10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
What are great entrepreneurs made of? If you’ve ever thought about becoming an entrepreneur, then you need to possess and develop few characteristics.
Below are ten traits and qualities successful entrepreneurs have, and tips on how you can get those too.
#1. UNENDING PASSION
“Enthusiasm is the sparkle in your eyes, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand and the irresistible surge of will and energy to execute your ideas.” – Henry Ford
It might seem like a cliché but being an entrepreneur isn’t just a smooth ride to success. If you want to succeed and to be happy in life, you need to do things that make you smile and not cry. Every good entrepreneur has a tremendous passion for what they are doing – for changing the world with their products and services.
It might sound crazy but passion is the reason entrepreneurs get up in the morning. It provides people with motivation, movement and resilience. You won’t be stuck in the rut if you have passion – you won’t be fazed by problems.
If you have the drive to keep going, you’ll keep moving forwards and you’ll be more creative in finding solutions. Passion also means you stay hungry as an entrepreneur because it ensures you don’t settle.
Your passion to succeed and to create a great product or service means you’ll continue to learn and seek answers – ensuring you improve as an entrepreneur in the process.
How to find your passion?
Start by creating a simple list of things you love. What things give you the most joy in life? What are the actions, the people, the emotions and the things you enjoy the most?
Don’t think what you think you want to do but what you actually enjoy doing. If money and fame were out of the equation, what would make you get up in the morning and put a smile on your face?
If you think about the issue like this, then you can start understanding where your passion is rather than focusing on where you think it should be.
#2. THE ABILITY TO STAY MOTIVATED
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
The life of an entrepreneur can be hard and no matter how passionate you are, sometimes getting out of bed might seem overwhelming. But the successful entrepreneurs do it – they stay motivated even when times get tough. A great entrepreneur is the one who encounters a problem and still keeps moving forward because they are driven.
You need to also understand that the road of an entrepreneur can be lonely. The world’s greatest entrepreneurs haven’t relied on others to motivate them. They are able to self-motivate and to find the fire inside them each morning.
How to motivate yourself?
Motivation takes focus. The quick way to increase both is to start setting clear goals. You can find stunning tips for goal setting in the video below:
The key is to make the goals small and tangible. Small in the sense that you break down a bigger goal – such as launching your own business – to smaller goals – setting up a website, finding a partner, etc. You also need the goals to be tangible. For example, becoming an entrepreneur is not as a tangible goal as launching a cosmetic shop online (although you are doing the same thing in both situations).
Make sure you take time to reward yourself for accomplishing tasks. It doesn’t have to be anything huge – a new book, a date with your spouse or a five-minute nap can be just as motivating as a huge, expensive holiday.
It also helps to surround yourself with other high-achievers. If you don’t have other entrepreneurs around you or people with big goals, you might find yourself drifting away from these ideals.
It’s important to be with like-minded people (not those who agree with you on everything, but who have similar values and goals). It can help you solve problems when the going gets tough if you have examples of other people doing the same.
Finally, it helps to listen to your passion and to allow it to guide you. If you are passionate about what you do, you’ll almost automatically feel motivated to get up and work each morning.
#3. WILLINGNESS TO TAKE AND TO TOLERATE RISK
“Security is mostly superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller
Successful entrepreneurs are those who take risks. Setting up a business from nothing is a risk in itself – if that makes you lose sleep, then you are going to end up burning out in the next months. You need to see risks as part of the job description and to be able to navigate the risky world of business in style.
These entrepreneurs understand the difference between calculated risks and mindless risk. They know risks will be part of the game but by taking their chances, they can succeed quicker than if they just sat around waiting for the right moment (which almost never comes!).
To succeed, you can’t let the odds to rule – you need to know when to take the risks and when to avoid them.
How to become better at tolerating risks?
What can you do to become better at tolerating risks? The best thing to do is to keep learning. Learn about being an entrepreneur, your industry, the taxes, human behavior and everything out there. The more knowledge you have, the better equipped you are at taking risks. You limit the chances of making a mistake because you are able to trust your knowledge.
Furthermore, you need to become better at creating backup plans. The risks you take are easier to handle when you know there’s a Plan B. You won’t feel scared or nervous during the process because you know there is a backup to fall to – something to keep you going even when you don’t first succeed.
#4. BEING ABLE TO GET ALONG AND TO LEAD PEOPLE
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell
Success never comes to people who do it all on their own. Every successful person on this planet can and should thank other people for helping them achieve those goals.
The difference with many successful entrepreneurs is they don’t just have these people in their life but they also get along with them and lead them to better things. Entrepreneurs are great at elevating others while still acknowledging the importance of other people in their own success story.
Entrepreneurs genuinely like people and they want to surround themselves with other high-achieving people. You need to have that networking bug and a real desire to keep in touch with people.
You should be a person who cares about other people and likes to help them. It also helps when you know how to get people on your side and working towards the common goal – a successful entrepreneur is always a great leader too.
How to network and lead more effectively?
It’s essential to start treating people with kindness and compassion. But you can’t really fake this; you actually have to care about solving problems for others and helping them succeed. If you got this empathy and compassion, you are on the right track.
But you can learn to be better at networking and leading. It’s a good idea to start networking as part of your everyday schedule. You can do this by:
|Schedule a networking hour|
|Connect with the people you know|
The key here is to make sure you stay in touch with people around the year and not just when you need something. You can’t just talk to those who are useful for you at that point in time. It’s crucial to be available for those who need you so that they can help you when you need it.
In terms of leadership, it’s important to find your voice. Consider checking out the leadership post for more.
#5. OPENNESS TO CHANGE
“Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” – Elon Musk
The world is constantly changing and this applies to the world of business. The different industries out there are transforming – technology is one of the major reasons for the change. For entrepreneurs, the key is to adapt to the change quick enough. Trying to fight against change would be a huge mistake.
If you don’t have an open mind in the modern world, you are likely to miss out on opportunities. You can’t look the changing world around you and think you’re way is the only way of doing it.
A successful entrepreneur is always looking for new ways of doing things. If you understand change is inevitable then you can succeed in the world of business.
How to become adapted to change?
Change is not always easy. But you need to view it as an opportunity rather than a problem or threat. Sometimes change seems bad at the outset and it’s painful. But it mostly leads to something better – it always opens up a new opportunity even if you can’t see it straight away.
It’s a good idea to become better at dealing with change by forcing yourself to new situations. If you willingly seek out new experiences and unexpected situations, you will learn how to adapt to these moments.
Simple things such as travelling to new places, trying different foods, challenging yourself with new situations are enough to help you withstand the stress of change better.
#6. TOUGHNESS TO KEEP MOVING FORWARD
“Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” – Conrad Hilton
As you’ve already become aware, the life of an entrepreneur is not easy. But the successful ones have a strong characteristic of staying tough in the face of adversity.
These entrepreneurs know that things don’t always go according to plan and the world of business can provide you with your (un)fair-share of setbacks. But no matter what life throws at these entrepreneurs, they will keep marching forward. They have an aura of resilience around them.
How to be more resilient?
If you want to survive as an entrepreneur, you need to build up resilience. You can do this by building up your confidence. It’s important to trust your own ability to survive and to succeed. If you don’t trust yourself, you can’t keep moving forward when the going gets tough.
This resilience and confidence stem also from your ability to take feedback. If you know how to learn from your mistakes, then you can move forward stronger. You realize that negative feedback or mistakes don’t define or destroy you – you can use the experiences to grow and to learn, becoming stronger and better as a result.
It’s as crucial to understand that some things are out of your control. You need to be able to identify things you can change (not enough customers – increase your reach) and those you can’t (customers don’t have enough spending power because of the current economy).
The ability to know what things you can change and what you can’t, will equip you to handle things and to let go of worrying about things you can’t control.
#7. DESIRE TO COMPETE AND TO WIN
“Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” – Vince Lombardi
Entrepreneurs can’t be everybody’s friends. There is no such thing as a participation award in the world of business. Some win and some lose. The most successful entrepreneurs want to win. They like the competition and thrive on the prospect of beating the competition. Ultimately, the aim of an entrepreneur is to be better than the competition and if you don’t have this thirst to win, you won’t succeed.
You need the hunger to win. It guarantees you are always working as hard as possible. The need to be the best will ensure you don’t settle for second best but you thrive for greatness each time. Being an entrepreneur is similar to being a top athlete – you need the same willingness to put yourself on the line and the hunger to come out on top.
How to love competing?
It’s important to understand the love for competition doesn’t mean you wish bad for others. Entrepreneurs don’t compete purely for personal gain. They want to win because they believe in their vision – they know others will benefit from their victories.
So, you first need to understand this. You need to know that you don’t want to harm other entrepreneurs – you just think and know your product or service is the winning one.
Be willing to put yourself on the line. Challenge yourself with new experiences and start looking for those clever ways to make your product or service better. Don’t shy away from a healthy competition – find the opportunities where you can prove yourself.
#8. UNDERSTANDING OF FINANCES AND BUSINESS BASICS (OR THE WILLINGNESS TO LEARN!)
“Rule No. 1: never lose money. Rule No. 2: never forget rule number 1.” – Warren Buffett
Good entrepreneurs need to be good with money – it’s as simple as that. There has to be a certain understanding of how business works. You can’t grow a successful business if you don’t know anything about finances or business. Even if you don’t do it all on your own, you’d still need to be smart enough to figure out who are those people worth listening to.
When it comes to entrepreneurialism, many think it’s just about the big picture. But it isn’t just about the ability to identify these major forces and trends. You do need to have attention to detail and an understanding of how minor things impact the business. Successful entrepreneurs understand what cash flow is and how their taxation impacts the bottom line.
How to develop your business skills?
While some have an innate ability to understand numbers and the like, the great thing is that it can all be learnt later in life too. You just need to be willing to learn and to listen to those who’ve already made it in the world of business.
You should definitely read business books, follow entrepreneurs on social media, check up industry blogs and attend seminars and workshops. Take in everything you can about how to make it as an entrepreneur and how to handle money.
Don’t just settle for other people telling you something is a certain way but learn about it and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to say when you don’t understand something – it’s the only way to learn.
#9. CREATIVE AND PROGRESSIVE VIEW OF THE WORLD
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
Success in the world of entrepreneurialism means innovation. The best entrepreneurs are creative creatures – they see opportunities in places where others might not. They think outside of the box and introduce us to products and services we sometimes didn’t realize we needed.
You need to be willing to this change, as mentioned earlier. You need to be open to it and you need to have a progressive view of the world. You’ll succeed if you understand the world is changing and you need to embrace and innovate this change.
How to stay creative?
It’s sometimes hard to keep creating when you’ve found a formula that works. But it’s important to constantly stay on the lookout for new ideas – you never know what you find.
Again, one of the best ways to keep innovating is to keep learning. If you are learning new things and challenging your mind with new ideas, you will learn new ways of looking at things. You don’t want to be stuck with just your industry but to see what entrepreneurs in different sectors and in different countries are doing.
By surrounding yourself with new information and different people, you will become more creative and open to ideas. So, don’t be afraid to trial new technology, trying different methods and techniques and meeting people with different mindsets.
#10. DETERMINATION IN THE FACE OF DECISIONS
“In every success story, you will find someone who has made a courageous decision.” – Peter F. Drucker
Successful entrepreneurs are great at making decisions. Now, this doesn’t always mean they make the right decisions. (Remember how they can face adversity and how they accept risks!)But it does mean they are willing to make those decisions nonetheless. Successful entrepreneurs don’t ponder a decision for weeks and months – they understand the opportunity might slip by if they did.
The world of business is changing fast. If you don’t move with it, you are going to lose out on opportunities. You can’t ponder decisions for too long – sometimes you just need to decide even when you’re not sure of the facts. It all comes down to your ability to tolerate the risks, too.
How to become better at decision-making?
You need to learn to stop focusing on things that don’t matter. You need to be able to quickly identify those aspects and elements that influence the decision and those that don’t. Mindtools.com has a seven-step formula for decision-making:
|Step 1. Creating a constructive environment|
|Step 2. Investigating the situation in detail|
|Step 3. Generating good alternatives|
|Step 4. Exploring the solutions|
|Step 5. Choosing the best solution|
|Step 6. Evaluating the plan|
|Step 7. Communicating the decision and taking action|
You might also want to follow the footsteps of notable entrepreneurs and remove the need to make mindless decisions. There’s a reason Mark Zuckerberg always wears the same colored clothing
Finally, it can help to start setting timelines and goals. Not only can it be a motivational tool, as discussed above, but it can also help you become a direct decision-maker. You’ll become better at moving from A to B – you have vision.
THE CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKE SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS
The above ten characteristics are things all successful entrepreneurs share. If you look at them closely, you notice how they aren’t stand-alone traits people possess or don’t possess.
They are connection qualities and behaviors – without passion, you can’t find motivation and without your ability to take risks, you can’t ever be decisive in the face of decisions.
These qualities can also be enhanced and emboldened. You can learn to find your passion or become better at knowing how the world of business works. That’s the beauty of entrepreneurialism. If you got the spark, you can probably recognize yourself from the text.
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