When people ask what I do it is hard to come up with just one thing. If you ask any of my friends they’ll tell you that I am a serial entrepreneur. Over the years I have started all sorts of different businesses. Some have been wildly successful and others not so much. Either way, I have learned a great deal over the years being an entrepreneur and I have noticed several traits myself and other entrepreneurs all have.
5 Traits Every Successful Entrepreneur Must Have
Passion is first on the list and probably the most important. Without passion your ideas are dead before they even get anywhere. You have to eat, sleep and breath what you are doing. In every business venture there are highs and lows, and having passion will get you through them. Finding your passion isn’t always that easy though. It’s much easier to start/run a business if you are passionate about the topic/industry, but that doesn’t have to necessarily be the case. One of the things that fuels me is the passion to succeed no matter what business I am involved. Whether it’s passion about the idea, the passion to make money or the passion to succeed it has to be there.
2. Willingness To Learn
No matter what your passion is, and what you are doing about you have to be willing to learn. Even if you are a solopreneur there will be people to learn from. You can attend seminars, have a meeting with an accountant, go to entrepreneurial blogs, or have meetings with employees. These are all opportunities to learn. Most likely you will be the most passionate person about your venture but that doesn’t mean there aren’t people you should be talking to and networking with. Soak up their knowledge like a sponge, and keep an open mind. Some of the most successful businesses I’ve had truly blossomed after I adapted to new ideas.
3. Leadership Acumen
I wanted to put this one right after willingness to learn, because even if you are a solopreneur you have got to be a leader. Nearly every business deals with vendors, contractors, mentors, and every business will be trying to acquire clients/customers. All of these people are going to want to see leadership from the top. If you aren’t a great leader the business won’t be able to grow.
4. Forward Thinking
Forward thinking is a little bit tricky because you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. I have seen businesses that were doomed for failure because the people who were starting them were getting ahead of themselves way too quickly. They get so blinded by delusions of grandeur that they never get started. I’ve recently heard several wildly successful entrepreneurs say that they don’t even like having an exit strategy. They said that if you are thinking about getting out or selling before it is even off the ground how could you be passionate about it?
Now, with that out of the way I’d like to stress the importance of forward thinking. You have to constantly be thinking about new ideas, and where your business venture is headed. You have to anticipate the problems that you will have before they even arise. Things like cash flow, hiring employees, acquiring office space, and getting the new equipment you may need all need to be on your mind. Most importantly, you have got to know where your business is headed. If you don’t know where your business is headed than how will you ever get there?
5. Indifference to Failure
Starting a business and failing just flat out stinks! It is one of the worst feelings you could have, and at times it could make you want to crawl into a hole and never come out except to go get a 9-5 job for someone else. What you really need to do is get up quickly and come back with a vengeance. Learn from your mistakes and make your next business venture better from it.
Almost every successful entrepreneur has failed at one time or another. If they had given up there’d be no PayPal, Virgin Airlines, Apple, Disney World and quite possible even the automobile. All of these successful entrepreneurs got off off the carpet, dusted themselves off and went on to become household names.
Becoming an entrepreneur is never easy and it takes a lot of guts. It will quite possibly take a lot more than these 5 traits, but you have got to have these traits. Next time you sit down to brainstorm an idea, or even if you have already started, be sure to ask yourself if you have what it takes. If you have found this blog post them I’m guessing you already have it, so get out there and be the next great entrepreneur.