Receptionist to CEO: 7 Essential Traits You’ll Need to Become an Entrepreneur

Here are seven essential character traits that led me from my cubicle to entrepreneurship.

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4. Relationship Building Skills

Relationships are the bread and butter of success. We need people to buy our products or services, and vice versa. The more connected you are, the more resources you will have access to and the easier success will become. Social media can help, but I still believe face-to-face interaction is the best.

Develop your relationship building skills by becoming a leader in your local community — join the local Chamber of Commerce, join the board of a local nonprofit organization. Make a point to get connected and stay connected. Everyone knows someone. Word of mouth is the fastest and easiest way to build your business, brand and bank account!

5. Vision

I was adamant that I was going to either start my own company or be a partner of a staffing firm by the age 30, and due to my hard work and determination, I was an owner by the age of 25. Every day, anywhere I went, my goals were in sight.

I remember placing Post-It notes all through my house — on the fridge, on every mirror, at the office, in my car and on my nightstand. Seeing my goals everywhere motivated me to constantly do things that would get me one step closer to making my dream a reality.

6. Discipline

Out of all the key essentials, this one was the toughest for me. We all have to make sacrifices to get what we want. It’s important to have a work-life balance, but I missed out on many college happy hours to work at home or attend a networking event and build my brand. Founding a company is like marriage: it’s a lifetime commitment. Any commitment that big requires discipline. Are you ready to make the sacrifice?

7. Time Management Skills

The only thing we will never get back is time, so make the best use of it. Try this trick: every evening, jot down the ten most important items to do the following day, in order of importance.

Make room in your daily calendar to get the top two items done first thing in the morning. This way, no matter what else the day brings you, you have spent time on the two most important items of the day!

Connect with Nicole on Twitter.

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Photo: Blanco

Nicole Smartt is the Vice President and co-owner of Star Staffing. She was recently awarded the North Bay Business Journal’s Forty Under 40 award, recognizing business leaders under the age of 40. In addition, Nicole co-founded the Petaluma Young Professionals Network, an organization dedicated to helping young professionals strive in the business world.


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