There are several common features and traits that successful entrepreneurs share. Even if you don’t have these yet, you can develop them with practice and perseverance. More than likely though, you already have some of these traits if you are looking into becoming an entrepreneur. Even if you need to work on some of them, you’re on the right track.
- They Are Fearless – The truth is – this is wrong. No one is fearless, but they are able to push through boundaries and do things through the fear. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin probably weren’t truly fearless, but they felt the fear and then had enough confidence in their convictions to work through the fear and do it anyway.
- They Make Actionable Plans – An entrepreneur makes plans to do things, but they don’t just make plans – they make plans that are actionable. Making plans, setting goals – that’s just part of the process. Doing is more important than any of that. Without action nothing becomes reality. At some point making plans has to become taking action to get things done.
- They Understand Cash Flow – A lot of new entrepreneurs think that income is an indicator of success, but the truth is, without adequate cash flow a business that earns money can still fail. Cash flow management is a critical element in running a successful business. Your bills are due at a specific time and billables are due at a specific time, but you know that it doesn’t always work out. So, work hard to understand cash flow so that you can be truly successful.
- They Know It’s Not About Them – You’ve heard it before – the customer is always first. But, it never will really hit home until you’re an entrepreneur. You have to learn to separate your wants and desires from your customers’ wants and desires. The customer should drive your products and services and even price point more than your passions and dreams should.
- They Aren’t Afraid to Self-Promote – As an entrepreneur you have to let go of shyness and promote yourself. Become the expert. Be known as the “go to” person in your niche and you’ll have people pounding down your door to get what you have. You can’t get there if you are too afraid to be a self-promoter. Tip: Create something valuable that you’re proud of and it’ll be easy to promote it.
- They Take Action – Entrepreneurs are doers, not just idea people. They can hire an idea person, but they know how to put ideas into action. They’re good at identifying opportunities, involving themselves in innovation and creating value and then taking action to implement the ideas. In order to take action you need a clear vision, and you must be willing to overcome obstacles that get in your way. Taking action alone won’t get results, but taking smart action that has a reason will. You must know the difference.
- They Understand That Change is Inevitable (and good) – You have to realize that every business that exists today will not be here tomorrow. Think about the technology from the past that has been killed by new technologies. Take VHS tapes, for example. Maybe you have never even heard of them, or maybe you watched them in your VCR as a child. The fact is, they don’t exist now. But, businesses that kept their eye on the future adapted and started creating other types of storage, like DVDs. Someday DVDs will be old school too, so it will behoove any company creating them to keep their eyes open for killer technologies.
- They Listen – One skill trait that an entrepreneur has that really helps them succeed is the ability to shut up and listen to what their audience is saying. Not only their audience, but people they hire to help them, too. Open your ears and listen to other people’s ideas, listen to their criticisms and their desires.
- They Keep Learning – Knowing how to research and evaluate the market, their customers and competitors is a very important skill that they have honed. It will help them avoid making errors before they even start creating a new product or service. Plus once they do, they’ll know how to best promote it.
- They Network Smart – Successful entrepreneurs don’t just go to every single meeting or get involved in every single group. They know how to pick and choose the right events and the right way to network with the right people. They know it’s about building relationships with the right people.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and building your skills can be a process that you work on as you get started in your new business venture or continue in a business you’ve already started. Identifying where you are deficient will help you move forward and become more successful as an entrepreneur.