What Exactly is an Intrapreneur?
By definition, an entrepreneur is a person who begins or pursues a business venture. However, that is oversimplifying it a bit. An entrepreneur is much more than that.
Entrepreneurs are visionaries that are able to see an opportunity or invention and transform it into a profiting business.
They don’t just open and manage businesses. Entrepreneurs are innovators, providing new life-changing inventions that redefine how we live our life.
So, what does it take to be an entrepreneur?
From being a self-starter and flexible to being decisive and creative, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit is a multifaceted task.
Fortunately, we have put together this list of the must-have qualities of a successful entrepreneur.
You can easily pick pick up these skills to put you on the right track.
QUALITY 1: CREATIVITY
One of the top qualities every entrepreneur need is creativity. Creativity is key to prevent any business venture from going stagnant.
To be successful, entrepreneurs always have to be thinking of new ideas and innovating.
Your ideas should not just satisfy consumer needs.
Rather, they should exceed them. In reality, it is not enough to just have a unique idea. As an entrepreneur, you need an idea that is both unique and useful.
Creativity is valuable because it pushes people to improve their problem-solving skills.
Creative thinking utilizes a combination of convergent and divergent thinking.
Convergent thinking is focused on finding the best solution through close technical analysis.
Divergent thinking focuses on creative ideas to explore multiple solutions or options.
For entrepreneurs, a combination of both is key to having top-notch problem-solving skills.
Creative thinking places entrepreneurs on the path to ground breaking ideas and to transcend boundaries. With creative thinking, you are able to connect ideas between two different disciplines.
This allows entrepreneurs the ability to find new, unique solutions to problems in a completely unrelated area.
With creative thinking, an entrepreneur is able to truly think outside the box and independently gain new perspectives on problems.
Also, creativity can help improve productivity.
By tapping into their creativity, an entrepreneur disconnects from traditional ways of thinking and working to access unique and useful ideas.
In other words, entrepreneurs learn how to find more efficient techniques and methods that continues to inspire innovation and productivity.
Moreover, creative thinking is key to accessing other employee’s potential. Employees are more than just your workers. They are full of untapped knowledge and information that are just waiting to be utilized.
As such, it is in an entrepreneur’s best interest to allow their employees a degree of creative freedom. Otherwise, you are only using half of your employee’s skill set.
For more on how to become a creative entrepreneur, check out this video.
QUALITY 2: OPTIMISM
An entrepreneur needs to cultivate an optimistic attitude.
An unavoidable aspect of entrepreneurship is constantly taking on risks and the unexpected.
Although statistics about entrepreneurial success are inconsistent, they still point to the fact that the odds do not favor an entrepreneur.
According to Inc.com, 96% of all businesses do not survive past 10 years.
This is why it is so important for entrepreneurs to adopt an optimistic outlook or even be over-optimistic.
Some might argue that this is not a logical mindset to have, but optimism actually improves an entrepreneur’s chances for success in several ways.
First, optimism stimulates and supports creative thinking.
Optimism allows entrepreneurs to think past negative perspectives of the future. Instead, optimism allows entrepreneurs to focus on developing their vision of the future.
This way they have more room to conjure up creative ideas about what the future holds for them and their ideas. With optimism, product or business ideas have a greater chance of being fulfilled.
Second, optimism incites action. Entrepreneurship is full of hard questions and little time to contemplate every action.
Having an optimistic mindset drives entrepreneurs to act and not hesitate.
For entrepreneurs, optimism encourages them to see the future as always bright, which gives them more reason to be decisive.
Lastly, optimism makes an entrepreneur persistent.
Being an entrepreneur is full of challenges, but having optimism ensures you are more confident and persistent in your goal.
As such, no matter what challenges come your way, you do not let them deter you from your chosen path.
Moreover, optimism builds up your resilience to failure. It ensures that you can bounce back from failure both emotionally and cognitively.
In both senses, optimism ensures you do not linger on your past mistakes but make confident strides to new unique ideas.
For more about how optimism is a necessary trait for entrepreneurs check out this article.
QUALITY 3: MOTIVATION
A defining characteristic of an entrepreneur is their tenacity and commitment to make their ideas flourish.
However, in order to sustain this endless drive and creativity, entrepreneurs need to be motivated.
Now, in a way, motivation can also mean a sense of purpose. Motivation provides the reasons that compel an entrepreneur to keep working. In a way, it is the basis of what drives a business venture.
Motivation also provides hope and clarity in an entrepreneur’s vision. In other words, it helps establish an end goal.
Remember, even though not all business ventures have a clear end, you still need to be aiming at something.
Otherwise, there is no way to gauge whether or not your choices or actions have been beneficial or not.
Here are some things that can motivate an entrepreneur:
- Greater autonomy
- Greater income and influence
- More creative control
On another level, it is important for an entrepreneur to be self-motivated and be able to motivate others.
An entrepreneur has to be able to tap into their own personal drive to take an idea and turn it into a profitable business.
Additionally, an entrepreneur has to work hard to motivate other people to invest and believe in his or her work.
In short, motivation is key to keeping everyone on the same page and working towards the same goal.
For more on the secret of being self-motivated, check out this video.
QUALITY 4: FUTURE ORIENTED
Like we briefly mentioned above, an entrepreneur has to constantly be looking to their future. This is known as future orientation, and it has a massive part in shaping the entrepreneurial mindset.
Future orientation is looking forward.
Moreover, it is about realizing that the future is unwritten and that it is up to you to decide.
Now, this might seem like a simple concept, but it is quite difficult mindset to take on.
We have mentioned before that entrepreneurs are always setting goals or focusing on end goals.
However, goals are not as useful or reachable if you do not believe you can achieve it. In other words, a map is only useful if you actually use it.
That being said, it is vital to connect personal action to outcome. What do I mean by that? Well, instead of saying, “I have a goal to open my own makeup company, but that’s not up to me”, ask yourself, “What do I need to do to start my own makeup company?” Essentially, you have to believe in something to achieve it. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Being future-oriented is so central to being a good entrepreneur, and yet, we do not pay that much attention to it. Younger, incoming entrepreneurs are struggling to create their future.
They are waiting for it to just appear, which is why many of them suffer more failures than successes.
The key is to continue teaching this future-oriented mindset.
It encourages good judgment and innovative thinking because an individual knows that the future is a constant work-in-progress that can be defined by them.
With a future-oriented mindset, an entrepreneur is confident in their ability to drive their own story and not rely on fate or circumstance.
To see how a future-oriented mindset works in a company setting, check out this article.
QUALITY 5: ADAPTIVE
In addition to risks, entrepreneurs are bound to face a number of unexpected twists. As such, flexibility and adaptability is an important trait for any entrepreneur to have through both good and bad times.
Adaptability teaches entrepreneurs how to be life-long learners.
Being able to constantly hone your skills and pick up new ones is how entrepreneurs can survive the risky business world.
Also, the more you know, the more prepared you are to find solutions to problems and stay persistent.
On another level, entrepreneurs, at first, tend to be working alone.
As such, they are probably covering multiple jobs and occupations at the same time.
Being adaptable ensures you can stay balanced and focused while expanding and diversifying your skillset.
According to Profitable Popularity, there are seven different types of flexibility or adaptability that can help you be a more successful entrepreneur.
- Physical Flexibility
- Cognitive Flexibility
- Financial Flexibility
- Time Flexibility
- Environmental Flexibility
- Emotional Flexibility
- Future Flexibility
Cultivating these seven forms of flexibility will help you improve your coping mechanism.
Remember, the way you handle setbacks can define your success, and being flexible can help you adapt to whatever trouble comes your way.
In the same way, being flexible and adaptable allows you to reinvent yourself as the industry shifts.
This way you don’t get left behind.
For more on the advantages of adaptability, check out this video.
QUALITY 6: PERSUASIVE
A key aspect of being a successful entrepreneur is being able to take a unique and useful idea and convince or persuade others that it is worth their investment.
Remember, not everyone will immediately understand your ideas or why they are valuable.
If your idea does not immediately capture the attention of investors and potential customers, you probably have to take your idea back to the drawing board.
Being persuasive is also key to building a network of connections who will support your business and help you develop your idea. In this case, persuasion is more of an interpersonal skill.
Unfortunately, persuasion is not a simple skill to pick up. Moreover, there is no one right way to develop your skills of persuasion.
If used incorrectly, persuasion can come across as insincere, which is not what you need to develop business connections.
However, there are some good approaches that can make you persuasive to any audience.
Here are some of those approaches:
Get to Know Your Audience
You cannot make a successful connection with people and gain support if you do not know your audience. Moreover, you can’t fulfill everyone’s expectations all the time.
As such, you need to identify your audience and where their values lie so you can connect with them.
Additionally, you want to zero in on the people who completely align with your ideas.
Those are the people who you should focus on developing a deeper relationship with.
Use a Neutral, Familiar Problem
One way to build an easy relationship with your audience is to work from a familiar problem. This ends up being neutral ground between you and the audience.
This makes them more likely to agree with you because they think you understand where they are coming from.
Have Multiple Messages
Similar to knowing your audience, you also need to tailor your message to fit different audiences.
That does not mean to change the core meaning of your message, but your approach can be adapted in whatever way best sells your message.
Listen First and then Sell Your Skills
Part of persuading people to believe in your idea and your skills is being able to show them that you are experienced.
However, the last thing you want to do badger them with your resume.
You want to aim to create a relationship with your audience by showing them the skills that will benefit them the most.
Utilize the Power of Contrasts
Contrasts are a good way to show the strength of your message or your idea.
In other words, try to create scenarios that successfully implement your idea and one that doesn’t.
This is an easy way to ease into the advantages of your idea.
Lastly, the key to being persuasive is being confident in your own idea.
People read other people, and if potential investors or customers see that you do not believe in your own idea they are less likely to support you.
Moreover, the more you believe in your idea, the more confidently you can speak on it.
QUALITY 7: RESOURCEFUL
Any strong entrepreneur will know how to do more with less.
As a business owner or entrepreneur, the industry can always take unexpected twists and you have to learn how to make a profit on tight resources.
However, according to Harvard Business Review, being resourceful is not always about dealing with deprivation.
As a matter of fact, resourcefulness is a virtue that means accomplishing more with the talents and skills you already possess.
In other words, you need to turn your innovation inward and optimize your talents in a new way. Whether it is creating something new or making something old work better, your own skills can be utilized in a variety of ways.
A resourceful entrepreneur also means making revisions with existing resources.
As in, during difficult times or situations, don’t think about changing everything about how your business carries on.
Maybe revise specific tasks and responsibilities instead of aiming for more costly solutions. Additionally, if you have staff, look to them for support and advice.
This is a great way to stay open-minded and flexible, allowing your business to grow organically.
For more tips on becoming a resourceful entrepreneur, check out this video.
QUALITY 8: VISIONARY
By definition, a vision is foresight or the ability to picture the future and plan accordingly. For an entrepreneur, vision is within the same realm of motivation.
Vision is the drive or energy that makes an entrepreneur dare to explore and create.
Setting a clear vision has seen many entrepreneurs through some ambitious and almost impossible missions. However, you cannot just stop at defining the vision.
Now, you have to transform it into something tangible and something that can be shared.
This is so important because a tangible vision creates and establishes a culture.
On one hand, having the vision is key to imprinting the same passion and interest in your idea on a wider audience.
On the other hand, it is key to spreading your ideals and values with your team.
Now, the vision is not just driving you towards your success, but it is also driving your team’s passion and energy.
Now, you are all sharing in the same amount of enthusiasm that will turn your idea into a reality.
And that is the true purpose of a vision. A vision has to be shared and nurtured.
Otherwise, you risk slowing down your pursuit of your goal. Vision is what focuses your motivation, perseverance and passion toward a single goal.
To learn how to preserve your entrepreneurial vision, check out this article.
QUALITY 9: DECISIVE
Nothing kills a business venture like uncertainty and indecisiveness. If an entrepreneur too much time contemplating an action or a choice, they risk losing out on opportunities.
Additionally, they create unnecessary anxiety for themselves and their employees, if they have them.
The business world is full of extremely difficult choices and freezing up or hesitating is a sure way to shoot yourself in the foot.
You have to come to the unfortunate realization that you are not going to know every answer to every question.
However, as a leader, you have to prioritize your goals and execute it, even if there are some mistakes along the way. Remember, no decision is worse than a bad decision.
The fact of the matter is that the business or industry you are working in won’t wait for you to make a decision.
It is important that you or any aspiring entrepreneurs understand that everyone experiences uncertainty.
That is just the nature of the beast. However, inaction does not get you closer to your end goal.
We have said many times that being an entrepreneur involves risks. Within those risks, there are calculated risks you have to choose to take to make the better decision later on.
As such, when times get tough, an entrepreneur does not shy away from the hard questions.
An entrepreneur keeps their eye on their goal, keeps a healthy amount of perspective, and makes the decision no matter what.
QUALITY 10: COMPETITIVE
The best kind of entrepreneur has a competitive spirit and always aims to win.
Moreover, much like having an optimistic spirit, staying competitive means you never settle for the losses.
It is the exact kind of spirit you need to outdo the number of other talented entrepreneurs out there and get your idea or message heard.
If you look at the track record of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs, none of them became successful by conceding to the competition.
As a matter of fact, they were successful because losing was never an option to them.
Moreover, being competitive makes sure you survive the business at all.
We have listed so many valuable traits and qualities of a successful entrepreneur but being competitive is what ensures you can use those skills in the first place.
Of course, having vision, optimism and creativity is important, but if you are not competitive enough, your idea will fall short against the masses.
For strategies on overcoming your competition, check out this video.
Being an entrepreneur is no small feat. It is perhaps one of the most complicated balancing acts in the world.
They are constantly thinking beyond traditional boundaries and working to deliver the most creative and innovative ideas out there.
If you are looking to become an entrepreneur, we hope this article has cleared up exactly what you are walking into. It won’t be the most straightforward journey, but these traits can ease your path to success.
We hope you enjoyed this article! If you have any thoughts or questions, please share them with us.