Do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Do you have the needed qualities to see you through hard times? In this article are the characteristics that have helped countless entrepreneurs to success.
Regardless of your personal or perceived definition of success, the qualities explained below are vital to enhance your success as an entrepreneur. What are those qualities you think you possess? As you read through this article, juxtapose them with the qualities enumerated here and see where you place yourself. Then, will you know where you need to improve or develop. There is no need to be intimidated if you are lacking in any of these areas because there is a way out.
1. Do you enjoy what you do?
What you get from your business is a factor of what you did put in. Great passion goes a long way in driving businesses to success. When you have passion for what you are doing there is this unseen driving force that propels you to success if properly managed.
Successful entrepreneurs are always passionate about whatever they are doing. This has been there strength when the going gets though. When the cash flow dwindles, when the customers are not coming, the passion is what spurs you up and keeps you strong.
2. How serious are you with your business?
Do you easily fall prey to naysayers who do not believe in your business because it has no office building, no factory, and no high number of employees? It does not really matter if anyone believes in your business or not. You cannot expect to be effective and successful in business unless you truly believe in your business and in the goods and services that you sell.
You can only attract customers and client to your business when you believe that it will succeed and you take it serious. You would not want to buy a product or order a service when the developers do not believe or take serious their product or the quality of the service they offer.
A doctor is ready to carry out an operation on a patient but deep down he tells himself that he cannot do it, scared and fidgeting. What do you think will be the outcome of the operation? A goalkeeper goes into a game telling his team mates that he is not sure he can save the day, he will eventually come out defeated.
As an entrepreneur, confidence consist of these traits; self-awareness, conviction in your ability to succeed, action-oriented, pro-active and so on. Confidence is a great morale booster. Successful entrepreneur at some point in their lives came to a realization that they can make it, they believed in their abilities even when it seems so overwhelming and difficult, they are always positive.
As Napoleon Hill rightly said, “What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.”
4. Effective time management
Lost time is never found. Time is an invaluable asset for successful entrepreneur and to all being. Unlike other asset that you have control over and can preserve for future use, time wait for no man hence, effective time management is a great determinant of your success as an entrepreneur.
Your ability to distinguish urgent and important tasks from urgent and unimportant tasks will enable effective use of your time, hence, creating more time for you to finish more important tasks. A more effective way of handling this is to create a to-do list, placing the different tasks in their order of importance. Focus on one task at a time. You will achieve more with less time when you abide by this principle.
5. Failure to plan is a plan to fail
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to plan every step of the way. Just as the widely acceptable quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Although, sometimes you do not follow the set out plan to the later, but at least it guides your action to success. It is better to have a glimpse of what you need to do to achieve your goal rather than just jumping in without any plan. Planning guides an entrepreneur during startup, expansion, transition or exit.
6. Become an expert in what you do
A sick person would not go to an engineer for drug prescription. Having toothache? Would you rather go to an optician for treatment or a dentist? Your company wants to build a new office in another city, would you consult a carpenter or painter to supervise the project? Just as you would not consult someone who has not developed expertise in his field to carry out a project for you, do not expect high patronage when you have not proven to be good at what you claim to be doing.
Although, expertise is acquired over time, work at it and improve the quality of your product and service at the slightest opportunity available.
7. Invest in yourself
To become a successful entrepreneur, you have to be a continuous learner, developing and investing in yourself. How do you go about this? Successful entrepreneurs have this drive for in-depth information and improvement. They buy and read business books, reports, newsletters, magazines, journals, websites and industry publications. They attend business seminars, training courses, workshops, knowing that these resources will improve their understanding of entrepreneurship.
Networking with other successful and skilled entrepreneurs to learn their secrets of success is another mean to invest in you. You are the most powerful and effective tool you have as an entrepreneur hence, constant investment in yourself should be a top priority.
8. Business Focus
Sometimes we tend to allow our emotions cloud our judgments. As an entrepreneur, decisions must be profit-oriented and for the interest of the team members involve (customers, investors and employees). Staying focus entails; plan for growth, clear goals in alignment with the business. In doing this, an entrepreneur should not lose sight of the vision and mission of the business, every part of the business should be carried along.
9. Are you afraid of delegating?
To be successful as an entrepreneur, you must collaborate, recognize and utilize people’s abilities, encourage team play. Do not be afraid to delegate tasks to an experienced member of your company that has the ability to get tasks completed. To maximize this great quality of an entrepreneur, you need to map out processes on how to delegate, identify skills, allow employees to perform, get feedback when each task is completed.
They always do whatever it takes to succeed as long as it is legal. Successful entrepreneurs are resolute, multi-tasking, focus on main objective, responsible, optimistic, multiple competencies, ‘can-do’ spirit, and faith in self. Being independent as an entrepreneur also have negative effects, you will be burnout, difficulty in growing the team to scale the enterprise since you believe you can get things done with less hands.
As good a quality as independence is, it needs to be controlled to achieve optimal result. Be focused on main objective, delegate and form alliances with others.
11. Manage money wisely
Cash flow is an importance element in the growth and success of any business enterprise. When there is no adequate cash flow in any business, there are limits to that which you can achieve. There are innovations, growth plan and other business strategies that will not see the light of the day if there is no fund or when the available funds are mismanaged. Hence, to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must become a wise money manager to ensure that the cash flow is continuous and incremental and the bills get paid.
12. Risk taker
Risk is an integral part of an entrepreneur’s life. You cannot always be certain about the outcome of every business decisions you make, most times you need to analyze the opportunity before you and make an optimistic decision. A successful entrepreneur makes optimistic and rational decisions, they are charismatic, confident, and have the will to win. They can deal with complexity and are comfortable with uncertainty.
13. Think out of the box
Successful entrepreneurs are creative thinkers, they think out of the box, they see opportunity where others see difficulty, they see a challenge worth taking up where others see problems. Always firing off many ideas, curious, quick learner, exploratory, imaginative, alert to every opportunity to shows up. They are innovators and inventors. They always find a better and easier way to solve problems and improve live.
Developing a winning team is critical to a business’ success. You need a team as committed as you are to the business and its success. When you create mutually-beneficial links inside and outside workplace, open to opinions, the members of your team feel they belong to the team and will give in their best.
To build a winning team as an entrepreneur, you must lead by example, believe in your team, slow down, simplify your direction as much as possible, and repeat it again and again, invest in development, acknowledge unique talents and contributions. These will spur up your team to success.
15. The Power of Negotiations
Negotiation is a means of resolving differences between people when imposed settlements are not possible. If you evaluate the activities you carry out each day, you’ll realize that you negotiate all the time, every day. In business, negotiation skills are used daily. The ability to negotiate effectively is unquestionably a skill that every entrepreneur must make every effort to master.
As an entrepreneur, to lose out to another party in any negotiation can be a difficult decision for both parties involved. Hence, in any negotiation always come to the table with a win-win attitude, although the outcome might not always be positive. You can negotiate successfully with the other party if you can identify their objectives, be more assertive, and learning to make observations based on fact, not subjective judgments. Thus, mastering the art and practice of negotiation will help you improve and grow your business to success.
This list can go on and on and on. Among the numerous qualities of a successful entrepreneur, these are the common and most important. There are other traits that renowned and successful entrepreneur do exhibit.
- They know that whatever business they do revolve round the customers therefore, they keep the customers in mine when making decisions about pricing, product and service development. Customers or clients are the most important team member in any business. Customer is the king.
- They have unique competitive edge over other. They possess great answers to questions like, “What aspect(s) of your business separates you from other businesses?” “Why will people choose to do business with you rather than doing business with a competitor?
- They build good reputation. This is a very valuable asset, it is not bought. It is the reward you get over time by keeping to your words with customers and clients.
- They take time off.
Being an entrepreneur is not an easy task. Although these qualities will not grant you express way to success, they sure can help. You need to embrace these qualities to become a better entrepreneur.
What if you are lacking in some of these areas? Can you still make it as an entrepreneur? YES, YOU CAN!
Some entrepreneurs are born with natural gift of some of these qualities, but you can as well develop them through various media such as working with coaches, studies and getting technical assistance. We often let our stubbornness prevent us from asking for help. Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
What other qualities do you feel are important? Let me know in the comment below.