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13 Ways to Become a Positive Role Model for Yourself and Others

If you spend time becoming a better person, everything else will follow.

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A positive role model is someone others want to emulate and follow, and successful entrepreneurs often become — sometimes unknowingly — the role models for other professionals. Whether it’s at work or in their personal lives, these leading entrepreneurs become a focus of attention because they have qualities that aspiring founders strive to replicate.

The members of Young Entrepreneur Council recognize, however, that in order to be positive role models for others they need to work on being the best versions of themselves as well. Below, 13 of them share some ways you can work to become a great role model not only for other people, but also for yourself.

1. Share Your Successes and Failures

Live, breathe and practice what you preach. This is one of the mottos I live by. Social media has allowed me to reach hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, and it could be used to influence either positivity or negativity. As a personal brand, I share 100 percent authenticity. I share not only the successes, but also the failures that are happening in my life: business, fitness and even relationships.

Fritz Colcol, Simply Thalia

2. Own Up to Your Weaknesses

It’s important to let others know that it’s OK to not be 100 percent confident in some areas and show that you want to improve. It’s all about being genuine and honest with ourselves. Just like in real life, honesty goes a long way. Rather than trying to cover up your weaknesses or mistakes, own up to them and you’ll set a good example for the team.

Maria Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Be Driven by Values

If you’re really clear on what your values are and what habits you want to have, you can remind yourself to follow them. You can put visual cues in your office to keep you on track. This will help you be a role model for yourself and for others by helping you become the best value-driven version of yourself.

Cody Candee, Bounce

4. Learn and Adapt

Be a lifelong learner. The workplace can bring change and criticism. Display your integrity by meeting these challenges head-on. Rather than complain, learn and adapt. Not only is this a positive quality to have in yourself, but it can be a positive example to others in your workplace too. It may be especially important for younger workers to see you model your willingness to adapt and change.

Brian Greenberg, True Blue Life Insurance

5. Find a Way to Be Helpful

Be accessible and add value to people’s lives. You can’t operate in a silo. You have to be visible, and you need to be helpful, useful and giving of yourself. That means you need to be interested in what other people have to say and you need to engage with them on more than a cursory level. Focus on doing good and being good, and a positive reputation as a role model will follow.

Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com

6. Become a Volunteer

One way that I’ve worked to become a positive role model has been to volunteer. Whether I’m sitting on an advisory committee or taking a position within a nonprofit organization, being involved and giving back is a great way to be a role model for others while also keeping yourself grounded.

Joe Morgan, Joe’s Datacenter, LLC

7. Demonstrate Confidence and Positivity

One way of becoming a positive role model for others and for yourself is to demonstrate confidence. A confident person always stays positive and calm no matter how difficult times are. When you demonstrate such a positive attitude, you also help others stay calm and confident.

Josh Kohlbach, Wholesale Suite

8. Prioritize Health and Well-Being

I hold myself accountable to live a healthy lifestyle, maintain a work-life balance and always look for ways to make things better and more efficient for me and my team. Company culture and atmosphere start at the top, and I want to foster a team that keeps health and well-being as a priority since that’s how we can all do our best work and continue learning. 

Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.

9. Set and Celebrate Goals

Set and achieve short- and long-term goals. Practice action plans to achieve these goals daily. Be disciplined in your pursuit. It sets a powerful example of what can be accomplished through repeated daily practice that is aligned with your goals. I am empowered when I hit goals and celebrate short- and long-term wins with my team. It is an incomparable motivator.

Matthew Capala, Alphametic

10. Invest in Personal and Professional Development

Read books and talk about them among your colleagues. Sign up for webinars, go to seminars, attend conferences and share your experiences. Always keep in mind that you will have a much more positive influence on others by “showing” instead of “telling.” Show your commitment to growth and you’ll be a positive role model to others.

Kristopher Brian Jones, LSEO.com

11. Admit Your Mistakes

Have the humility to admit the mistakes you make. This will not only improve the way people look at you, but it will also help you become a better version of yourself. When you admit your mistakes, you’ll have the willingness to learn from them to avoid any such mistakes in the future. It’s also a great way to encourage others to do the same without being embarrassed about it.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

12. Practice Self-Awareness

The best way to become a positive role model is to practice self-awareness. When you can look at a situation objectively as it happens, you’re more likely to make the “correct” choice. It can take a long time to master self-awareness, but it’s something I strongly recommend to people who want to become positive role models. 

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

13. Empower Others to Grow With You

I become a positive role model by lifting up others who have the potential to be better than me. It can also be about empowering and commending the competition. To be a positive role model is to focus on your own path, knowing that the best way to go up is by helping a lot of people to grow with you, not holding them back so you can be on top alone.

Daisy Jing, Banish

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

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