The 5 Most Common Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Everyone has a dream, but only a select few manage to seize opportunities, dig deep, and turn their visions into a reality. A fantastic business idea is a wonderful place to start, but the greatest entrepreneurs understand that much more than a clever concept is required for sustained success. The entrepreneurship community is increasingly diverse, which is wonderful. However, there are a handful of personality traits that reveal themselves to be critical if you are interested in launching a company.
Regardless of which industry you are hoping to disrupt or otherwise transform, you will want to embrace and develop these characteristics – all of which will better equip you to manage the tumultuous and exciting challenges ahead.
Failure is a part of life, and any honest entrepreneur can confirm that this holds true in the business world as well. Entrepreneurs understand that, in order for a business to thrive, you need to define clear, concrete goals, and keep your unwavering eye on the prize. Unfortunately, constantly setting and re-setting goals tends to yield the kind of never-ending workload that dissuades many folks from their commitment to a nascent business. Staying positive, dedicated, and enthusiastic, even in the face of enormous adversity, is exhausting. It’s also necessary for success.
Resilience, motivation, inspiration…at their most basic level, these concepts can be distilled into a simple refusal to give up. Now, it is important not to let your determination slip into an anti-productive expression of single-mindedness. However, there is just no substitution for sheer force of will and good, old-fashioned grit. So, when starting a business, ask yourself, “Do I truly want this bad enough?” When you can confidently answer in the affirmative, without a shadow of a doubt, then move forward and remember that, when you are an entrepreneur, the company lives and dies by how determined you are to carry it in the right direction.
You should have no misgivings about it – starting a business is taking a risk. As such, being a great entrepreneur requires a high degree of risk tolerance. This might mean putting your money where your mouth is, but financial risk is just a small piece of the puzzle. As the business owner, you lay your time and reputation on the line as well. In order to set yourself and your team apart, you may well need to venture into unchartered territory.
Are you the kind of person who is invigorated by high stakes and unknown variables? Entrepreneurs must be able to balance their ability to dedicate 100% of themselves to the parts of running a business they control with the fact that, if you want to break new ground, you’re going to have to be willing to take a chance on a new idea or product from time to time. As the adage goes, “if you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.”
If you are determined to realize your dream and willing to take risks to make that happen, you can certainly expect to encounter unplanned challenges. You should be flexible enough to adapt to these surprises. The ability to respond comfortably and effectively to any situation will serve you well, and is mostly a matter of perspective. Steadfast vision and direction is fantastic, but you need to be able to engage with the world as it is, not as you wish it was, and that requires a willingness to get messy. If you are the kind of person who enjoys being open-minded and thinks quickly on his or her feet, entrepreneurship may well be a perfect fit for you.
At this point, “thinking outside of the box” is basically a cliché, but it is a widely known and highly valued attribute for a reason. It matters. An entrepreneur should be able to see opportunity everywhere. Often, a creative mind is what lights the fire of an entrepreneurial spirit. You noticed a need or problem others were missing or unable to fix, and you have a brand new idea for how to meet that demand or resolve that issue.
Innovation is more than just a buzzword – it is what happens when you see a solution made invisible to others by their preconceived notions of what is possible. Even the best work ethic in the world is made more impactful by a new or surprising idea towards which to strive. A great creative spirit empowers you to feel more comfortable with the ambiguity that comes with building a business. When the unexpected occurs, you’ll be agile enough to adapt and come up with a creative fix that is entirely your own.
Finally, entrepreneurs need to be passionate about what they do. Passion is what refuels you when your dedication is wavering. It is what gives you the courage to take a risk, because you believe in your mission with all of your heart. When you are passionate about your work, you stay alert and invested, happy to evolve with your business in surprising ways. Finally, passion stokes the fire of creativity, as your consider and reconsider a product or service from all angles, eager to constantly improve.
Passion keeps you focused. It is the wind in your sails propelling you forward, even when all external voices are telling you to stop. Entrepreneurs know that, with all the stress of building a business from the ground up, the only thing you may have from time to time to keep your spirits up is your love for the work itself. Everyone should be passionate about how they spend their time. This holds especially true for entrepreneurs.