Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? While every success story is unique, there are certain traits that most successful entrepreneurs share. You may have been born with some of these qualities; others you might want to nurture and develop.
Comfortable with Risks
While you don’t need to be an adrenaline junkie to take on entrepreneurship, it does help to have a healthy tolerance for risk. Starting a business means putting your money, your reputation, and your career on the line. People who are risk-averse will have a lot of trouble making decisions and taking chances along the way to business success. Luckily, this is a trait that can be developed over time.
Curious About a Range of Topics
It’s not enough to know your industry or profession well. If you’re going to start a business, you also need to cultivate your knowledge across a wide range of topics, including marketing, leadership, reading financial statements, and understanding the basics of business law. Business opportunities like Amway offer excellent continuing education programs. If you’re striking out on your own, you’ll want to connect with the Small Business Administration or start reading magazines and books about business.
Disciplined for The Long Haul
There will be times while running your business when you simply won’t want to do the work. Maybe a client project has run over-budget and now you’re losing money on it but you still have to put in hundreds of hours to finish the work. Maybe your bookkeeping software ate all your numbers the day before you were supposed to deliver them to the accountant and now you have to work all night to recreate them. Successful entrepreneurs tackle these situations and many similar ones without losing their determination.
Flexible and Agile
Do you adapt well to change? Are you just as good at left-brain tasks as you are at right-brain tasks? Do you recover well when the rug gets pulled out from under you? Entrepreneurship requires a great deal of adaptability and the ability to manage a wide variety of tasks. Things will not always go according to plan and you’ll need to shift your plans on the fly. Cultivate the ability to face change with grace if you want to succeed in business.
It’s time to pay the staff and there isn’t enough money in the bank account. An angry client or vendor wants to talk to you on the phone. When situations like these arise, the business owner has to step up and take responsibility. An entrepreneur has nowhere to turn when problems arise besides themselves. You’ll need to be the kind of person who can admit mistakes, solve problems, and take full responsibility for outcomes.
Even if you’re starting a one-person business, leadership skills will serve you well. In the simplest terms, leadership is the ability to envision a goal and persuade others that the goal is worth striving for. If you have a staff, communicating your vision and motivating your team to join you in that quest will be your top job. Even without a staff, you’ll need to be able to communicate your vision persuasively to bankers, clients, board members, and others.
Passion For The Project
Without passion, your business is likely to stall. It’s your passion for your dream that fuels your self-discipline, your willingness to take on responsibility, and your ability to communicate your vision to others. You’ll need to wake up just as passionate and ready to work on the 10,000th day of your business venture as on the first. Some successful entrepreneurs are in love with their idea or their field and some are in love with the game of business in general, but all are passionately in love.
Success as an entrepreneur is very different from success in most career fields. The entrepreneur takes more risks, needs a wider variety of skills, and needs to be able to take full responsibility for a venture. While it’s possible to succeed in many jobs without a lot of flexibility, passion, or leadership potential, these traits are vital to an entrepreneur.