The entrepreneurial spirit strikes a special type of person. Several key features separate those who find success as entrepreneurs from those who can’t seem to get their business off the ground. Some of the key differentiators are: having vision, having specific goals, risk-taking, learning quickly, saying yes, being creative and prioritizing. Here’s a closer look at these traits:
Entrepreneurs must have a big idea that they want to pursue. It’s important to maintain an ability to focus on the big picture, especially when day-to-day tasks are overwhelming. Getting lost in the details can hinder progress. And when the going gets tough, it’s important to remember the dream behind the business and how rewarding it will feel when it takes shape.
Generally entrepreneurs have a tendency to think about the big picture, but to truly be successful they must also have specific goals in mind when pursuing it. Making a list of what you want to accomplish and setting deadlines for accomplishments keeps projects on track. Create a budget and set yourself up for success. Meanwhile, financial security will help you meet the goals intended for your small business.
“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks (Bill Gates).” Striking out on your own without a safety net can be both scary and exhilarating. Either way, it’s a huge risk to dream big and start your own business. You have to not only accept, but embrace, that risk. And embrace failing as a natural aspect of trying to do something great. Then use what you learn to pursue your dream.
Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos said it best, “Once you are looking at the odds in a realistic way — it’s very important for entrepreneurs to be realistic — and so if you believe on that first day while you’re writing the business plan that there’s a 70 percent chance that the whole thing will fail, then that kind of relieves the pressure of self-doubt. It’s sort of like, I don’t have any doubt about whether we’re going to fail.”
He continues to explain why, “That’s the likely outcome. It just is, and to pretend that it’s not will lead you to do strange and unnatural things… So, you pick whatever you think the biggest problems are, and you try to eliminate them one at a time. That’s how small companies get a little bit bigger, and then a little bit bigger, and a little bit bigger, until finally, at a certain stage, you reach a transition where the company has more control over its future destiny.”
One of the key attributes of many successful entrepreneurs is the ability to learn new concepts and ideas quickly. They don’t have time to waste, so rapid adaptation is essential to success. As mentioned above, failure is a part of any business, but a key separator between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to learn quickly from things that don’t work out, pivot and move forward.
Many people go through life without taking advantage of the opportunities presented to them, whether it’s a new job, chance to network or opportunity to take a class. Entrepreneurs say yes to these opportunities because they never know who they will meet or what they will learn that will help them propel their idea forward. Being able to tell the difference between a groundbreaking opportunity and an overcommitment is essential.
David Karp saw a need in the online blogosphere, and from his creative vision sprung Tumblr. As the New York Times reports, “Karp never finished high school or enrolled in college. Instead, he played a significant role in several technology start-ups before founding Tumblr, the popular blogging service that agreed to be sold to Yahoo for $1.1 billion this week.” Like Karp, many entrepreneurs tend to see the world differently. They think big and have a vision for how things can change. Using their creativity, they are able to look at a problem and come up with lots of potential solutions, often many that may be considered unorthodox. This separates them from the crowd.
Entrepreneurs usually have more to do than they have time to do it in. This might be overwhelming to some people, but those who find success as an entrepreneur are able to clearly see what’s important and prioritize it. Knowing that time and money are precious allows entrepreneurs to establish the correct values that will allow them to pursue their goals.
Successful entrepreneurs possess several traits that differentiate them from those that don’t succeed. Adopting these characteristics can lead to greater in business and in life.
Elyse Andrews is a contributor to the National Funding finance blog and regularly writes about small business loans, equipment leasing and merchant account services. She loves everything related to small business and wants to help young entrepreneurs understand complicated finances so they can make better decisions. Connect with @NatFunding on Twitter.