Developing a business is definitely no walk in the park. It takes a lot of work, sacrifice and many challenges every day with seemingly no end no. That’s why entrepreneurship is not for everyone.
But how do you know if it’s for you and if you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?
Are you a leader and do you inspire and motivate the people around you or do you prefer hiding behind your computer and waiting to be told what to do?
If you feel that entrepreneurship is the way for you and you’re up for a challenge with tremendous financial and personal potential, keep on reading because you’re one step closer to reaching your dream.
Even though there is no such thing as the 10 commandments for entrepreneurial greatness, all the successful entrepreneurs, from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, share these 10 similar traits.
Probably, the most encountered trait all entrepreneurs share is determination. When it comes to them, they have that natural instinct to set extremely clear goals and milestones along the way. And they know that in order to grow their company, to boost their sales and to hire the right people, they need to set some micro-goals so that everything is executed to perfection. And yes, failing is sometimes part of the entrepreneurial journey. But what distinguishes successful entrepreneurs from the rest is the way they deal with failure and their ability to keep on going when all the others see no point.
So how committed are you to make your entrepreneurial dream come true?
The common misconception is that all successful entrepreneurs are driven by money. However, that is rarely the case; most entrepreneurs will tell you that passion is what fuels them, whether it’s passion for their products or services or passion to make the world a better place by solving an issue. And the excitement and strong belief that they are doing the right thing will get them through the rough patches.
If you are not passionate about what you do, when hard times will come (and they will) you will lose the drive to continue and to hope for the best.
Successful entrepreneurs believe with all their heart in what they do. Lots of entrepreneurs fail in their attempt to launch a business or to develop it because they do not take their company seriously, losing motivation or getting sidetracked. Also, they tend to offer too much importance to the naysayers who tend to not take them seriously because they do not work from an office building.
Self-confidence is a key entrepreneurial trait. If you don’t believe in yourself and in your venture, how can you make other people believe? It doesn’t matter what you do, if you have a sumptuous office or if you work from home, you need to have a lot of self-confidence.
4. Networking Pro
Almost always, successful entrepreneurs are experts at networking. A huge pile of business cards and a never-ending contact lists does not make you a networking pro. In networking just as in life it’s all about the quality and not the quantity, so focus on building value-based relationships that lead to mutually beneficial long term partnerships. In order to not miss all the business opportunities that can arise from a meeting or an event you need to reach those people close to the meeting and continuously invest in keeping the relationship.
Related: Networking At Its Finest
Risk-taking is in their blood. Lots of entrepreneurs would have never made it big without taking some major risks. When your average and everyday entrepreneur hears the word risk he or she usually associates it with the concept of financial risk. However, this is not always the case. Most assume that starting a business with little or no capital is not possible. However, entrepreneurs who are not afraid to take risks are far more likely to succeed and don’t perceive the lack of capital as a crutch that slows them down or impedes them from going forward. Successful entrepreneurs are always open to suggestions, positive criticism that helps them either upgrade or customize certain features of their products or services so as to provide their client more satisfaction.
6. Constantly learning
Successful entrepreneurs understand very well Albert Einstein’s saying: “Once you stop learning, you start dying” and that’s why they invest in themselves and in their continuous education. They know that in order to stay competitive they have to remain sharp and always in touch with market shifts, customer trends and the latest technological innovations. Thus, they know that the only way to do this is by constantly learning, because education is an ongoing process, so they buy and read business and marketing books, they join business associations and clubs, they attend business and marketing seminars, workshops and training courses.
In short, successful entrepreneurs never stop investing in the most powerful, effective and best business and marketing tool at their immediate disposal–themselves.
7. Money management
All successful entrepreneurs are experts at money management. Cash flow is the backbone of any company because you need to purchase inventory, pay salaries and suppliers, market the company and ensure that everything runs smoothly. So, it’s pretty safe to say that in order to become a successful entrepreneur you need to become a money management wizard because poor financial decisions, such as overspending or allocating funds to less important tasks can quickly ruin any business.
Some call it adaptability, some flexibility or versatility, but the idea is the same: successful entrepreneurs are highly adaptable and can react quickly in any situation, because in an entrepreneurs’ life no two days are the same and surprises are part of the deal. And if you tend to panic easily and if it takes you forever to take a decision in an unplanned, unforeseen situation, you need to work on that because business survival is directly linked with its capacity to adapt and adjust. It’s a very dynamic world and clients’ tastes and expectations constantly change and you need to be able to respond to these changes.
9. Competitive spirit
All top entrepreneurs enjoy a challenge and they like to win. This is a must considering that starting and developing a business is the biggest challenge you could take. Competitiveness refers both to the professional level and to the personal one. First because the business is competing in a dynamic market and it’s in a constant war for market share and profit and secondly, the personal challenge refers to being always the best you can be and investing constantly in your education and development.
Last but certainly not least, the planning aspect. This is a trait every entrepreneur should possess, not only the exceptional ones. Entrepreneurship is all about launching a business from scratch and being able to succeed with limited resources, whether it’s time, money or personal relationships. Starting a business is a long-term commitment and planning as thorough as possible from the get-go is a must.
The act of business planning is so important because it requires you to analyze each business aspect, research and compile data, and make decision based mainly on the facts as revealed through the research.
In the end, successful entrepreneurs need to master the art of finding the perfect balance between planning ahead and being flexible.
What other traits do you think are important when it comes to successful entrepreneurs?