The 11 ‘Must Have’ Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Almost everybody dreams of starting his or her own business, but very few are actually able to take that dream and turn it into a successful reality. If you already have a business or are considering starting one, check out these important traits that successful entrepreneurs must possess.
Passion For Something Meaningful
The business that you want to explore doesn’t have to be meaningful to the entire world, but it does need to be meaningful to you. Passion for your project is an important part of building a business. Without passion you won’t have the drive to stick with your potential company, especially when the going gets tough. If you are passionate, you will also have an easier time getting people on board with what you’re trying to accomplish.
Willingness to Jump Into the Unknown
There is no guarantee that what worked for someone else will work for you. Starting a business is like jumping off a cliff–except you have slightly (but only slightly) more control over how you land. The most successful entrepreneurs understand this. Then they jump anyway.
Becoming Resourceful in the Face of Fire
How do you respond to emergencies? Do you panic and flail about? Or are you more the type to face the problem head on? Successful entrepreneurs are the latter. Starting a business is a bumpy adventure and you need to be ready to deal with each bump individually…and often creatively. For instance, if a major project falls through or a product launch does not go as planned, do you fall apart, or do you say, “Ok, what am I going to do about it?” If you feel confident comparing yourself to MacGuyver, you’ll be fine! I find that one of the most fun aspects of being a business owners, is finding solutions to challenging situations. Think of it like a horse race. Lets say you are a jockey and your strategy is to keep close to the rail all the way to the finish line. Yet, as you are in the midst of the race, you are completely crowded in at the rail, and you can barely see the finish line, much less get there. So at the spur of the moment, you start gliding over to the outside so you can get ahead of the competition. Thinking fast on your feet (or hoofs) is crucial in business.
Admit Your Mistakes and Learn From Them
You’re going to mess up. It’s how you handle those mistakes that defines your level of success. The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t afraid to own their mistakes and then do everything they can to learn from them, so they don’t happen again. There’s no shame in admitting that you were wrong. In fact, it actually helps!
Relentless Drive…Even When You Don’t Feel Like It
Everybody has those days–the days where the last thing you want to do is keep working on something…even if it’s something you love! If you want to succeed in business, though, you will not give in to the urge to slack off and sit in front of Minecraft all day. You will get up and get to work, even if you’re bored or tired, and especially when you’re feeling defeated.
Wanting to Make a Difference
Every business is created to solve a problem. Nike wants to help people be comfortable and healthy when they work out. Google wants, at heart, to help people find information online. What problem do you want to solve? That’s where you start building your business. Good entrepreneurs can figure out which problems most need solving–often before people realize that the problem exists in the first place.
Not Willing to Take “No” For an Answer
You’re going to hear the word “No” a lot. You’ll likely hear some form of it every day. Good entrepreneurs find motivation in rejection. Each no they get isn’t an end, it’s simply another turn they have to take to find their yes…sometimes even from the person who originally said “no!” Persistence pays off. Entrepreneurs know this and aren’t afraid to be pests if it helps them build their businesses.
Ability to Set Boundaries
A good entrepreneur, though, knows exactly what his or her limits are and finds help when it is needed. A good example of this is hiring an accountant and payroll specialist to help make sure your books are in order and that your employees are paid correctly and on time. Also, successful business owners work with a business coach. Why would you want to do it alone when you can get their in a fraction of the time with this high-level support?
Can Inspire Others to Get Behind Your Vision
At the heart of business building is sales. You have to be able to sell people on your product or service. You need to be able to create the desire to invest in your company, to trust your products and even to risk spending their hard earned cash on whatever it is you have to offer. Good entrepreneurs and successful business owners know exactly how to inspire confidence in what they do and offer.
Know How to Unplug to Recharge
It’s true that building a business is a 24/7 job. It is not true, though, that it has to be a 24/7/365 job. It is important to take time away from the project every once in a while. Entrepreneurs understand this. They know that sometimes the best thing they can do is to take time away and clear their heads. The clearer headed you are, the better able you’ll be to deal with obstacles, emergencies, etc. That is why I take time off. I spend time with my husband and I try to take at least one day a week and go fly on the trapeze in Los Angeles. Interestingly enough, even though I am taking time off from my business, I am actually getting more done. Why? Because when I come back to my work, I have a lot more energy, I am much more focused and I get my best business ideas when I am relaxed and out having fun.
Tap Into Creativity
There is no such thing as a cookie-cutter business. Even opening a franchise will require some level of creativity. Successful entrepreneurs know how to tap into their creative wells even when they are tired and feeling uninspired. If you want to build a successful business, you need to be able to do this too.
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.
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