Entrepreneurs create wealth for themselves and society. When they succeed, they are considered heroes in our culture. One of the main reasons for this is that their accomplishments fuel the progress of regions and sometimes whole countries. It goes without saying it’s not easy at all to accomplish these feats. This is why many brilliant people have studied entrepreneurship. Although much of the literature focuses on particular solutions for our world’s problems, the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs should be studies as well. Entrepreneurs’ traits influence strategies, plans, actions, relationships and their unique style. Knowledge can be learned from books. But these characteristics have to be built through life experiences.
1. Perseverance- A wise man once said perseverance is omnipotent. Just like a drop of water makes its mark over a rock through time, entrepreneurs with perseverance will surely achieve their goals sooner or later. They have to be persistent to reach their goals. More often than not, entrepreneurs will see more failures than successes. If you don’t have perseverance and give up too soon, a business will not sustain.
2. Creativity- Ideas are the most important source of wealth, power and well-being. This is very important in business, where the changing landscape and the need to reach goals demand a fresh and constant source of new or improved ways of doing things by entrepreneurs. An idea can change whole industries and even create them, improve processes, save money and do things with less resources. Without creativity, you’ll be simply copying someone else’s ideas. You can be inspired by someone else’s idea. However, the idea isn’t yours unless you put a creative and original twist to it.
3. Organization- In order to reach efficiency, a great entrepreneur is always keen to be organized. Although at times it is not possible to achieve it with complete efficacy, the goal is always to improve processes, empower people and minimize complexity. If you’re not organized, at least hire people who are. You need to have a system, a clear plan on how you what to build your business. Why do you need to have a business plan or a pitch? It is to be organized so your business can be represented in a professional manner.
4. Flexibility- Even if entrepreneurs persevere, they should also be flexible in order to become great and to achieve their goals in a shorter period of time. Sometimes, you may be stuck on an idea…unable to make certain decisions about your company. The solution can be found easily through brainstorming with others. This will require you to be open minded and flexible in your way of thinking. By doing this they will be able to reach their destination much faster since adapting to changing circumstances and correcting previous mistakes is a great way not only to survive, but to thrive.
5. Specialized knowledge- Great entrepreneurs never stop learning. It goes without saying that passion for what they do may predict in great measure their future success. Deep knowledge about the entrepreneurial process, industry, products, services and people is required to reach great heights. Of course, you should hire experts in the fields to become your mentors or advisers as well.
6. Boldness- By being daring, even a bit rebellious is in the nature of the most successful individuals on the planet. Their actions gather more momentum and can break through resistance much faster, better and stronger. Don’t be afraid to take risks. Don’t be afraid to ask for help either. Be direct with your employees on what your expectations are. Always push the envelope.
7. Leadership- Entrepreneurs are leaders by definition. Even if an individual possessed all aforementioned characteristics, they wouldn’t be entrepreneurs if they didn’t take the lead by setting a clear vision for their businesses. Leaders need to set good examples and inspire their employees. If you don’t have the leadership skills, you probably don’t belong in the top management positions. Most importantly, you need to embrace and seek challenges so that your business can move forward. Once you believe in something as a leader, you’ll realize that you’re not the only doing so.
All these characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are interrelated. You can’t have one without the others. By nurturing these characteristics an individual can reach astounding success in their fields and even more important, they can contribute to the well-being of the people who depend upon them and for the general well-being of society.