Being an entrepreneur sounds like an ideal job. After all you get to be your own boss, your choose how to spend your time, you don’t have to put up with office politics, the profits go to you and not someone else and you get to do what you love. Yeah it really sounds fantastic, doesn’t it!
In reality though successful entrepreneurs work extremely hard, often longer hours than you would at a traditional job. Income is a constant concern especially during the early days of the start-up and if you are doing it alone you need to wear lots of different hats. You have to be your own accountant, marketer and sales person. You have to know how to run your business efficiently and troubleshoot any issues that arise.
“Being an entrepreneur takes dedication, perseverance, optimism and a lot of hard work”
Before throwing in your day-to-day job really think about how giving up a regular income will impact you, be realistic about your abilities and whether you are really prepared to sacrifice many hours to work hard for what could be very little return especially in the beginning. If you think it will be easy and you’ll start earning a high income straight away then perhaps you need to give it some more thought and speak to other entrepreneurs about their experiences to get the real picture about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
The key to being a successful entrepreneur is not the product or service that you are selling, it is your personality, beliefs and abilities. So what are some of the common traits that successful entrepreneurs share?
1. Drive and Determination
Successful entrepreneurs are determined to succeed and work hard to build their businesses. They weather the storms and don’t give up when things don’t go according to plan. They stay focussed on their goals and are disciplined. They do what it takes to ensure success.
2. Risk Taking
Shying away from risks will never get you very far. You have to move outside your comfort zone in order to get ahead. Successful entrepreneurs know this and they know how to take calculated risks in order to keep moving forward.
3. Strong People and Communication Skills
To build a business you have to have good people and communication skills. You need to be able to build good relationships with suppliers, customers and clients. If you employ people, you need to understand how to be a good manager and build good relationships with your employees. Successful entrepreneurs understand this and hone their people skills so that they can network effectively, building good relationships with their suppliers and clients.
Truthfully things don’t always go according to plan however if you don’t have a plan at all you will either not succeed or your business growth will not be as expected. Successful entrepreneurs start planning from the business concept stage and continue to plan thereafter. Planning is all about how to build your business, the actions you need to take in order to achieve your goals and being able to monitor progress and mitigating issues.
5. Continual Learning
An entrepreneur wears multiple hats so there is a steep learning curve not only to learn how to run a business (for instance managing finances, marketing business etc.) but they know that they always need to be one step ahead of the competition with regards to innovation. Successful entrepreneurs attend seminars, workshops, events and go on training to ensure their knowledge is up to date. The learning never stops.
Although there are many more traits that help entrepreneurs succeed, the key traits that will help you get your business off the ground is to be proactive and assertive. If you tend to be lazy and just expect business to come to you, I can assure you it won’t. You need to get out there and work on your business, don’t let mishaps or rejection get you down. Preserve, try different things to get your business moving forward, stay motivated and stay focussed.