All successful entrepreneurs have something in common that makes them stand out from the crowd. The business world’s towering figures — Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg — are united not only by success and fabulous wealth but also by persistence and hard work.
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To establish and successfully lead your own company, you need to develop qualities that will help you peak and not give up on your path. But how do you know that entrepreneurship is right for you?
Let’s uncover essential characteristics entrepreneurs should have. But please don’t get frustrated if you don’t (yet) have them. Entrepreneurship is about learning and improvement. You don’t have to be perfect to be an entrepreneur; you need to be ready to constantly evolve, though.
What Are the Characteristics of an Entrepreneur?
A successful entrepreneur is a distillation of characteristics and habits that are being polished daily. People who have reached career heights and material well-being are constantly working on themselves. At the same time, their job is not so much to combat personality weaknesses but develop the necessary qualities.
Here’s a list of entrepreneur characteristics for you to keep in mind:
- Proactivity: ability to see new or unusual business opportunities, act before events force you to act;
- Persistence: readiness for repeated efforts to meet a challenge or overcome an obstacle; ability to change strategies to achieve a goal;
- Adventurousness: willingness to take a risk, prefer challenging situations; takes action to reduce risk and control results;
- Focus on quality: desire to find ways to do things better; strive for excellence and improvement of performance standards.
- Leadership: eagerness to take responsibility and make personal sacrifices to get the job done; readiness to get down to business with or instead of employees;
- Purposefulness: ability to clearly express goals; set a long-term vision, constantly define and correct short-term goals;
- Curiosity: willingness to summarize information about customers and suppliers, study competitors, use personal and business contacts to stay informed;
- Persuasiveness: readiness to use cautious strategies to fulfill and persuade people and business contacts.
Successful entrepreneurs not only think of their own fortune but also engender belonging, opportunity, and connection for those who work with them. With an artist’s sense of constant reinvention, entrepreneurs continuously seek to create something new and valuable.
Sometimes, entrepreneurs work when others are asleep, travel when others are at dinner, plan when others are having fun. Entrepreneurs also should be:
- Clear about their goals;
- Confident about their product;
- Focused on success, planning for several years ahead;
- Aware of their strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else;
- Aware of what they want;
- Very market sensitive;
- Challenging to intimidate;
- Ready to share.
And last but not least, entrepreneurs should not be afraid to start all over again. Aspiring entrepreneurs need to learn to perceive failure as a natural part of their business.
Jake Irving, owner and founder of Willamette Life Insurance had this to say on this matter:
“Do not start your business if you are not willing to see it through the good and the bad times. At the beginning of your business, it might feel as though nothing is happening. But if you are willing to commit and see it through no matter what, on the other side of the struggle will be unmatched pride, financial achievement, and personal fulfillment.“
Questions to Know Whether Entrepreneurship Is Good for You
So, you’re thinking of becoming an entrepreneur. Before starting your own business, the first thing you need to do is to give an objective assessment of your qualities. Answer the following questions to see if you fit the business world:
- Does my business idea solve a specific problem?
- How good am I with people?
- How well do I plan and organize my time?
- Is my desire to stick to my business goal strong enough?
- How will doing business affect my family?
By honestly answering these questions, you will better understand if you’re ready to become an entrepreneur. If, after answering the questions, your desire to start a business has intensified, and you have exciting ideas, feel free to dive into the world of business.
How to Know That Entrepreneurship Is Not Your Way
Seeking a career in entrepreneurship, many doubt themselves and their capabilities. While you do need to possess specific skills and knowledge to start your business, you also need to have particular characteristics in your arsenal. Kauffman’s research states that the most common obstacle for entrepreneurs is risk aversion. Of company founders surveyed, 50% consider this to be a significant obstacle to entrepreneurship.
Clearly, business is a risky endeavor, so you must decide whether you dare to step out of your comfort zone.
Kristin Marquet, creative director, and editor-in-chief of Marquet Media, gave her best advice to entrepreneurs:
“My best advice is to take calculated risks. Be scrappy, smart, and strategic.“
Other things will stand in your way if you don’t change them. For example, as an entrepreneur, you need confidence in yourself and your abilities. A person who does not believe in their strength cannot complete the matter in any area, not only in entrepreneurship.
Manny Vetti, co-founder and partner of Back Taxes Help, sent this message to aspiring entrepreneurs:
“If you’re thinking about starting a business, make sure it’s something you truly believe in and something you wouldn’t mind doing every day for the rest of your life. Get paid for what you already know. Be your own boss and make that money! “
Also, if you think entrepreneurship is a path to quick money or you like to stay in your comfort zone, consider this a warning sign that entrepreneurship may not be your best choice (at least for now). It may take years of effort without ever seeing a dime before you get your company where you want. You should be ready to go long.
A Final Word
Entrepreneurs are people with a penchant for searching and implementing new ideas. They are people of ongoing initiative and creativity, irrepressible energy, passionate for inventions and technologies. They are ready for the risk.
But even if you do not possess all of the listed characteristics, do not give up. Start a career in entrepreneurship with a mindset for success, hard work, and strategic planning. Direct all your efforts toward achieving your goals, and the result will come. Flaws can always be balanced with other qualities. So learn to find strength in your weaknesses.