Friday, 21 June 2013

Top Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Top Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

By Sue Pearce

As you step out of the box to become independent as a sole business owner, you must realize that it takes a very special, determined individual to achieve the success of entrepreneurial ship. There are many factors to consider before you take that first step. A successful entrepreneur should have the following traits to be successful.

Sacrifices & Passion - Sacrifice and Passion go hand in hand when looking at being your own boss. You need the passion in your business or the aspect of building your business from the ground up simply because you will be sacrificing your family like and potentially taking a cut in pay to succeed. The question is: Does personal satisfaction outweigh personal monetary gain?

Determination & Tolerance - You will need to be the kind of individual that once you decide to do something, you will do it and nothing can stop you. When you are faced with sever setbacks, you will need to be able to pick up the pieces and start over again. Utilizing a bad situation by accepting failure without admitting defeat and turning those experiences into positive benefits is a must. You really need to enjoy tackling a task without knowing all the potential problems realizing that these projects may take 5 to 10 years to complete successfully. The question is: Does your concentration level allow you to focus on a single subject for extended periods of time?

Self-Confidence & Small Ego - To truly succeed, commonly seeking the advice of people who are older and more experienced than you will be a must. Don't worry about what others think of you, you'll need the self-confidence to surround yourself with people whose skills, background and knowledge complement your own. Your ego must be checked at the door to allow the growth to bring you the success. Learning is power and power is success. The question: Do you feel good about yourself despite what others may say?

Uncertainty & Ambiguity - This aspect speaks to a 90/10% rule. Research is a necessity before you start your business and during the course of your business however, the rule of thumb is that we will only ever gather about 10% of the information we will need in a short period of time to base our business decisions on. Being a procrastinator or continuing to do research, will only delay our start up. You will need to set clear goals and objectives for yourself constantly think of new ideas and come up with more than one solution to potential or existing problems. The question: Do you tend to make suggestions on how to improve things at your current job?

Volleyball Player or BASE jumper - If we were to look at any successful entrepreneur, you will see that they tend to be more like a "Base Jumper" rather than a Volleyball player. On a sliding scale smart business owners know to take greater risks and they can recognize potential startup risks and mitigate them knowing that they still may fail but can overcome those failures and adjust their processes along the way. If you were to look at any new business and speak to the owner, I am sure that they would tell you that their current business differs greatly from what their original business plan indicated. The point is that the people, who take greater risks, adjust to the new information and changing circumstances are still standing. The question: Are you a low risk taker (volleyball player) or high risk (BASE jumper) taker?

Tortoise and the Hare - Just as the old adage states: Slow and Steady wins the race! We have already touched on Sacrifices and passion however, we need to mention finances. As holds true, you need to spend money to make money and until you have got the personal finances to go without a steady paycheck, you won't want to quit your current job. If you rush like the Hare, you may run into financial woes and this will create a loss of interest in your new business due to survival mode having to kick in. Do your startup as a side business and then once you are generating enough cash flow to survive, you can then go full time with your endeavor. The question: Is working long hours to accomplish a goal realistic for you?

Professional Photographer - As a famous photographer Robert Capa frequently quoted, "If your picture isn't good enough, you're not close enough." As a smart entrepreneur, you will need to learn to be like a professional photographer. You need to possess the unique ability to "zoom out" to see the bigger picture for your business while still being able to capture the picture in front of you, that being your startup goals. The question: Can you be a professional photographer and not blame others when things go wrong?

Introvert & Extrovert - As an Entrepreneur, you will need to learn to master both of these personality traits. As defined in the dictionary, an Extrovert takes pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. Politics, teaching, sales, managing and brokering are fields that favor extroversion. However, you will also need to be an Introvert in order to realize that you cannot win every battle. Introverts are also characterized as being more analytical before speaking. Both attributes will be needed - extroversion for selling your business and introversion to maintain a strong sense of perspective. The question: Have you previously been involved in starting things like clubs, community organizations, fund-raising projects etc. or do you enjoy being a home body?


The question: Do you envision yourself running your own business?

It could be said that entrepreneurship is a kind of creative, irrational rebellion committed in the face of uncertainty. When you initially start out, you may not have that fool-proof plan but as a new entrepreneur, you will need to be confident, sacrificial, introverted and extroverted. Egos will need to be checked at the door, failures need to be viewed as new potentials and not all battles are worth fighting for. You need to be fully satisfied in knowing personally that a job has been done well. Many hats will need to be worn including a Volleyball player, BASE jumper, Photographer and Tortoise.

Not all of these traits are necessary to have in the beginning, nor do they guarantee success, but it will show you whether your profile fits that of an entrepreneur and will highlight what traits and personalities are your strengths and weaknesses to help ensure success.

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