Owning a business isn't for everyone. The stress and hard work that come with it makes many people unwilling to dive in.
It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur - to come up with an idea and put that idea into action. But not all ideas work out. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that 50% of small businesses fail within the first four years. Not a big vote of confidence for quitting your job and becoming an entrepreneur.
But entrepreneurs don't see the risk: they see the reward. As an entrepreneur myself, I know how to put the time and effort in to make my dream a reality.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you need to have the right personality and the right attitude. Here are 10 essential characteristics to be successful as an entrepreneur:
Entrepreneurship starts with an idea. To be successful, you need to always be thinking of new ideas and better ways of doing things.
In an interview in Martyn Lewis's book "Reflections on Success," Virgin Airlines founder Richard Branson said, "I've gone into business, not to make money, but because I think I can do it better than it's been done elsewhere. And, quite often, just out of personal frustration about the way it's been done by other people."
Entrepreneurs are not satisfied with the status quo. They think outside the box and look for opportunities to come up with new solutions.
Perhaps the most important characteristic for entrepreneurs, passion is essential to any business owner or working professional's success. Without passion, there is no reason for your work and no drive to do it.
Entrepreneurs love what they do and are extremely dedicated to the businesses they create. To be successful, you must be confident in yourself and your business, and you must be proactive with what you do and how you do it.
In an interview with The Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program, the late Apple founder Steve Jobs said, "I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance."
Because of their passion for their ideas, entrepreneurs are willing to put in the long hours and hard work required to launch and run a successful new business. Are you self-motivated? Entrepreneurs are their own boss, which means there's no one telling them to do things. You must be in charge of your own time and how you spend it.
Do you see the glass half empty or half full? For entrepreneurs, it's always half full. Entrepreneurs always look on the bright side and are constant dreamers. They look at how they can do things better and make the world a better place. They never dwell on the past or the negative. Instead, they focus on moving forward and moving up.
When they're confronted with challenges, entrepreneurs don't see them as problems; they see them as opportunities. Challenges fuel entrepreneurs and make them reach higher and do more.
Because entrepreneurs are focused on moving forward, they are always looking toward the future. Entrepreneurs are very goal-oriented and know exactly what they want. They set their goals and everything they do is aimed at achieving those goals.
Having a strong vision helps propel you toward accomplishment. Consider setting a goal for yourself - a north star that can guide you on your path to success.
To be successful in business, you have to know business. If you're a people person and know how to get people to listen to you, you could be a successful entrepreneur.
Especially when first starting out, entrepreneurs need to gain buy-in from those around them on their big idea. If it's an out-of-the-box idea, which it usually is, many people will be skeptical before giving their support or investing any money. That's why entrepreneurs need to use their persuasiveness to sell themselves and their ideas.
According to professional development coach Ruchira Agrawal in an article for Monster, "As an entrepreneur, you'll typically start out as a 'solopreneur,' meaning you will be on your own for a while. You may not have the luxury of hiring a support staff initially. Therefore, you will end up wearing several different hats, including secretary, bookkeeper and so on."
Entrepreneurs know how to adapt to unfamiliar situations. If their business requires that they learn how to build a website or send an invoice, they'll do it. Whatever it takes, entrepreneurs are ready and willing. They always approach things with an open mind and are willing to change course if they need to.
In business, problems aren't a matter of if, but when. Entrepreneurs do not shy away from challenges or conflicts. Instead, they face them head on and come up with a solution. They know how to solve problems effectively.
Entrepreneurs also know how to make the most of what they have. Time, money and effort are never used haphazardly. Everything has a plan and a purpose.
In an interview with Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said, "In a world that's changing so quickly, the biggest risk you can take is not taking any risk."
Entrepreneurs know that to be successful, they must be willing to take risks. While they don't mind walking on the wild side, they don't take risks lightly. They know how to plan for the unknown and make a calculated decision that is best for them and their business.
There is no room for procrastination in business. Entrepreneurs know what needs to be done and don't hesitate to make the decisions that will lead them to success. They don't let opportunities pass them by; instead, they seize the day and get the job done.
How do you best exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit? What characteristics do you most identify with? Let me know in the comments below: