I always like to think of us entrepreneurs as a very particular breed of animal. Not just anybody can build and run a business, and it really has nothing to do with education. Becoming an entrepreneur takes a certain intuition and business-minded spirit, not to mention the guts to go through a lot of trial-and-error. What exactly it takes is something I have pondered and debated both alone and with other entrepreneurs endlessly.
My take-away from those conversations is that there are definitely traits that an entrepreneur must possess to succeed:
- Perseverance. Entrepreneurs don’t give up. When they believe in an idea, they will do whatever it takes to see it through. Problems and obstacles will never cease, but you can’t stop looking for ways to overcome them. Staying motivated is a passion that comes from within.
- Objectivity. You’ve got to be able to judge your own work fairly. This can be pretty difficult, as us entrepreneurs are generally hard on ourselves to no extent. Along with that, there’s a difference between giving up without a good reason and knowing the right time to give up. An entrepreneur has to know when it’s time to let go and move onto the next one – in my experience, this can be utterly painful, but otherwise we just go down with our own bad ideas.
- Creativity. As cliché as it sounds, a good entrepreneur has to think outside the box. Those who broaden their horizons through travel, getting to know other cultures and reaching out to people different than ourselves have the most fountains of inspiration to bring to their businesses.
- Being Outgoing. This is not to say there aren’t successful entrepreneurs who are introverts, but knowing how to effectively network is hugely helpful to starting businesses. You know the saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know”? Not all of us are born as social butterflies, but being respectful and open-minded can help us all be good with people.
- Luck. Unfortunately, there is a big element of chance to what we do, as there is with anything. Success is based on hard work, and then also sometimes being in the right place at the right time. The thing is, you never know when your break is about to come – so never stop working hard, and you’ll never miss Lady Luck when she does.
Thankfully, all of these skills – except for luck perhaps – can be honed and crafted as an entrepreneur. Always keep your long-term goals in mind, and think of these characteristics as the tools for getting there.I’d like to hear from you guys now. Are there any other traits you consider to be essential for an entrepreneur?