4 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
Do you want to know what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Have you sat around, what seemed like forever, wishing you could find the courage to jump into the fray and start up your own business? What I am going to talk about is the four characteristics that are common to every entrepreneur who has succeeded with their business ventures.
The number one distinctive trait shared by successful entrepreneurs is a passion for their business. Period. This is the kind of passion that gets people up out of the lazy chair, gets them to leave their paying job, scrape together money from wherever they can find it and make the plunge into the great unknown of the start-up world of business. It is this passion that also keeps a successful entrepreneur continuously working, even after they have become ‘rich’. These people believe in their hearts that whatever service or product they are selling to the public, it is making a difference in the world and in people’s lives.
Another consideration for having a strong passion is the process of building a new business is hard. There are long hours and little pay in the beginning and your investors (if you have any) are watching you closely to see if their money is safe with you. Passion will also encourage extraordinary behavior and supply you with the energy it takes to invest the huge amount of effort it really takes to succeed.
A brief word to the wise, while passion is key to success, you should not be so passionate about your business that you fail to recognize obvious flaws or risks involved with your venture. Also, one should understand your passion needs to be in line with your skills and be certain that a true business opportunity actually exists.
The second characteristic of the successful entrepreneur is product and customer focus. Sure... it is also important to pay attention to your management structure and your marketing plans and finance and stuff like that, but it is most important to pay attention to your products and your customers. Without either one of these, you have no business. Think about it again…… if you don’t have a good, quality service or product... you will not have a satisfied customer. Without satisfied customers, you will not have a business for very long. This is a very important point to remember. I see it all the time, people lose focus of the customer or they lose focus of the products or service they are putting out there and in the end, they fail.
The third characteristic of the successful entrepreneur is tenacity despite failure. Let’s face it, many entrepreneurs are usually trying something new and the failure rates can be high. For many people, the process of fine tuning their business to see what works and what doesn’t work means that there will also be small failures along the way. The litmus test for entrepreneurs is their ability to fight through the setbacks and failures and keep chugging along with the experimentation it takes sometimes to find the success they are looking for. It is important because it shows the degree of commitment required to succeed. The old saying “quitters never win” is very true and should be a warning to the entrepreneur if they don’t have the desire to stick it out and keep trying.
Finally, the fourth characteristic of the successful entrepreneur is called ‘execution intelligence.’ This is the ability to mold a solid idea into a viable business. This characteristic is often the determining factor that decides whether a business fails or succeeds. It involves being able to figure out how to do things, often for the first time and the stakes are usually high. You must be able to produce and develop a business model and a business plan. You will be learning how to establish partnerships with vendors and other people crucial to the operation of your new business. You must manage your finances accurately and wisely. Leading and motivating your employees is always a challenge and of course let’s not forget the ability to find the money needed to even get the ball rolling.
It may sound a bit overwhelming. I just laid out four defining characteristics needed to succeed as an entrepreneur, but with the proper education and passion and tenacity, it can be done. It happens everyday in America and around the world.
* Information and research for this article came from the text book… Entrepreneurship, Successfully Launching New Ventures, Second Edition 2008, Bruce R. Barringer, R. Duane Irland, Pearson, Prentice Hall Publishing.*
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© 2010 Jamie Page
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