While every entrepreneur has different talent, skill sets and offerings the common denominator of successful entrepreneurs can be found in their character traits. Here’s a look at 9 traits that stand out.
Anyone who decides to be an entrepreneur must persist. The work load can be challenging – and the effort building a business takes cause many to give up early; particularly during times of no sales and no profits. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to persist and reach their goals that aren’t always in full sight.
Entrepreneurs don’t follow the status quo. Some quit college to pursue entrepreneurship. Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Evan Williams (Twitter’s co-founder), John Mackey (Whole Foods founder) – they all quit college to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.Whatever the risk may be at the time, large or small, successful entrepreneurs prove that risk is necessary.
3. Self confident
Entrepreneurs believe in themselves. They rarely, if at all, utter the words, “I can’t.” They go after what they want, solicit the help of others, and do it all with an air of confidence. For example, before he had sold one book, Stephen King, was working as a night janitor at a high school that had turned him down for a teaching position. Whenever anyone asked what he did, he said, “I am an author.” That’s what confidence does. People with this level of confidence don’t see problems or issues – they see opportunities.
4. Independent learner
Entrepreneurs are independent self-learners. They go after information and knowledge as if they were parts of a fabulous feast. They have this innate need to learn and it serves them well. Entrepreneurs know what they don’t know, are honest about it, and find a way to learn. They also stay on the cutting edge of their niches through reading, personal development and research.
Successful entrepreners launch startups with a full understanding that they may fail. In fact, they know they may fail several times. Nick Woodman, founder of GoPro Inc., failed big at two businesses. He then got the idea for his wearable camera during a surfing trip to Australia. With no money to create the prototype, he took an untraditional route to fundraising by selling shell belts he purchased in Bali and drove up and down California’s coast selling them. The rest, as they say, is history. Successful entrepreneurs have resilience in the face of failure and just will not quit.
With passion comes enthusiasm and productivity. Ask any successful entrepreneur, and they will tell you they cannot imagine doing anything else. They find fulfillment in what they do and this fervent passion gives them the energy to press forward. For many startup entrepreneurs it’s like waking up every day and going to Disney World. And with this kind of enthusiasm there is no room for procrastination, so things get accomplished.
The future can be very uncertain for entrepreneurs. There may be false starts; various iterations and innumerable pivots. Roadblocks suddenly appear and financial setbacks rear their ugly heads. A successful entrepreneur maneuvers and negotiates their position, making quick decisions when new paths must be taken.
8. Financially shrewd
Entrepreneurs cannot afford to make poor financial decisions, especially in the early years. Entrepreneurs who fail often do so because they didn’t adequately anticipate cash flow. Many are ill-prepared when it comes to how much money it costs to launch and maintain their businesses. Or they continue to pour money into a product or service that is not yielding results. Successful entrepreneurs cut their losses early, pivot when necessary and run lean startups.
9. Skillful salesperson
Most careers involve some level of selling, even if it only means selling oneself. Entrepreneurs that find success understand the importance of selling themselves and their idea. They realize that they are always selling; whether to customers, investors, employees, etc. The sales process never ends.
Which personality traits would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Rick Riddle is a successful blogger whose articles aim to help readers with self-development, personal finance and content management. Learn why discipline is important and how self-sufficiency can help you in reaching your goals. Connect with @rickrddl on Twitter.
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