5 Characteristics Successful Entrepreneurs Have in Common
Knowing the most common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is a good place to start in order to better your own business chops. The good news? If you don't have these traits, you can develop them over time.
It won't always come naturally to you, but mimicking the positives of successful entrepreneurs can give you the edge you need. While there are certainly exceptions to the rule (After all, Steve Jobs wasn't exactly known for his social skills.), if you want to optimize your odds of running a successful business, it's wise to pick up every feasible tool.
Here are some of the most common characteristics shared among entrepreneurs who have achieved great success. How many do you have--and how many can you develop?
1. Type-A personality
People with a Type A personality are generally more ambitious, more driven, and have more follow-through. They're not dreamers; they're doers. Of course, this also comes with a slew of other problems like high stress levels (and everything that comes with them), but it's the drive and follow-through that you should focus on. Dreams can be great, but what's the use if you lack motivation to do anything about it?
2. Morning people
Study after study has shown that morning people are more successful in their careers (and in many other aspects of their lives) than night owls. However, there are certainly successful night owls, and if it's truly impossible for you to get up at 5 a.m., then it's not required for your success. The reason morning people get more done is that they're not as prone to procrastination, which is something you can work on no matter what your internal clock settings.
3. Just likable enough
Being super-outgoing and having everyone adore you can be great for securing promotions and climbing the corporate ladder. That's not, however, the best personality to have when you're an entrepreneur and in the executive's shoes. You need to be sociable enough to network and build a solid reputation, but being too much of a social butterfly (or a complete hermit) is going to make people not take you seriously.
"Making friends in your industry or online is similar to making friends in the real world" says James Parsons, an entrepreneur and Internet marketer. "People who are influential and knowledgeable are not easy to come by, so make a good impression and be social. I can't say how many friends I've made early on that have ended up introducing me to dozens of other thought-leaders and important connections that I may have never found otherwise."
4. Written goals and POAs
This is where the dreamer in you can take over. You need to have a written business plan with objectives that are regularly updated and pored over. When you plan things, you need to put it all in writing and (at times) have it signed by the correct legal representatives. Putting things in writing makes them more real and easier to remember, and can help avoid confusion down the road.
While it's certainly possible to build a successful business providing SEO services for B2B clients, it's not likely if you don't have a clue what SEO is or even an interest in technology. Following your passion is the best way to stay motivated, but you do have to find an avenue to make it lucrative. Don't pursue a field just because it's hot right now. Choose an industry that you're passionate about and take it on from a unique angle.
DREW HENDRICKS | Columnist
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social-media, and environmental addict. He's written for many major publications, such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.