Being an entrepreneur certainly has its perks. But having the ability to be your own boss requires at least a dozen strong qualities in order to succeed. Cultivating these twelve characteristics of a successful entrepreneur will help ensure eventual success.
1. Honesty – In the world of being in the business of you, honesty is one of the greatest qualities for success. Develop a culture of honesty, both with yourself as well as with your customers. Nobody benefits if you lie to yourself about the workload you are truly able to handle. Likewise, your small business does not yet have the consumer confidence that corporate giants have with the public. Let this be an advantage. Build trust with the customer by demonstrating transparent honesty in every way possible.
2. Creativity – As an entrepreneur, there is no doubt a day will come when you will have to think outside of the box. The key to success when establishing and running your business is to stand out and above the rest. Give customers a reason to use you rather than anyone else. Doing something a little different from the rest is a sure ticket to victory.
3. Perseverance – Entrepreneurship certainly is not easy. There are definitely plenty of benefits to working for yourself. On the flip side, there will certainly be tough times as well. Those that pack up the first or second time the road gets rocky are the ones who never stood a chance.
4. Independence – If entrepreneurs are willing to pursue a business venture rather than punch the time clock for a corporation, they are probably fairly independent. Freeing oneself of the fear of complete independence will ultimately set the entrepreneur free. This can only come from complete confidence in oneself and the products or services offered.
5. Self-Confidence – The key factor in building independence is self-confidence. It is the primary building block to getting an entrepreneur’s idea off the ground. If one doesn’t believe in one’s ability to achieve, who else will? Certainly not investors or customers, and those are two pretty important factors for a successful business.
6. Tolerance – History shows us that not every business idea is a success. Entrepreneurs must be able to take measured risks and be able to accept the possibility of failure. In the event an entrepreneur is faced with that failure, those that have what it takes will pick up the pieces, learn from their mistakes, and develop a better strategy.
7. Boldness – No one can win them all. Look at some of the biggest entrepreneurial success stories of our time: Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Donald Trump. for example. Each has faced nearly as much failure as success. What launched them to fame and fortune was that once a successful plan was cinched, they maximized their opportunities and went for it. Entrepreneurs can’t let the fear of failure prevent the pursuit of future success.
8. Commitment – Entrepreneurship requires plenty of hard work, sweat equity, and ultimately, commitment to the project. Willingness to sacrifice weekends and work late nights are the types of things that will lead an entrepreneur to success. Putting in the minimum effort and thinking the idea will launch itself is like planning to win the lottery without buying a ticket.
9. Persistence – Not every idea will work perfectly the first time. If it does, congratulations! But, that doesn’t mean it will work a second time. Entrepreneurs must continue to try new approaches and take calculated risks. Don’t give up if all your endeavors don’t pan out. The key here is to keep working at it. No one can ensure your success but you.
10. Organization – Entrepreneurs have the ultimate pleasure of pursuing their goals. However, they are also faced with the task of handling all the aspects of running a business that they may not have any interest in, like accounting, for example. You may have the best pool care service company out there, but if there is no one sending invoices and tracking the books, then it really doesn’t matter how great your company is, now does it? Make sure you have adequate bookkeeping and invoicing systems.
11. Determination – Along with the persistence of a champion, an entrepreneur must have the determination of a Mt. Everest climber. Two driving forces to a successful business are sticking to the plan and pursuing goals. A stubborn entrepreneur who is inflexible is more than likely headed for failure.
12. Vision – An entrepreneur is nothing without the ability to envision a difference. Whether the difference is in regard to lifestyle or to fill needs of customers, it is important that you make an impression. Being able to spot a need and envision a solution is one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur.
Even top entrepreneurs have weaknesses in one or more of these areas. First, work on the quality of persistence and keep at it to further develop the other lacking areas. If the desire to be an entrepreneur is strong enough and is met with equal effort, you’ll end up with a success story of your own.
Matthew Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Adam. Matthew is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.
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