6 traits of a successful entrepreneur

Feb 10, 2017 by
6 traits of a successful entrepreneur

There is no single blueprint for successful entrepreneurs. People from widely different upbringings, geographical locations and personality types go on to create amazing businesses. However, there are some common traits which most successful entrepreneurs share. If you can learn to integrate these traits into your personality, you will dramatically improve your chances of success in entrepreneurship.

1 – A willingness to fail

One of the main reasons that most people with entrepreneurial tendencies don’t go on to start businesses is because they’re afraid of failure. In addition to the financial ramifications of failure, there is also the issue of how your friends and family will perceive you, which can add additional social pressure.

However, in order to be successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to fail time and time again. This isn’t to say that you should rush into a new venture foolhardy, rather that if you take every precaution and plan effectively, it’s important to recognise that things still may not go your way. It’s useful to adopt the mindset that you’ll either succeed or learn valuable lessons from each new venture.

2 – A thirst for knowledge

Starting a new entrepreneurial venture with the idea that you already know everything there is to know is a recipe for disaster. A successful entrepreneur stays committed to learning and understands that knowledge acquisition is a process which never ends. You need to learn a lot to start a business, but you need to continue learning in order to evolve and prevent competitors from overtaking you if you’ve become complacent.

3 – Persistence

As Theodore Roosevelt said: “Nothing easy is worth fighting for”. This is particularly true when it comes to entrepreneurship. There are going to be difficult challenges and hardships along the way, but success is the reward for those who are able to make short-term sacrifices to achieve their long-term vision. Without high levels of persistence, you’re likely to crumble as soon as you arrive at the first hurdle.

4 – Adaptability

Confidence is definitely an important part of being a successful entrepreneur, but sometimes too much dogmatic confidence can lead to ruin. Sticking with an approach that clearly isn’t working can destroy your business. It’s important to know that your initial assumptions might be wrong. A willingness to change what isn’t working will help to your business to evolve and thrive the long-term.

5 – Decisiveness

While it’s important to gather as much information as possible before making a decision, it’s also important to be able to execute. Procrastination can destroy your business. Sometimes, making the wrong decision quickly is preferable to procrastinating, as this will give you valuable feedback that you can use to re-adjust your trajectory. If you plan but don’t execute, you will never be able to generate momentum. Accepting that you might be wrong and be willing to move anyway is a good mentality to internalise.

Tech industry expert and former marketing director of information management solutions at Dell Software, John Whittaker states:

Business is a contact sport, and you can’t be afraid to make a mistake. You can always course correct if you need to, but you can’t make up for failing to take action when action was needed. Making the wrong decision and course correcting is better than missing your window to take action altogether.

6 – The ability to sell

Selling doesn’t only apply to acquiring new customers. As an entrepreneur, you need to sell your business to potential investors and new employees. While you might not be the socially slick, extroverted salesman that Steve Jobs was, it’s important to remember that a business must makes sales in order to survive. If you’re passionate about something but you don’t sell, it can easily become an art project instead of a business!

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