I am often asked which traits are most important to the success of an entrepreneur. The average person may throw out the standard reply of hard-working, dedicated, and a drive for success. There have been many successful inventions in which the inventor possessed none of these traits. Truth is, there really is no straightforward answer to this question as many successful people possess many different traits. This is what differentiates us and makes us successful in our own respect. However, if the average individual could possess at least most of the below traits, they would be at least 1 step ahead of their competitors.
- Self-confidence: If you don’t believe in your own dreams and visions, who else will? Self-confidence is what gives you the motivation to follow through on what you believe in when no one else will. No one sees your dream as bright as you. You will encounter adversary along the way but, you should have enough confidence in yourself and what you believe in to overcome this. I like to think of these obstacles as tests of faith that will determine how much I really want whatever it is that I’m trying to pursue. Your success story will be in the battle wound that you had to endure.
- Self-motivator: Be your own cheerleader. Never forget why you decided to start this journey in the first place. Owning your own business may require that you work a shift 24/7. This will require discipline that a business partner and/or spouse cannot provide. You will find that not many people will share your vision at first and if they do, you should consider yourself very lucky.
- Strategist: A great strategy is the key to success. I was always told that if you fail to plan then, be prepared to fail. Give yourself enough time and planning to lay out all the details of your new business and/or next big project. Start with a strategy canvas that will help you brainstorm all your ideas before you start drafting a formal business plan (if you have not done so already, subscribe today and get THE MILLENNIPRENEUR’S free Business Strategy Canvas!). Make no mistake, your strategy should not be long-term and you’ll need to review and make necessary revisions at least yearly. Don’t make the mistake of pursuing and an outdated strategy while your competitors have moved on to the latest and greatest. You will almost certainly lose your competitive edge.
- A leader with the ability to effectively manage: Know and understand your leadership style as well as management capabilities. A leader is a visionary that continuously has the end goal in mind while motivating others to pursue that same vision. A manager is a very tactical person that adopts strategies in which the vision can be achieved. A successful entrepreneur must be able to do both.In addition, know when to delegate tasks when the burden gets a little too heavy to carry. Trusting strangers to help operate your enterprise is scary but necessary.
- Resilient: Stand firm on what you believe in and don’t allow outside influences to discourage you in your pursuit to greatness. Running a business is easy, said no one ever. This will take much time and effort on your part before you even start to see a difference. Not only should you have thick skin against the failures that you will most certainly encounter but, you must be willing to make sacrifices along the way. This may come in the form of loss of a steady paycheck, fewer hours of sleep at night and even a loss of a few friends.
- Open-minded: We stated earlier that resiliency is a desired trait to possess, however, do not let this come at the cost of not taking into consideration new ideas. Allow for suggestions and constructive feedback on how you can improve your business. Take some time to ponder the information that is given and decide on whether you would like to implement this going forward. If this feedback is pertinent to the operations of your business, do a risk assessment of how the change may or may not affect you.If this information is not helpful or is too much of a risk to you, don’t be afraid to tell your resource, “Thanks but, no thanks.
- Resourceful: Know how to effectively and efficiently utilize the resources you have without diminishing the quality of your products/services. It’s important to first have the needed capital to successfully operate your business until you can have enough resources to be flexible. During the first few years, you may not have extra funds to implement all the ideas that you have for your business. You must be creative with what you have and look for alternative ways to get your desired result.
- Persistent: Lastly, you must be persistent. Persistency comes with a good support network. Get in touch with people who are on a similar journey or ones that have endured your journey and have achieved what they’ve fought for. There may be fifty “No’s” before you finally get that one “Yes.” Don’t ever give up on your dreams despite what any critic has to say. Truth be told, some critics wish that they had half the determination that you have but, can’t build up the self-confidence to even start.