What do Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford, Oprah Winfrey, and JK Rowling have in common? Well, besides the fact that they are top entrepreneurs, there are certain entrepreneurial qualities which make them stand out of the crowd.
In this fast-growing competitive world, the startup ecosystem has become a magnetic force attracting more and more visionaries to start their entrepreneurial journeys. But 90% of startups fail within the first 5 years of their existence.
Because most of those visionaries lack what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Starting up isn’t an overnight success. You need to work hard and have certain entrepreneurial qualities to manage your startup and everyone associated with it if you want to taste success in future.
Here’s a list of 12 proven entrepreneurial qualities to help you understand what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
“All success begins with self- discipline. It starts with you.” – John Quincy Adams
The main reason so many entrepreneurs under-achieve and fail is because they lack self-discipline. It is the basic requirement of any leader. Successful entrepreneurs are disciplined enough to take each and every step very precisely towards the achievement of their respective targets and avoid any distractions.
Warren Buffett, one of the wealthiest businessman in the world, ruled out paying attention to almost everything except business so that he could focus on his ultimate goal.
The simple phrase – “people with passion can change the world” – holds the secret to entrepreneurial success. Passion is everything. Following your passion is the secret to overcoming the setbacks you’ll face as an entrepreneur. It’s also a secret weapon which will help you build resistance against all naysayers who will question your vision.
Entrepreneurs who are passionate about their work achieve success much early as compared to others. They are more persuasive, motivated, and have a larger network and more social capital.
“You’ve got to find what you love,” Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
As an entrepreneur, your personal integrity is critical for getting and keeping the support of investors and team members.
But in a practical sense, what does it really mean?
Well, it is the quality of being honest and having strong moral ethics and values. As an entrepreneur, integrity act as a driving force towards the achievement of goals. Jon Huntsman, Sr. stands out as a leader of enormous integrity. In his book, Winners Never Cheat, he wrote that while bribery might seem to offer a temporary advantage, it “cheapens the way business is done, enriches only a few corrupt individuals and makes a mockery of the rules of play.”
Building a successful business is like climbing a mountain: it’s an uphill battle most of the way, but the view from the top is very spectacular.
Persistence is a necessary part of achieving a summit, and it’s also vital to creating success as an entrepreneur. It is an indispensable quality that goes hand in hand with all great success in life. Henry Ford has a quote attributed to him that makes sense.
“Apprentice yourself in failure.”
When he began his career at twenty-three, he suffered through a great loss. It is the result of his persistent efforts that he got a marvellous rise through the establishment of Ford Motor Co.
This personal quality is very important for entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur must be determined. The true realization of any event or scenario can be a successful opportunity only if it’s recognized earlier. For this recognition, an open-minded attitude is required.
Open-mindedness enables the entrepreneur to know and learn from the competition. When Jeffrey Preston Bezos founded Amazon, he knew that his company would need to focus on a specific problem in order for his small business to make any headway. So, he focused himself and his company on customer satisfaction. As a result, Amazon has been able to properly prioritize projects while avoiding initiatives that distract from the company mission.
Self-confidence is the key entrepreneurial skill for success. It is concerned with how a person feels about his ability, idea, and execution. It helps in improving the level of success because it increases self-esteem.
Confident entrepreneurs have the I can do mentality; they don’t wait for things to make happen. So, confidence is a must need quality for every entrepreneur.
A good entrepreneur needs to be a self-starter. A self-starter is one who seizes a new window of opportunities and begins the work or undertakes the project on his own initiative. Self-starters don’t wait for others to come and help them.
Entrepreneurs need to develop this quality as it removes the initial doubt and makes them more efficient to achieve their goals.
Walt Disney started off as a farm boy drawing cartoon pictures of his neighbour’s horses. He believed that his passion can be turned into a successful career and started his journey as a pioneer animator. It was because of his self-starter attitude that we got to witness Mickey Mouse and thousands of Disney characters develop the animation industry as it is today.
Imagination and creativity are the keys to turning basic ideas into concepts and then into reality.
Creativity helps in eliminating the limits of entrepreneurship by not only helping entrepreneurs create creative products but also helping them in finding new markets (or niches), coming up with innovative value propositions, and marketing their products in a way no one else does. Creative entrepreneurs are much more capable of dealing with their problems effectively and efficiently and developing innovative solutions to the world’s problems.
Take Whatsapp for example. Most of the people still don’t know how Whatsapp makes money even though they interact with businesses all day on the same app.
Entrepreneurs should always be ready to give and face competition. Many reputed companies are on top because their entrepreneurs know how to deal with the competition in the market and maintain stability and growth.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of the world’s most popular social networking site – Facebook, analysed scenarios more deeply than his competitors like Google +, Snapchat, Myspace, etc. and came up with more creative and effective solutions to every challenge. This entrepreneurial quality made him stand at the top where no competitor is even close to reaching where he is right now.
Without planning the business becomes directionless. It is a must-have entrepreneurial quality or anyone thinking of starting a business. A plan sets the goals and keeps the business on track while on the journey to achieve those goals.
Entrepreneurs are required to be good planners as the ecosystem the do business in is highly dynamic and greatly influenced by internal and external factors which often require both long term monitoring and planning, as well as immediate replanning.
A positive attitude and outlook is a must for successful entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean to start a company, it means to build up your mindset and attitude to face success, failure and to overcome fears. All these can be possible if one has a positive vision towards life.
Can you identify these entrepreneurial qualities within you? Make sure to hone them and you could be the next one enjoying the spoils of life as a successful entrepreneur.
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A startup consultant, digital marketer, traveller, and philomath. Aashish has worked with over 20 startups and successfully helped them ideate, raise money, and succeed. When not working, he can be found hiking, camping, and stargazing.