The 5 Traits Of A Successful Entrepreneur
That saying, “Every time one door closes, another opens,”? That saying was describing entrepreneurialism. Every year thousands of businesses open their doors. But thousands also close their doors. Estimates are that 50% of those who start a business fail (or succeed) at it. Millions of people have entertained the fantasy of entrepreneurship. Why? Well, from the spectator’s viewpoint it’s a lot like bull riding. It’s sexy, it’s fun and it looks exciting, and sounds exciting. Once you put on your hat and spurs and climb on that bucking bull though, things look, and feel, a whole lot different with every jarring jump. If you think being an entrepreneur is going to be easy and make you rich, and that’s all you are bringing to the table, you may just be one of the thousands that close their door, and climb off the bull soon after taking the leap into business.
Truth be told, entrepreneurship is not for the weak! It takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and you have to be so passionate about what you are doing that you will continue to do whatever it is you do, even if you are not getting rich like you thought you would!
There are many things that go into making for a successful entrepreneur. But here are the top five that you must have in order to be successful at it:
1. Have a vision. Notice I said “Vision,” not a “two-inch thick business plan.” Most visions require just one sheet of paper. As a matter of fact, many visions have begun life on a bar napkin, so we’re not talking thousands of words here. Your bar napkin, er paper, should include where you would like to be 90 days from now, and a year from now, and what you plan to manufacture, sell or produce. That’s it. That’s all you need to get started. Once you have your vision down on paper you’re going to need a bigger napkin, so buy a notebook or fire up Excel on your computer. Then, on a daily basis, keep track of the things like your cash flow, prospects, etc. Knowing where you want to go is far more important than producing a big paper report you will likely never look at again and will only keep around for squashing spiders.
2. Be lifestyle flexible. Be prepared to tighten your belt, work from your kitchen, garage or spare room, or even from your car. Businesses usually don’t start out making a profit right away. Be aware of this and be able to realistically live with it as well. It means that you and your spouse (if you have one) will need to be comfortable doing without all the shopping and dining out that you may be used to, at least until your business starts making a profit. Know this going in, so you
can accommodate and not quickly run in the other direction when the taste of Ramen noodles and Mac ‘n Cheese starts to make you gag.
3. Believe yourself, and believe in yourself. What others think about you doesn’t matter nearly as much what you think of yourself. It is essential that you believe that you have what it takes to succeed. Your self-belief will take you a lot further than anyone else’s belief in you!
4. Blow your own horn. When it comes to your business, you have to put your inhibitions aside. If you’re naturally shy, or even if you aren’t, this is going to be hard at first. You have to be able to sell yourself and your company and let as many people know about your business as possible. Even if you are an introvert, you will have to be able to do this, or not many people will know about your business.
5. Be a walker, not a talker. Be able to walk your talk. There are basically two kinds of people in this world. There are those who talk about starting a business, and there are those who actually do it. In order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must fall into the latter category—walking the talk! If you want to be successful in business, you have to, at some point, stop thinking and talking about what you want to do and actually take the leap to get it done.
Everyone dreams of doing better, of being better, of escaping the 9-to-5 world. But not everyone has the skill set, drive, passion or ability to even attempt it. If you’re dreaming of being a business owner, you really need to take an honest assessment to see where you fall in line with the above rules. If you find yourself feeling queasy just reading the descriptions, but you still want to start a business, then make some changes before quitting your day job to pursue your own business. If you feel excited and are saying, “I can do that! I can do that!” then you already know you measure up and have what it takes. So ask yourself what you’re waiting for. There is no better time than now to get started, so go get started!