I wish that there was an exact science on what not only makes an entrepreneur successful but also what determines the success or failure of their startups.
The truth is, there are a countless amount of factors that influence the fate of a startup. And, sometimes it all comes down to timing and luck. But, you can increase the chances of your startup surviving if you possess the following personality traits.
1. They Learn From Doing
It's been said that "Learning is 5 percent hearing, 10 percent seeing, and 85 percent doing." While that may not be scientifically proven, I think the idea behind that statement is you learn from experiences in the real world.
Take a business plan, for example. You learn how to write a business plan while taking a class. You sit down and write your business plan when it's time to launch your startup. You follow all the procedures that you learned. And just as you've completed your plan, it's already outdated because of outside factors - both good and bad.
As an entrepreneur, you're going to be thrown a lot of curveballs and you have to constantly keep learning how you're going to hit them. The thing is, you're not going to learn by watching an instructional video or reading a book on baseball. You have to step-behind-the-plate and start swinging for the fences. Sure. You're going to strike out plenty of times. But the more you keep doing, the better you're going to get at hitting the ball.
2. They're Effective Leaders
The debate is out on whether or not leaders are born or can be raised. Personally, I think everyone can at least learn some of the most effective leadership skills like;
Effective leaders earn the respect of everyone around them and are able to guide them even through the murkiest of waters.
3. They're Passionate
Successful entrepreneurs don't lack passion. It's what keeps them going after they've worked 60 hours in a week with little pay and no guarantee that their idea is going to pan out. Passion isn't just what motivates and drives entrepreneurs, it's contagious and gets everyone involved, whether if it's an employee or customer, on board with your mission and vision.
What if you have multiple passions? You can narrow down your list down by asking what you don't want to do with your life, failing, integrating several of your passions, and master all of your circumstances.
4. They're Resilient
Failure is a part of being an entrepreneur. In fact, everyone from Walt Disney to Steve Jobs to Bill Gates failed at some point. Instead of letting that failure keep them down, they learned from the experience and came back even stronger. What went wrong? What am I going to do next time so that I succeed?
As Sir Winston Churchill said, "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."
5. They Get Their Hands Dirty
Successful entrepreneurs don't hide in a corner office or behind a computer screen. They work side-by-side with their employees. For example, Zara founder Amancio Ortega was known running his company while working next to his colleagues in a design room. They also talk to their customers and listen to their suggestions. Sam Walton used to speak to Walmart clients in the parking lot after they were done shopping to gather feedback.
6. They're Highly Self-Motivated
Instead of waiting for an opportunity to come to them, the most successful business owners invoke change in their own lives. In other words, they make things happen on their own because they're proactive and highly self-motivated. They'll do whatever it takes, legally and ethically, of course, the make their vision a reality.
7. They're Decisive
Entrepreneurs also constantly on the move. They gather as much information they need to get started and then take the ball and run with it. If they wait until everything's perfect it will be too late, and they'll be bogged down by indecisiveness, or you'll start making excuses. And guess what happens? A competitor had come in and captured your entire market.
8. They Possess a Strong Sense of Self
Being an entrepreneur isn't easy. If it were there would be a whole lot more of us. And, when times get tough, reliance and passion can only carry you so far. That's why successful entrepreneurs are also confident. They don't think their product is fantastic. That know it is.
But, self-confidence also means that you know your limitations and admitting when you're wrong. That's why entrepreneurs surround themselves with talented individuals who can pick-up the on their weaknesses and enhance their strengths. This shows in their relationships as well.
9. They're Resourceful
Obviously, you need a little bit of capital to get your startup up-and-running. But, money doesn't solve everything. For example, if you have a limited amount of funds for advertising, how can you and your team resolve that problem? Are you going to borrow more money? Or, are you going to be resourceful and think-outside-of-the-box.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on ads, you and your team decide to reach out to influencers. It's effective, and most importantly, won't even come close to breaking the bank.
10. They Plan Ahead
While entrepreneurs are known for being resourceful and flexible, they also know the importance of planning ahead financially to reduce any potential risks. The most successful entrepreneurs don't quit their jobs until they've done their market research, tested the waters, and are financially prepared to live without a paycheck for the next two years.
This doesn't mean that they're not working on their startup. It means that it starts off as a side-gig until all the pieces come together and they're prepared enough to take the next step.
11. They Treat Customers With Respect
No matter if you have 100 customers or 100,000, the startups that thrive have long realized that their customers aren't just some nameless, faceless group that's only good for revenue. They're individuals who have problems, dreams, wants needs, and expectations.
Profitable Startups listen and engage with their customers and genuinely care about them by working their lives just a little bit better.
12. They're Serial Innovators
There's an opportunity everywhere in the eyes of entrepreneurs. Whether if that's improving their existing product or developing a completely new idea, they're always thinking about how to make something better.
Sometimes that means that they're entire original business idea or vision is scrapped and they pivot towards a new direction, which worked for startups like YouTube, Instagram, Nokia, and Groupon.