Entrepreneurs are unique, they have special qualities, but the key to their success lies in the relationships that they cultivate.
By looking at the characteristics of an entrepreneur closer, we can nurture them in ourselves.
We all want the edge in our own success.
This is why we are fascinated by those that have achieved what we strive for. So the best way to glean what others have used for their success is to study who they are and what makes them tick.
While these traits are gender-less, studies find that women entrepreneurs in particular have more positive traits such as strong initiative, good common sense, the ability to think critically and are skilled in decision making. They can be very aggressive in achieving their goals and have strong resolve to be successful. (source)
There are different understandings of the true meaning of entrepreneurs but what is consistent is that entrepreneurs find a need and fill it usually with considerable initiative and risk. A hunger to fix a problem and taking a real risk are the things that create an entrepreneur.
“An entrepreneur is an innovator, a job creator, a game-changer, a business leader, a disruptor, an adventurer.” -Richard Branson
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur
According to our source study entrepreneurs are very energetic. Their high energy is envious! When you are passionate about what you are creating, you will want to start as soon as possible. Morning habits of entrepreneurs show that they plan, prepare and execute. Many get up before dawn to start their day and these habits are directly related to their success.
There is also an urgency that entrepreneurs are aware of. You must work hard because it is guaranteed that there is someone else working just as hard or harder and will soon be snapping at your heels. You have to keep moving and that urgency keeps you from stopping.
How do you find out what you are passionate about? We have actionable steps to help distill what gives YOU the energy to create.
Entrepreneurs take responsibility for their actions. They know that their decisions set the course for the business. They rely on themselves to complete the goals that they set for themselves. You have to trust yourself and your instincts to start and grow your creation.
Teams are eventually built, but this will still rest on your shoulders.
Possess inner self control
Inner self control means practicing restraint over your emotions, actions and desires. These important characteristics of an entrepreneur is in the ability to make positive choices, to think before acting. Success requires careful consideration.
People that you are in business with need to know that you can be trusted and counted on. Having control of your emotions shows that you can be trusted to handle situations and are not likely to quit under stress.
Chances are you will be be faced with many problems and difficulties that you will have to handle with self control. Cool under pressure, as they say. You may want to react in a way that is not productive but your better angels pull you back from the brink!
Being an entrepreneur is hard, it requires more of you than you thought you could give. This is why you need to persevere, to get back up because you WILL get knocked down. Things will not work out. This is why it is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to fail at a few startups before success.
Without failure there is no success. You learn more from your mistakes than you every will from success. Most entrepreneurs are blazing an unknown path, which means they have to figure many things out that are completely unique.
Driven to influence others
What is your main motivation? What is your driving force? Many entrepreneurs have a hunger & burning desire to create, build and grow. They are driven to make a difference and influence others.
You have to have a very strong motivation, whether it is money, having control or creating something meaningful that lasts. Without this, you will not be able to sustain the momentum necessary to make it through the hard times.
Ability to Focus
The inspiration that an entrepreneur has for a business must be followed up with consistent attention and intention. Many entrepreneurs have different ways to help them focus. Many make to do lists and create pockets of time where they focus on one item on their list.
Sometimes the best way is to look at your week and schedule specific tasks that need to be done and the amount of time that you will spend on them. Check email only at certain times and clear your mind by exercising, meditating or going for a walk.
You will have to find ways that work for you so that you will spend the majority of your time on the most important things.
Confident in their abilities
They believe that they can succeed and are confident in their abilities. This in no way means they know everything, but rather whatever they don’t know they can learn. They will figure it out. Just move forward and take action. There is a saying,” Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”
Taking action= increased confidence=success
Some ways to become more confident is to temper your negative self talk. You may not be where you want to be….Yet. Your not there yet, but you will be. One step at a time.
I understand how that “one” negative comment, or “one” persons’ bad review, hurts. It does but you need to find a way to get a thicker skin. Find a way to take constructive criticism and blow off the haters.
Flexible & Open to change
You need flexibility to overcome obstacles. Things change & problems arise, so as the saying goes, “If you don’t bend you will break.”
Never give up! We always hear this mantra, but there is a missing component. Do not give up, but constantly re-asses & if necessary, pivot.
People get into trouble with this all the time. They don’t change the original idea because they are personally or emotionally connected to that idea. This can lead to not being able to see how things need to change.
You have to be open to change, especially if the product or idea hasn’t been market tested or the market may have changed. Competitors come fast and furious, so flexibility is very important.
In this study it shows that men and women entrepreneurs thought of risk differently. Both are risk takers, just to different degrees.
Risk is based on the interpretation of outside events and circumstances. Research has shown that entrepreneurs are better at determining risk potential versus reward and are able to manage the uncertainties associated with risk.
The ability to take risks is a primary characteristic of an entrepreneur.
Being a lifelong learner means that you understand that there is always more to learn. You never are done. Learning from others’ experiences is invaluable.
Most entrepreneurs are endlessly curious.
Having specialized knowledge of your field is necessary to any entrepreneur. Knowing subjects outside your field helps to shape your thought process by looking at situations and the world in a different ways.
This is why many tech companies hire people that have studied in the humanities or the creative arts. This bring a broader picture to their tech world. The same is true for other fields & to become a more well rounded person that understands our connection to the broader world around us.
After gathering all the necessary data, you need to be able to “just do it.” You will never know it all & it will never be the perfect time. But being decisive requires that after you have a good amount of information, even if not perfect, you are able to make a decision.
You will have to come to a place where you are confident enough to choose. In business so much is unknown but nothing will ever get accomplished if you cannot make firm decisions to move forward.
Not deciding is still a decision, and usually a worse decision than choosing! You need to do what you have to so you don’t get sucked into “Paralysis by analysis.”
An entrepreneur needs to be an effective communicator. This very important characteristic of an entrepreneur is essential for success. How else will you be able to convince an investor to invest? Or how will you be able to build a team of passionate people?
You need to listen and talk to your potential customers to find out what they want and how you can help them. Effective communication is absolutely necessary or no one will understand what you are trying to achieve.
You need empathy to be able to understand your consumer or client. You need to be able to put yourself into their shoes and into your teams shoes. Working with many personalities is challenging so empathy will help you diffuse situations before they become bigger problems.
If it seems like an entrepreneur needs to be well rounded, that is correct, unless they hire a person that has this essential quality. For any leader to succeed, empathy needs to be an important part or their character.
This is a personality trait that allows a person to create solutions with limited resources. Resourcefulness means that you get creative and find opportunities.
Making beneficial contacts, finding unique solutions. You find a way. You are imaginative and turn ideas on their head to find the solution.
So often you hear about a company getting creative to get things done and it turns out to be the best thing for the company. This could mean offering a sub contractor a possible percentage instead of getting paid upfront. There are ways to entice people to get things done for you, you just need to think outside the box.
If you are to be disruptive you have to be creative with your solutions to the problems that your customers are facing. Being creative is finding new solutions to old problems, using a different approach.
Airbnb took the hotel industry by storm and transformed it along with Uber for the taxi industry. Creativity is necessary for resourcefulness or being an innovator which allows businesses to be able to adapt and continually improve.
Being an innovator is re imagining things that already exist and pushing past conventional wisdom. This requires that you look at problems in a way that will greatly benefit or simplify a way of doing things.
You are creating something that people don’t even know they need yet. This is why innovations are so valued because when it comes together it can change the world.
“Innovations distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”- Steve Jobs
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Self reflections are necessary to be self aware. Getting feedback from valued friends can help to pin point areas that may have to be worked on. You need to know when to delegate to others the areas where you may be lacking.
The best way to focus your feelings and thoughts is to journal. Journaling forces you to be concrete with your thoughts and emotions and label them. If you do this daily, you will be able to see a progression and learn so much more about yourself!
Believe they are in charge of their own destiny
“If it is to be, its up to me.” That is all there is to it, you control your life. The choices that you make or do not make, determine the outcome. There is a strong belief that the responsibility lies with you. Even when you have help or a team, it is still you that makes the final call.
There is a strength in this way of thinking and believing.
Perceptive about identifying business ideas
Some entrepreneurs can spot the software or platform that has lots of potential. This is what it means to be constantly looking out for what is up and coming so that you can ride the wave.
We all know people that became huge because the were one of the first. The first You-tubers, Instagrammers or innovators such as Mark Zuckerberg that saw the potential in the “Hot or Not” site and created Facebook. Entrepreneurs need to look into the future and see the start of trends that are forming.
Most entrepreneurs are restless and looking for new challenges.
Seek opportunities & solutions
They are visionary. They can find and exploit opportunities. The entrepreneur must have clear intentions of where they want to go. Entrepreneurs have a clearly defined goal and focus to achieve those goals. Finding the way may take some trial and error, but they see the end game and are intent on getting there.
Do you recognize yourself in these characteristics of an entrepreneur? Are they natural or do you need to work on them? All it takes is the determination to cultivate those qualities in ourselves. No one is perfect, we are all a work in progress.
The goal is to be a little better tomorrow than today
and hopefully try to create something that makes the world a better place, what could be better than that?
Why Relationships are THE Key to Success
Relationships are vital in business and life to create meaningful connections.
You need to establish great working relationships with those around you. The more people that are invested in your success, the better workers/partners they will be. Without positive relationships you will not have a business. Your workers, partners, customers need to care about your vision.
Do you need a team? No but you still need others to succeed. Can a solopreneur be a huge success? of course! but that does not mean they don’t need many relationships to succeed.
Without these relationships you cannot build networks or a support system. You need to have connections to understand who your customers are and what they want. This knowledge is vital and the key to success.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan
30 Entrepreneur quotes
“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.”
-Brian Chesky, Airbnb
“Happiness is the secret ingredient for successful businesses. If you have a happy company it will be invincible.”
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.”
– Napoleon Hill
“The lesson that I have learned and follow all my life is that we should try and try and try again – but never give up!”
– Richard Branson
“Failure is just a resting place. It is an opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
– Henry Ford
“Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”
– Oprah Winfrey
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
– Amelia Earhart
“One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.”
– Jeff Bezos
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.”
– Amelia Earhart
“Being an entrepreneur isn’t just a job title, and it isn’t just about starting a company. It’s a state of mind. It’s about seeing connections others can’t, seizing opportunities others won’t, and forging new direction that others haven’t.”
– Tory Burch
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
– Henry Ford
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.'”
– Muhammad Ali
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t — you’re right.”
– Henry Ford
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
– Albert Einstein
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.”
– Richard Branson
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
– Steve Jobs
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
– Winston Churchill
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison
“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.”
– Theodore Roosevelt
“In life you need either inspiration or desperation.”
– Tony Robbins
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”
– Napoleon Hill
“We’re going to make it happen. As God is my bloody witness, I’m hell-bent on making it work.”
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark.”
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
– Dale Carnegie
“Entrepreneurship isn’t just a label – it’s a lifestyle.”
– Richard Branson
“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”
— Reid Hoffman
“The one person who can make your business succeed is not an investor or even a mentor, it is you.”
Books for entrepreneurship
We chose some classic and new books that are the best of the best about entrepreneurship. Below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you decide to buy, at no extra cost to you we receive a small percentage. Cheers!
Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence—and How You Can, Too Kindle Edition
by Gary Vaynerchuk
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
by Eric Ries
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century
by Napoleon Hill
Think and Grow Rich has been called the “Granddaddy of All Motivational Literature.”Napoleon Hill, is now counted in the top ranks of the world’s winners himself.
The most famous of all teachers of success spent “a fortune and the better part of a lifetime of effort” to produce the “Law of Success” philosophy that forms the basis of his books and that is so powerfully summarized in this one. (I own an original copy of this book & it started it all for myself!)