No one ever said being an entrepreneur was easy. Most startups never move out of the basement, let alone become profitable.
But take heart! There are countless brave entrepreneurs who reach independence and self-sufficiency. Some even get rich.
It’s true that there is no magical pill to take if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, but here are the 7 traits that we’ve consistently found in the best of the best.
At the end of the day, you choose to be an entrepreneur for the freedom and the ability to determine your own path in life. But what kind of freedom would you have, if you weren’t passionate about what you were doing?
This is why it’s important to find passion in your endeavor. When the hours get long and the setbacks often, you’ll have to rely on that fuel which helps you keep running on empty. That fuel is passion. Without passion, whether it’s for the activity itself, or for the goals that you’ve set for yourself, you won’t be able to meet the tough demands of the entrepreneurial way of life. If you look at any successful entrepreneur, you’ll see that they’ve all been passionate about what they were doing in one way or another.
Passion and perseverance go hand in hand, but not in the way most people think. Passion can help you persevere when the going gets tough, but without perseverance you will fail when the passion starts waning. And it always does.
After all, there might come a point when you’ll want to throw in the towel, because you’ve lost your reason for doing something. That’s when perseverance has to kick in to keep you going through the storm until you’re in the clear and can look upon your activity with fresh eyes. The light at the end of the tunnel is always passion, and perseverance will get you there.
You have to trust yourself, your ideas, and when all else fails, your commitment. Imagine if Richard Branson, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk doubted their visions or their abilities to bring those visions to life.
There certainly have been a lot of people who doubted them, but they just didn’t give in. They had to make that leap of faith and trust themselves more than their naysayers. This is a very important trait to have as an entrepreneur. After all, creativity is just as important as every other skill in your repertoire, and creativity requires self-confidence.
4. Long Term Perspective
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Planning is an essential part of mapping out your journey, even though plans are the first thing to fly out the window when it all hits the fan. This trait is useful in almost any realm you can think of. Preparing the information that goes into a plan, and trying to foresee issues, successes, and unexpected developments, can greatly improve your preparedness and performance. Planning often can dramatically reduce the unknown factors you might run into, even if the map rarely matches the terrain.
Being an entrepreneur means being a leader, a team player. Without a strong team, even the most perseverant and tenacious entrepreneur has little chance of success.
Finding the people with the right talents, skills and mindsets is essential. Communication and interaction are the keys to having new ideas and renewed motivation. A team can also give more meaning to your endeavors. If you have a team to fight for, you are able to find something outside of yourself to keep going.
While it’s important to trust yourself and persevere in your pursuits, an open mind is equally important. This might sound like conflicting advice, but it’s actually more of a balancing act. Without an open mind to both your shortcomings and the ideas of others, you risk going into the wrong direction and never figuring out why things don’t work out.
An entrepreneur with an open mind is more prepared to adapt to the ever-changing environment of business. Have a trusted team who you can consult, have friends you can talk to, and keep absorbing as much information as you can. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to take anyone’s advice to heart, but you should at least listen to, and welcome it.
7. Desire to Give Back
Whether you want to give something back through your work, or as a result of its success is up to you, but at the end of the day it’s important to try and help others. You simply have to look at the big names in business to see that this philosophy applies to every self-made billionaire. From Bill Gates to Warren Buffet, you see entrepreneurs that want to give almost all of it back.
You also see visionaries who want to make the world a better place through their work. After all, there comes a point where money no longer plays a part in your activity. That is the point where most entrepreneurs find meaning in the value they provide for others. Build a business that’s more than a money-making machine and try to improve other people’s lives in the process. And if you want to get pragmatic about it, giving back can greatly improve the image of your brand.
What traits do you think every successful entrepreneur possesses?