Do you hate your job?
Dream of one day being your own boss?
Does the word entrepreneur make you feel tingly and excited?
Trust me, you’re not alone!
Please recognize one very important thing: there is a difference between traits and actions or skills. Some people confuse the two, even in respectable media outlets. For example this article tries to describe 25 “characteristics” successful entrepreneurs share.
Unfortunately, the writer and editors failed to realize that most (if not all) of the 25 items are actions and skills, not traits or characteristics.
One set (actions or skills) can be learned or mastered, while the other (traits or characteristics) you even have or you don’t.
Passion + Drive/Determination
Having a love for what you do in life is an essential part of being an entrepreneur.
Simply liking what you do is not enough, or else you would have remained an employee and not subjected yourself to the amount of work required to start a business.
You need to have the kind of passion that will enable you put in the long hours and make the personal sacrifices necessary to get a venture off the ground.
Sometimes, it may seem as though more time is spent working than doing everything else combined.
There are times, especially in the beginning, when it may seem like you are not getting anywhere.
There are times when you will be putting more money into the business than you are bringing in.
Some days you may simply feel that all of your effort has gone for nothing.
Having the drive and determination to keep pushing forward in spite of the bumps along the way is key since those bumps are all but guaranteed.
The successful entrepreneur is one who practices discipline and patience.
They understand that success takes work, and more importantly, time.
Nothing, aside from winning the lottery, happens overnight.
The line from the old baseball movie Field of Dreams, “Build it and they will come” does not apply in the business world.
It takes time to develop a business model and business plan, implement a marketing campaign, find the right people to work with and employ.
Even in the world of e-commerce, simply putting up a website is not enough.
All of this is of particular importance if you are bootstrapping, or are attempting to avoid taking on debt while growing a business.
Careful planning and budgeting is essential, but without the patience to work through the early stages, success will be difficult to achieve.
In order to be successful when starting a business, one needs to throw caution to the wind in some instances.
There will always be detractors, people who tell you that your idea cannot be brought to life, or that an idea is nothing more than a pipe dream.
Some people shrink at the first hint of criticism or doubt.
Others embrace it.
They use the negatives as a driving force, and set out to prove the detractors wrong.
Being unafraid to fail, to take calculated risks regardless of what other might say, being a visionary and a leader in a given area or field are what these qualities represent.
Nobody ever succeeded by being complacent.
None of the innovation we use in everyday life were developed by those who took the cautious road or stopped at the first sign of doubt or difficulty.
Many of the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who were bucking trends, daring to be innovators and leaders rather than followers, setting precedents, and daring to be different
Nobody can do all things at all times, it’s just a fact.
It is especially difficult to all of the things necessary to get a new venture going if you aren’t knowledgeable on the subject.
There are all kinds of software packages for developing business or marketing plans, simple incorporation, etc., but sometimes you just need to know when to call in for reinforcements.
When it comes to some things like drawing up legal documents, or installing computer systems it is best not to leave it to chance that you are doing things properly.
It is one thing to be ambitious and to attempt to do everything on your own, but it is another thing altogether to venture into territory in which you have no background, experience or knowledge.
Successful entrepreneurs are like great managers: they understand the importance of delegating and outsourcing certain responsibilities and procedures in an effort to not only achieve optimal results but to also make the most efficient use of their limited time and resources.
Nothing is worse than wasting time (not to mention the ability to be moving ahead with the business and possibly missing out on income opportunities) trying to complete projects yourself that can be done correctly the very first time and within reasonable costs by qualified professionals.
That is why they do what they do, and you do not.
Now, this is by no means a complete list of qualities that entrepreneurs should possess, and in fact it is probably true that there are some successful entrepreneurs who don’t possess any of these characteristics (although that would be very difficult to imagine).
The point is, that it takes much more than a simple desire to do something in order to be successful at it.
If that were the case, then almost everyone in the world would be doing what they love, and no one would be dissatisfied with their jobs.
Unfortunately, some people just are not cut out to be entrepreneurs for one reason or another, but more likely than not it is because they do not possess one of the key traits mentioned above.