These traits determine how successful you’ll be
Take a look at all of the radically successful entrepreneurs you read about in the news or see raking in billions of dollars. Do you think they were born to be entrepreneurs? Do you think they created themselves?
That’s a debate that isn’t singularly answerable. Yes, there are some people who are born with genetic predispositions toward leadership, but at the same time, most successful entrepreneurs started their careers as very different people than they ended up, going through a transformative process that helped them carve their place.
What really matters is a set of characteristics, which will cumulatively determine how successful you can be as an entrepreneur. Are you cut out to start your own business? These seven qualities will tell you:
First off, you need to be creative. Why? For starters, you need a killer idea at the foundation of your company—something new, exciting, that nobody else has done before (or at least, not like you’re doing it). But the demand for creativity doesn’t stop there; you’re going to encounter hundreds, if not thousands of problems and obstacles as you develop your business, many of which will demand creative problem solving and lateral solutions if you’re going to overcome them.
Does this mean you have to be a creative genius whose every idea is perfect? Absolutely not. It just means you have to think harder and come up with more ideas.
You need energy if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. This starts with being passionate; if you’re passionate about building something, or about your specific industry, or even about the team you lead, you’ll be excited to come in every day.
Work will seem easier, you’ll work harder, get stressed less easily, and perhaps most importantly—your energy is going to be contagious. If you’re passionate about this business, truly, your other team members can’t help but get excited by proxy.
This should go without saying, but entrepreneurship demands dedication. You can’t start a business on a whim, mentally check out after a week or two, and hope that it grows legs on its own. You need to be deeply involved in the process, from the beginning, working hard on every aspect of your business, even when the going gets tough.
Most entrepreneurial roles will demand that you work long hours, nights and weekends, sacrificing some of your personal time and hobbies. If you’re only half-dedicated to your idea, you won’t be able to succeed.
Your communication skills are going to be imperative in a number of business applications. You’ll need to describe your business idea clearly to investors and partners. You’ll need to recruit the top talent for your team. You’ll need to confer your goals and objectives, and resolve disputes between workers. You’ll need to negotiate deals, make sales, and collaborate with the team on a regular basis.
In fact, most of your job as an entrepreneur is going to demand some form of communication. You need to be able to express yourself, clearly and openly, if you want to succeed.
It’s important to be humble as an entrepreneur; at its core, being humble is simply admitting that everything you do isn’t perfect, and that you don’t know everything. This simple mentality will help you remain open to other people’s ideas, insights, advice, and suggestions, which can come from mentors, advisors, employees, and even your friends and family members.
You don’t have to be ruled by outside influence, but it definitely pays to keep an open mind and listen to whatever the people around you have to bring to the table.
Success doesn’t come overnight, even if it looks that way in major news articles or in certain startup case studies. In fact, some estimates project it takes you 10,000 hours to become truly good at anything.
If you go into business thinking you’ll be an overnight success, you’ll become disillusioned when you hit your first roadblock, and you’ll be unable to progress any further. Bring a degree of patience to your stay as an entrepreneur, and keep your vision on the distant horizon. Always plan for the long-term, and be prepared for things to take longer than you initially expect them to.
Things will never go the way you expect them to. Your business plan won’t pan out as you’ve outlined. Your research won’t be exactly spot-on. New competitors will arise, new technologies will develop, and trends you never predicted will start to unfold.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to adapt to these rapid changes. Few businesses make it to the top by picking one direction and sticking with it forever; instead, the successful ones are the businesses that have transformed and adjusted over time.
The bottom line
Some people are born more patient than others, or more passionate than others, but there’s no quality on this list that’s completely out of reach for anyone.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you can, and by either refining or acquiring these seven qualities, you can put yourself in the best possible position.
You may not be successful the first time you try it, or the second, but if you keep working hard and improving yourself along the way, eventually you’ll find the right ingredients for success.