10 Important personal characteristics of entrepreneurs
Some say that entrepreneurs are born, not made. Whether you believe this or not, there are some personality traits that many successful entrepreneurs share.
What are successful entrepreneurship characteristics?
Being an entrepreneur requires much more than big ideas. A true entrepreneur possesses a unique cocktail of skills and characteristics that enable them to beat the odds and go after their dreams full throttle. But what are those attributes? What does an entrepreneur need to succeed? It would be nice to have a handbook to tell us whether or not we have the ‘E factor’ that makes a great entrepreneur. But the truth is, there’s no discernible formula for success, but there are a few traits that successful entrepreneurs tend to have.
Some people may be born with the traits, but those who are not can often develop them. Here are some of the personal characteristics that successful entrepreneurs have, with tips along the way to help you develop them.
Entrepreneurs are goal-oriented
Entrepreneurs are all about setting goals and putting everything they have into achieving them. They’re determined to make their business succeed and will remove any obstacles that stand in their way. They also tend to be strategic in their game plans and have a clear idea of what they want to achieve and how they plan to do it.
How to become goal-oriented:
- Create short and long term goals for your business. Short-term goals are those you can complete in an hour, a day, or as long as a week. Long-term goals might take you a year or longer.
- Whenever you have a choice to make about what to focus on, choose the thing that will help you make the most progress toward one of your goals.
Entrepreneurs are committed to their business
Entrepreneurs are not easily defeated. In fact, they view failure as an opportunity for future success. If they don’t succeed the first time, they’ll continue to try until they do. Most entrepreneurs don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
How to remain committed:
- Each time you run up against an obstacle, rather than thinking that your idea won’t work or thxat you’ve failed, think about what you can learn from the experience.
- Figure out another way to reach your goal from where you are.
- Remember that many successful entrepreneurs fail several times before they succeed.
Related: 6 Signs of committed entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs are hands-on
Entrepreneurs are inherently proactive and know that if something needs to get done, they should do it themselves. They are ‘doers’ and tend to have very exacting standards. They view their business as an extension of themselves and like to be present in day-to-day operations – even when they don’t have to be.
How to stay hands-on: Having a business that grows to the point where you can’t do everything yourself is a good problem to have. But it’s still important to know how things are being done. Consider:
- Spending some time with each of your key people at least once a month to make sure you know how they’re doing their work.
- Filling in for people when they go on vacation just to keep your hand in it.
Entrepreneurs thrive on uncertainty
Not only do entrepreneurs thrive on facing a new challenges, they remain calm in the face of those challenges. Sometimes things go wrong in business, and when they do, it’s your job as the head of the company to keep your cool. Successful entrepreneurs know this and flourish in the wake of a challenge.
How to thrive on uncertainty: Manage uncertainty in three steps.
- When the unexpected happens, stop and take a deep breath.
- Think about how you can solve the problem, and how you can learn from it.
- Remember your goals. How can you continue to move toward them despite this uncertainty?
Entrepreneurs continuously look for opportunities to improve
Entrepreneurs view every event or situation as a business opportunity, and they’re constantly generating new and innovative ideas. They have the ability to look at everything around them through the lens of their goals, seeing opportunity everywhere.
How to continuously improve: Outside-the-box thinking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can practice it.
- Each time you do something – whether it’s ordering supplies, making a sales call, or creating a new product – ask yourself if there’s a way you could do it better.
- If you have employees, reward them for making suggestions that lead to improvement.
Related: How to continue to improve
Entrepreneurs are willing to take risks
Most entrepreneurs don’t ask themselves whether or not they will succeed – they believe they will. This innate confidence allows them to take risks because they firmly believe those risks will pay off.
How to practice taking risks:
- When deciding whether or not to take a risk, ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?” and then, “How likely is it that the worst thing will happen?” The answers to these two questions can inform your decision.
- If the worst possible outcome is not really that bad, or is extremely unlikely, it’s probably a risk worth taking.
Entrepreneurs are willing to listen and learn
The most important part of learning is listening – and a good entrepreneur will do this in abundance. They also know that they can learn something new from just about everyone they meet, so they don’t hesitate to ask questions.
How to listen and learn:
- When talking to people about your business, make sure you’re asking more questions than you’re answering.
- You should be trying to learn something from every interaction, whether it’s with a customer, a supplier, an employee, or someone you just met.
Entrepreneurs have great people skills
Entrepreneurs tend to have strong communication skills, and this strength, combined with their passion for their product or service, helps them to talk to anyone and everyone about their business. They’re also natural leaders who can motivate, inspire, and influence those around them.
How to develop people skills: This is another skill that many people think you need to be born with, but it can be learned.
- Start by making an effort to strike up a conversation with someone you don’t know.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Continue the discussion based on their answers to you questions.
- As long as you’re asking more questions than you’re answering, you’ll likely keep their interest.
Entrepreneurs are inherently creative
This is one trait that, due to their nature, entrepreneurs tend to have in abundance. They can come up with ingenious ideas and also have the ability to turn those ideas into profits.
How to harness your creativity: People who don’t consider themselves creative can sometimes be intimidated by those whose creativity is apparent. But this trait can also be built by practice.
- When faced with a problem, start by writing down every possible solution.
- Make it a point to include solutions you think will never work – the more outlandish the better.
- The one you settle on probably won’t be one of these, but it will get you into the habit of considering every possible scenario.
Entrepreneurs are passionate and positive
Passion may be the most important trait of the successful entrepreneur. They genuinely love what they do and are willing to put in the extra hours to make their business grow. They get a sense of satisfaction from their work that goes beyond making money.
How to be passionate and positive:
- Choose a product or service that you’re genuinely interested in.
- You must be convinced that your business solves a real need in a way that will improve people’s lives.
- Once you are sure about that, it’s easy to be passionate and positive about what you do.
Very few people are born with all of these characteristics – most people have to work at developing at least some of them. But there are books, courses, and webinars to help you learn. So what are you waiting for?
Guest bloggers Andrew Patricio and Stefanie Neyland, small business experts at BizLaunch.com, contributed to this article.