tartup, entrepreneur, building a business… these words may well be the mantras of today’s world as entrepreneurship is ever growing in popularity. Many are drawn to entrepreneurship for its alluring benefits of perceived freedom and creativity as well as the concept that any startup idea will become a multimillion pound business.
Entrepreneurs have been around for a long time, even before they were called “entrepreneurs”. These are the people who throughout history have managed to see opportunities where others could not and do the necessary actions to seize them.
If you are wondering whether to start your own business or whether entrepreneurship is for you, keep reading. We examine which traits all successful entrepreneurs have in common be they innate or developed, and share some tips on how you could improve these traits in yourself.
If money were no issue, would I be still doing it?
Passion for life is a signature trait of successful entrepreneurs. In fact, many of them attribute passion as the main fuel that fills their tanks with energy and helps them go through the tough days.
What are you passionate about? Is your passion so strong that in the hypothetical scenario where money is no object and you are allowed to do anything you want, you would still go for that passion?
Can I sell ideas and product to others?
Starting a business is to an extent an exercise in sales and persuasion whether you are selling the idea to potential employees, charming investors to give you starting capital or actually selling your product to customers.
Are you a natural salesman? Even if you aren’t, learning the skill will greatly improve your chances of success because otherwise how are you going to get that first customer?
Am I okay when dealing with the unknown?
There is a saying that entrepreneurs first jump out of the plane and only then start building their parachute on their way down. Well, it may be a bit exaggerated, but the essence is that successful entrepreneurs are okay with the unknown and what is more – they hold the unequivocal belief that they will be able to solve any problem that arises.
Partially, this has to do with decision making. Entrepreneurs know that most of the time they don’t have the full picture or all the details, but they resort to making decisions regardless. Are you okay with not knowing? Are you naturally curious to act even on the riskiest of ideas?
How much stress can I endure?
Entrepreneurs are famous for succeeding where everyone else will fail and partially this is due to their ability to endure high levels of both physical and mental stress. Especially at the start, after the initial hype wears off and is followed by an extended period of rejection letters, customers who changed their mind and don’t want to buy your product or cash flow difficulties.
How much can you endure before giving up? Because not giving up even when all of the odds are against them is what made most successful people and entrepreneurs who they are today.
Can I focus on a single task for an extended period of time?
If there is one factor that helps people in general to get tasks done, it’s focus. Despite the media stereotypes of entrepreneurs that paint the portrait of the bubbly and somewhat aloof individual that seems to always float on cloud nine, it is really the laser focus that most entrepreneurs possess that matters.
Entrepreneurship is about finding solutions to people’s problems, but if it was easy to find the answers, then the world would have turned into a utopia. This challenge often requires full attention to analyse a problem from every angle and sometimes this means months and years of intense focus. Can you focus for that long?
Am I patient enough to see my ideas coming to fruition?
Day to day, entrepreneurs may seem obnoxiously impatient and downright annoying, but paradoxically when asked about what makes them different from other people, point out their patience.
Successful entrepreneurs know about the compound effect of effort invested over time and don’t expect miracles to happen. In a way a business is like a bamboo tree in that it may take years to grow an inch above the ground, then suddenly grow ten metres in six months. Are you patient enough to keep pushing even when you don’t see immediate results?
It’s important to remember that there isn’t just one flavour when it comes to entrepreneurship just as there isn’t one type of entrepreneur. Great entrepreneurs can come from the most unexpected of places and the most unfavourable of circumstances but somehow turn all odds against them.
If you possess any of the above qualities, chances are you are already on your way to success.