The top 20 entrepreneurial traits

The top 20 entrepreneurial traits

I was thinking about all the successful people that I had met over the last 20 years and what they all had in common.When I look back it’s quite an impressive list (remembering that I’m a Brit and have only been in North America for 5 years) my list includes David Cameron (British Prime Minister), Sir Richard Branson, Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne (UK’s Dragons Den, think shark tank) Tony Blair, celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsey & Jamie Oliver, Sir Alan Sugar (UK’s answer to Donald Trump!) and even Margret Thatcher, to name but a few. In fact, my list runs into the hundreds!

The #1 thing that stands out in my mind most of all is their total belief in themselves, and unwavering 100% belief in what they are doing.

So, lets ask the question, do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? In today’s competitive world it’s important to consider whether you have what it takes to be a successful business person in terms of personal qualities. There are a lot of misconceptions about entrepreneurs and many people believe that entrepreneurs possess some innate, genetic attribute that cannot be learned. However, the proliferation of university and college courses that successfully teach entrepreneurship is testament to the fact that anyone with the right motivation can become a successful entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs have a vision of their business and always keep their eyes on the horizon — they have financial awareness and flexibility as well as tenacity but exactly what are the top qualities of an entrepreneur?

  1. Belief: successful entrepreneurs have a solid belief in themselves that is unshakable. They know without a shadow of a doubt that they can achieve all a set out to do, despite the critics and unbelievers 
  2. Self-motivation: entrepreneurs are completely self-motivated and don’t need approval or permission from anyone in order to achieve their goals.
  3. Passionate: entrepreneurs are passionate about what they are trying to achieve and are driven by the need to succeed and reach their goals.
  4. Don’t recognise failure: entrepreneurs consider failure as part of the learning curve that is sometimes needed in order to succeed. Failure is not part of their vocabulary — failure is simply another step on the road to success.
  5. Intuition: entrepreneurs trust their gut feeling and have learned to listen to that small intuitive voice that guides them to success. Successful entrepreneurs generally make important decisions and see opportunities that others have failed to notice by listening to their intuition.
  6. Take considered risks: entrepreneurs are decisive and prepared to take carefully thought out risks in order to take their business forward. They research opportunities thoroughly and are able to tackle problems as they arise.
  7. Focus on strengths: rather than spending time trying to improve their weaknesses, successful entrepreneurs understand that their time is better spent developing their strengths to their utmost. They surround themselves with people who have the skills they lack and delegate the things they are unable or unwilling to do themselves, leaving them time to focus on what they do best.
  8. Prepared to make personal sacrifices: successful entrepreneurs realise they have to make personal sacrifices in order to succeed and to do this willingly. They are not averse to working long hours to make their business a success but this is balanced by protecting certain times with their family and friends. It’s all about achieving the correct balance.
  9. Go-getters: entrepreneurs make things happen. They don’t wait for circumstances to be right and they don’t rely on wishful thinking, they get out there and get the job done.
  10. Persistent: entrepreneurs manage to cope with setbacks and rejection and keep forging ahead with ideas they know will succeed. They are determined to succeed whatever the obstacles.
  11. Professional: successful entrepreneurs are professional in their approach to business and work with others in a proficient manner. If they have a fault that is detrimental to their success it is that they can be too trusting of others and that can backfire occasionally.
  12. Organised: entrepreneurs are organised and able to track their progress. They prepare well and plan carefully.
  13. Able to multitask: entrepreneurs have the ability to cope with several projects at the same time and consider multiple options and ideas. They are able to work on several business ideas at the same time but they tend to focus mostly on the big picture rather than the details.
  14. Innovators: entrepreneurs are thinkers and never stop coming up with ideas. They are innovators and are always finding new ways to develop businesses and opportunities.
  15. Work hard: entrepreneurs are hard workers, not clock-watchers and are happy to put in the necessary hours to ensure their business success.
  16. Open minded: successful entrepreneurs are able to listen and learn from others. They are open to ideas and know that everyone can make a contribution.
  17. Sense of urgency: successful entrepreneurs have a ceaseless sense of urgency to develop their ideas and get things done. They hate doing nothing! They have high drive and high energy levels and are achievement driven. They are tireless in pursuit of their goals and aspirations.
  18. Creative: entrepreneurs are creative thinkers rather than staying rigidly set in their thinking. They find new ways of doing things rather than going through the motions because that’s the way it’s always been done. They are able to pull diverse and seemingly unrelated ideas together into a coherent and workable plan.
  19. Emotional stability: successful entrepreneurs have a great deal of self-control and are good at handling pressure in business. They see challenges rather than problems or stress and seldom get discouraged or overwhelmed. They tend to be positive thinkers and are not easily discouraged or depressed as they are adept at problem solving.
  20. Realism: successful entrepreneurs are realistic in their goals and have an understanding of what can be achieved and what their capabilities are. They set goals but are willing to change direction if they see better prospects for achieving success.

By trying to develop and emulate the qualities of successful entrepreneurs, you give your business the best chance of success. Recognise where you can best develop your own skills and strengths and where you are better served to delegate or outsource tasks that you are weak at or that others can do better. Successful entrepreneurs build a team of people with complementary skills so that their business forms a complete structure with all the elements needed to make it work from the start.

So, make sure you have the best team possible and adopt as many of these 20 traits as you can!

Stephen Tye



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