Many people start businesses but fewer succeed. For many of those people, failure was directly related to their inability to lead an entrepreneurial effort. Being a successful entrepreneur typically requires an entrepreneurial spirit as well as a long list of character and personality traits that enable the entrepreneur to reach his or her goals.
While it’s possible for a person to succeed in an entrepreneurial endeavor who has none of the necessary traits shared by successful entrepreneurs, you’ll increase your chances of success significantly if you have or work to cultivate the following 20 traits:
1. Not Afraid of Failure
Talk to successful entrepreneurs and most will tell you that success didn’t come to them on their first try. If your first entrepreneurial effort fails, don’t give up. Like other successful entrepreneurs before you, success might not come until your second or third try. As Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, said, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.”
2. Risk Taker
Risk-aversion is an entrepreneur killer. Success comes to those who aren’t afraid to take leaps of faith, but make sure your risky decisions are made with an eye to facts, effects, and likely outcomes. In other words, take “intelligent” risks.
Good things come to those who wait, and patience is critical to entrepreneurial success. Be persistent and don’t give up too soon.
If you don’t believe in yourself and your ideas, no one else will. You need to show people that your entrepreneurial endeavors are poised for greatness, so they’ll jump on board with you.
5. Creative and Strategic Thinker
Successful entrepreneurs are innovative and think many steps ahead in terms of laying out goals and a strategy to reach those goals. Immediacy is important but avoid being too short-sighted and missing the bigger picture that helps you avoid future problems and leads to long-term success.
Entrepreneurs with great organizational skills, who are capable of managing all of the various parts and pieces of their businesses, have a much greater chance at success than disorganized entrepreneurs.
Simply reacting won’t lead to entrepreneurial success. Instead, you need to be proactive and create a plan to reach your short- and long-term business goals. Planning is critical.
As a business is developing, entrepreneurs must negotiate with a long list of people and organizations. Entrepreneurs who hone their negotiation skills are in a much better position to succeed than entrepreneurs who lack these skills.
Successful entrepreneurs are good at interacting with and communicating with a wide variety of people. Suppliers, customers, employees, business partners, and investors make up just part of the list of people entrepreneurs need to connect with, build relationships with, and communicate with in order to be successful. If your communication skills are below average, start improving them now.
10. Able to Manage Money
Entrepreneurs are not just profit-oriented, but they’re also money managers. They need to manage incoming and outgoing cash flows and ensure the business is capable of staying afloat. Many entrepreneurs also need to be able to attract and retain investors. A high comfort-level with money management is extremely important if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
11. Adaptable and Flexible
Not only do successful entrepreneurs know how to adapt and wear many hats on a daily basis, they also know that change is inevitable. They’re ready for change and navigate through changes seamlessly.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be a self-starter that is always ready to take on any challenge and complete any task. They can be called workaholics with a never-ending supply of ambition and personal drive. That self-motivation also motivates the people around them.
Getting an entrepreneurial effort off the ground requires self-promotion, and the most successful entrepreneurs are not shy about promoting their efforts to anyone they meet. Their advocacy knows no bounds.
14. Continual Learner
Successful entrepreneurs understand that they don’t know everything. They’re constantly searching for new opportunities, new tools, new ideas, and so on. The more knowledge they acquire, the better.
Successful entrepreneurs know they can’t do it alone. When the time comes that they need help, they find skilled people and delegate tasks and authority.
A positive environment filled with employees who believe in the entrepreneur’s vision will help drive the entrepreneur to greater success. Therefore, entrepreneurs who foster supportive and positive workplaces are well-positioned to achieve the success they want.
Entrepreneurs who possess and exude a passionate belief in their entrepreneurial efforts will naturally be self-starters and self-promoters with supportive workplace environments. If you’re not consumed with passion for your entrepreneurial endeavor, your chances at being successful are limited.
18. Accepts Challenges
Successful entrepreneurs don’t back away from challenges. Instead, they face those challenges head on. However, they don’t dive into a challenge before analyzing them to ensure they’re worth the time and effort.
It’s not uncommon to find a successful entrepreneur using two computers, a smartphone, a tablet, and a landline all at the same time. Furthermore, he or she is actively working on multiple projects, but everything is going smoothly. That’s because successful entrepreneurs are great multi-taskers.
As you’ve learned from the 19 character traits listed above, successful entrepreneurs are busy people and they have a lot going on at all times. However, they must stay focused on the business’ objectives at all times, too. Successful entrepreneurs can stay focused despite all of the other things happening every day. Without that focus, entrepreneurs would fail.