You may be an ambitious and energetic person planning to start on your own. But ambition and energy alone aren't sufficient to take you to the next level. I have met, observed, and studied several entrepreneurs. I have found that they possess some specific traits that played a key role in the eventual success or failure of their businesses.
You must know which traits can help you succeed, and which ones can lead you to failure. So, here is the list of the best and worst traits of an entrepreneur.
Best Traits of an Entrepreneur
You will find these characteristics in most successful entrepreneurs. Utilize these traits to improve the chances of your business success.
1. Clear Vision
A clear vision forms the foundation of any entrepreneurial journey. A successful entrepreneur has a clear picture of the direction he wants his business to take, and he develops a plan right from conception to realization. When you know how you want your future to unfold, you stay focused even when times get tough.
Do you know that there were already 15 automakers in Michigan, and the market was still in its infancy when Henry Ford launched Ford Motor Company? But he believed in his vision of making automobiles affordable for middle class. And the rest is history.
Successful entrepreneurs just love their work. They never hesitate to put those extra hours at work because there is a sense of joy that goes far beyond money. The 40-hour work week rule doesn't apply to them. Steve Jobs is a fine example of entrepreneurial passion. He had a passion for setting trends for the future, and he clearly communicated his dreams and aspirations to his employees.
Nobody has ever made progress by sitting back and waiting for success to come to them. Successful entrepreneurs enter the scary real world and bring change through their actions. They don't need someone else to tell them to do something that has to be done. The best entrepreneurs wake up in the morning and start doing it. Even when they face a setback, they encourage themselves to fight one more time until success comes to them.
4. The Ability to Sell
Whether they are born introverts or extroverts, the best entrepreneurs are always out there selling something. It doesn't always have to be a product. They sell their vision to funding sources and prospective partners, they sell prospective recruits the future benefits of quitting their job and joining the startup they have never heard of.
An entrepreneur's ability to sell has a lot to do with his communication skills. You might have the best idea on the planet, a great new smartphone that can challenge Apple iPhones. But if you can't communicate (sell) your idea clearly, it's useless.
Every business venture faces setbacks at some point of time. The best entrepreneurs, like a team captain, motivate their employees and push them to victory. They are determined to succeed, and no defeat can thwart them. They try to find an opportunity for success in every setback. The best entrepreneurs never accept that something can't be done. If it hasn't been done yet, they will show the world how to do it.
6. Hunger to Learn Something New
The best entrepreneurs know that there is always something new to be learned. They are full of curiosity. They aren't afraid of asking questions if they know that the answers will give them insights they may use in business. Successful entrepreneurs read like crazy, attend seminars, join forums and exchange ideas.
They interact with their customers to understand their needs, likes and dislikes. Learning provides an entrepreneur customer understanding and domain knowledge which help them improve their business.
7. Ethics and Integrity
Fraudsters, thieves and cheaters may win in the short-term, but they are doomed to failure in the long run. The best entrepreneurs know this fact. So, they maintain the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and never cross the lines that may damage their credibility. If you lose your dignity, self-worth and can't prove yourself a credible entrepreneur, you'll be out of business.
Worst Traits of an Entrepreneur
Though the best traits can help any entrepreneur reach on the top, these five traits almost guarantee failure. Stay away from them.
Many people who start their own business find it hard to get out of bed in the morning and get to work. In the early years of business when they should be working round the clock to get their business off the ground, they spend most of their time doing things that have nothing to do with the business like talking on the phone, Facebooking, or day-dreaming. It is a sure shot trait of failure if not fixed at the earliest.
I have known a new business owner who would argue with his clients just to maintain his sense of pride. People like him don't like assessing their shortcomings and seeking advice from an expert simply because it would hurt their ego. Worse, sometimes they even ignore customer feedback.
Money never comes overnight. Not legally. For any entrepreneur, it takes time to transform a business idea into a successful business that generates a lot of money. Greedy entrepreneurs who start a business only for money either shut down the business or end up losing all the money. They don't have a passion for what they are doing.
4. Refusal to Learn
Learning new things seems boring to some people. They don't keep up with new trends in their field, assuming that something that worked last year will rock this year as well. Refusal to learn new things leaves them stuck behind while others move forward.
5. Inability to Compromise
Many businesses sink because they refuse to compromise to meet the changing needs of customers and clients. Remember, if you refuse to compromise to better serve your customers, someone else will do it and take all your customers away.
Now that you know the best and worst traits of an entrepreneur, decide for yourself which characters you'd like to develop and which ones you will get rid of before starting your entrepreneurial journey.
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