What does it take to succeed in business?
You might ask yourself “do I have what it takes?” The magic is in the personality. Is there such a thing as an entrepreneur’s personality? And, if there is, what is it?
Here are some common entrepreneur personality traits:
When you love what you do there is a greater chance that you will stick with it. There are many setbacks and disappointments in business. Sometimes you feel like quitting. Often, you make little or no money, especially early on. If you are not passionate about your business, you won’t last very long. Does it mean that you have to be in love with everything you do? Of course, not. Even if you love your business, there will be difficult days. It is your passion for your business is that will help you stick with it.
It is your vision that gets you started. Your vision inspires others and it keeps you going. Entrepreneurs are full of ideas, but it is your vision that helps you go from idea to business. In a way, your vision lets you see the future before anyone else sees it.
Don’t confuse vision with dreaming. Dreaming doesn’t require taking action. Vision is your path to get where you are going. If you want to open a restaurant, your vision would help you see what it would look like, the design. You vision would also help you taste the food before your kitchen was built, and it would help you see who your customers will be.
Please don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. Confidence is very important because being an entrepreneur can be a lonely place. Often, you are not sure what to do, but you must take action anyway. You have to have a personality that enables you to make a decision and trust those decisions. You will make many decisions and some of them will be wrong. Having self-confidence is going to give you strength to go on and continue to make decisions.
One of the reasons you want to start a business is because you don’t want somebody else to tell you what to do. Right? You are a self-starter. You trust your judgement. You have to be able to wake up every morning knowing that nothing will happen unless you make it happen. You have to trust yourself to go from idea to action.
As an employee work comes to you. You are told what to do. You follow guidelines. As an entrepreneur, you must create for yourself. You are not dependent on others. You must sell and serve your customers and build your business.
Tolerance for uncertainty
Most of us dislike uncertainty. As an entrepreneur, you must embrace not knowing what happens next. In any company, there are many uncertainties. You don’t know if a product will sell as well as you think. You have no idea if you have the right inventory. You might be wondering if you hired the best person for a position. The list of uncertainties goes on-and-on.
You never become completely comfortable with uncertainty, but you have to learn how to cope with it. You simply can’t eliminate uncertainties from a business. If you can’t sleep at night and it destroys your life, entrepreneurship is not for you.
Often, the easiest thing to do in business is to quit. Walk away from it. Blame it on the economy. Blame your business partner. Find fault in the market conditions. You will often fail. Sometimes you will go from one failure to another.
Successful entrepreneurs have the ability to move forward after failures without being destroyed by them.
You can use failures to learn. Ask questions. What went wrong? What could I have done differently? What can I do to succeed the next time? Instead of giving up, resilient entrepreneurs will continue to learn and try.
Your ability to adapt to challenges will determine your chances of success. No business operates in a vacuum. Therefore, you must be ready to pivot as needed. If you are not flexible you will hurt your business.
You might have a great idea for a product. In your mind, it solves a problem, but when you ask potential customers their feedback is not what you have hoped for. Successful entrepreneurs will listen and make adjustments. Entrepreneurs who fail would either not ask or ignore feedback.
Successful companies remain flexible.
- Starbucks stopped selling CDs in their stores because people mostly download music today. Starbucks is changing with the world around it.
- Before PayPal became a popular online payment platform we know today, it made a product designed to “beam” money between PDAs.
- HP started out as an engineering company in 1947, making precision audio oscillators.
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