first, identify what makes you fascinating. I highly recommend Sally’s website and assessment tool.

Second, identify ten people with whom you want to connect. Take a few minutes to find something amazing that they have done and drop them an email or a handwritten note telling them how fascinating they are.

6. They package their mutant power.entrepreneurs

Ryan Deiss, CEO of DigitalMarketer.com, spoke about adopting a brand mindset. In his words, “People don’t buy from you because of what you know. They buy because of what you can do for them.”

It’s not necessarily about credentials. You don’t have to have a Ph.D. to write or blog or create courses. What’s more powerful is showing how your unique superpower can help others.

Deiss says that the best entrepreneur brands have a singular token that is easily shareable. An example is Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee. Asprey came up with the idea of putting butter in your coffee.

Of course, there’s a lot more to it. See his blog for all the health-related benefits, but the simplicity of the concept is that anyone, anywhere can put butter or coconut oil in their coffee. Dave gets the credit and his brand grows exponentially as a result.

Your singular token could be a 5-step system or a 1-page chart that you copyright and share freely.

Another wisdom nugget from Deiss was that you should be able to describe the way you bring in new customers into your organization on a napkin. It should be that simple.

For more about how to optimize customer value, see Deiss’s article.

7. They have a mission that is bigger than themselves.entrepreneurs

Deiss argues that without a mission and a set of core values, it is impossible for you to say, “No.”

You will lose because you can’t say no.

You need a mission that is bigger than you. What is your five-year mission?

For example, you might write a 5-year mission statement such as:

  • Write 20 books.

  • Help 1,000 patients overcome cancer.

  • Teach 10,000 moms how to help their kids enjoy reading.

Next, take that mission statement you wrote and add another 0. Over and over again, the entrepreneurs I met challenged themselves (and each other) to think BIG.

  • Write 200 books.

  • Help 10,000 patients overcome cancer.

  • Teach 100,000 moms how to help their kids enjoy reading.

As you might imagine, the entrepreneurs and speakers were informative and captivating. I found it inspiring to be around such high energy people who believe in their missions.

Even better, the seasoned entrepreneurs welcomed newbies who are just starting out. Ideas flowed, information exchanged, and there was a true sense of collaboration.

How can you challenge yourself to be part of the rising tide mindset? What can you contribute to the conversation in your niche? How can you inspire and lift up others?

Let me know what you thought of this article by leaving a comment below.