Many people believe that they have what it takes to start your own business, yet it seems few people truly end up succeeding in the world of business. Entrepreneurs are a few and talented group of individuals who possess the skills necessary to make a unique and successful business out of nothing. In order to decide if you or someone else you know is a true entrepreneur, you must first know what exact traits defines an entrepreneur. Here is a list of the top 11 characteristics of an entrepreneur, and why these traits are necessary of an innovative entrepreneur.
1. Confident- confidence is key in the business world; if you want people and prospective investors to believe in you, you have to show that you are self-assured, and truly believe in the idea or product that you are trying to sell. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.
2. Disciplined – In order to get a business idea off of the ground, you have to have the focus to force yourself to make progress toward your goals. Entrepreneurs have the discipline to force themselves to work towards and accomplish certain goals.
3. Motivated- This concept is similar to being disciplined; it is one thing to have a great and innovative idea, but a business plan will not take shape on its own. An entrepreneur must be a self starter and take action to make their dreams occur.
4. Open Minded- A true entrepreneur must not be closed off to the ideas and opinions of others. For a new business to run smoothly, an entrepreneur must accept the fact that investors may want things done differently than they are used to, or business partners might have an innovative point of view you did not previously see.
5. Creative- While an entrepreneur does have to be intelligent, creativity might possibly be more important. An entrepreneur constantly has to come up with new ways of bringing in business, and ways to get around obstacles; without creativity, a business has no hope of succeeding.
6. Competitive- An entrepreneur needs to have the same attitude that an Olympic gold medal winning athlete possesses, for in essence, business is a competition, and in order to win over your competitors, you need to possess the drive that it takes to outperform other businesses.
7. Organization- It is impossible to lead a successful business if you are not organized, you are doomed for failure. Entrepreneurs have to juggle and handle more obstacles, meetings, problems, and deadlines than a person who is not organized could possibly hope to cope with. Organization is the foundation on which a successful business is built around.
8. Technology Savvy- The modern business world is centered around technology and technological advances. A true entrepreneur has to be good enough with technology to handle new business advances, and basically be able to run their entire operation off of computerized business platforms, especially if you are trying to make money online. If you cannot adapt quickly to new technology you will be left in the dust by competition.
9. Determination- An entrepreneur has to handle a lot of ups and downs, as well as many rejections before their idea takes off. Determination is key, as those who are determined will continue pushing for their idea until they succeed. Those who are willing to give up easily will never see their dreams come true.
10. Strong People Skills- Being able to deal with people, all types of people is key in any new business. Dealing with people is not easy, and along the way there is always someone who will be difficult to deal with, but knowing how to keep cool is possibly the most important characteristic of an entrepreneur.
11. Sales Ability- Finally, an entrepreneur must be a good salesman, you must have what it takes to prove to clients and investors that your idea is worth their money, and otherwise you will never be able to sell your product/idea.
Only those who possess the characteristics of an entrepreneur will have what it takes to make it in today’s tough business climate. Possessing these skills will mean you are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you one day reach your goals. Keep in mind that nobody is going to per perfect at all of these, but if you feel you cannot do a number of these on the list then starting a new business may not be right for you.
So did I miss any? What other characteristics of an entrepreneur do you think should be on this list?
Author: KC Beavers
KC Beavers is a semi-retired entrepreneur. The subject of personal finance has always fascinated him. In an effort to not bore those around him with all his love of personal finance as much he has come here to bore all of you instead.
I've always thought that Larry Wall's three great virtues of programmers translate well into business: laziness, impatience, and hubris.
- Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don't have to answer so many questions about it.
- Impatience: The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don't just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to.
- Hubris: The quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won't want to say bad things about.
Thanks KC for the nice post. It is correct that entrepreneur sshould be open minded. He should open for suggestion and recommendation from others especially from seasoned businessman. It is necessary to accept mistakes and failure, in order to adopt corrective measure. To correct and improve the business presence and profits.
I can only agree on your list of 11, KC, and would add a 12th characteristic: customer centric. This is the characteristic that makes you to put yourself into your customers shoes and look at things from their point of view, helping you to build a value proposition that beats the socks of your competition. It doesn't necessarily mean you will give your customers everything they want, but instead it makes you give them something that they are really prepared to pay for. This - more than being competitive as such - is what will set you apart from your competition and make your business a winner.
Great list! Sounds like you are an entrepreneur yourself. I would add positive attitude to stay the course and being resourceful to find workarounds when things don't go your way!
@genxfinance Great defining points!
Only other quality I'd add is character. Mainly integrity. Sure someone might succeed without this but they'll be at it alone for the most part.
These qualities are really good. It also doesn't hurt if you seek to innovate and be someone who seeks for information.. Try and always persevere because in the end, it is you who is in control of your future.
@Jay Aspenwood Agreed! Being focused on your customer the entire time helps grow businesses quicker.