We all dream of having the freedom to define our destiny, don’t we? While remote working is gaining popularity, some people want to build their own business. But do they have the traits of successful entrepreneurs?
In this post, we’re going to uncover the top ten traits entrepreneurs have, so you can see if you’re cut out to take the competitive world of business and come out on top.
Creativity is a lot more than painting a nice picture or writing poetry. A lot of entrepreneurs are creative thinkers because they need to come up with new business ideas and be ready to solve problems.
Entrepreneurs think outside the box because they have to think of a product or service that offers consumers something they need and separates them from competitors. The big question is, are you born creative, or can you learn how to become creative?
Becoming More Creative
While many believe creativity is born, others think anyone can become a creative thinker with the right techniques. Try these strategies to get you started:
- Repurposing – Use items at home or on your desk to create something new that has a purpose.
- Dictionary Technique – Pick a random word from the dictionary and write a short story based on that word.
- Question Assumptions – If you have a product or service to sell, put yourself in the buyers’ position and think about the good or bad assumptions they will have towards your business.
If you’d like to learn more strategies to build your creativity, Indeed has an excellent guide here.
Did you know that empathy is an essential entrepreneur characteristic? To connect with your employees and consumers, you need to be able to put yourself in their shoes.
While some people aspire to be Donald Trumps, you’ll go a lot further if your workforce respects and admires you. As a business owner, one of your most challenging times will be navigating a balance between being the boss and treating your workforce like people, instead of numbers.
Are You an Empathetic Boss?
If you’re not sure how your employees perceive you, then it’s best to analyse your behaviour. Think about your previous employers and make a list of the things they did to either make you feel good or upset you.
Once you have the list, you can look at changing your attitude and become a more empathetic boss.
There’s a reason that not everyone is an entrepreneur; it’s so hard to build and run a business. If you’re new to entrepreneurship, you’ll soon realise that there are so many things you have to take responsibility for and many people decide it’s too much for them.
According to the DC Incubator, 60% of new businesses fail in the first three years. For a business to succeed, the owner must have a lot of discipline.
If your workforce sees you slacking off and feels undervalued, they’ll become disengaged and lack motivation. But if your team sees you leading them through tough times, they’re more likely to contribute to the effort.
Not everyone has healthy discipline levels. If you’re the kind of person that gets distracted easily and puts everything off until the last minute, you should consider if you’re ready to execute your new business ideas.
To become more disciplined, think about what your goals are and write them down. It would help if you aimed to meet each goal and give yourself a reward when you do. Some people also find it’s helpful to have an accountability coach.
Willing to Take Risks
Fear is only a four-letter word, but for many of us, it governs how we live our lives. Giving in to our worries and insecurities is only natural, but for entrepreneurs, it shouldn’t happen.
Risk-taking is a central part of running a business, and it differentiates the barely floating to the flourishing. But there’s a big difference between taking a calculated risk and jumping into something blind.
A calculated risk means that while nothing is certain, the individual understands what could go wrong and the possible implications for the business.
Risk-taking and resilience go hand in hand. If you’re willing to take a risk, then you have to be resilient if it goes wrong. Nobody can predict the economy or if changing consumer trends will impact their business, but it’s about having the confidence to learn a lesson.
The classic entrepreneur will most likely start a few businesses before one takes off. They finally succeed in their goals by learning lessons from their failures and implementing them in each new endeavor.
How to Build Emotional Resilience
You can learn to build resilience by taking the following steps:
- Challenging Your Views – Instead of looking at failures as losses, consider them to be opportunities where you can learn a valuable lesson.
- Be Positive – Instead of expecting things to go wrong, look on the positive side and make sure you believe in your abilities.
- Build Strong Relationships – It’s essential to have a support network, especially when you’re taking on new challenges. Build strong relationships with family members and colleagues, so you feel able to deal with setbacks when they occur.
If you’d like to learn more about building resilience in the workplace, Mindtools has an excellent guide. You can access it here.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
Some entrepreneurs spend all day every day working on their business, while others succeed by balancing their work and home lives. The question is, how do they do it?
Well, there’s a noticeable difference between working hard and working smart. Smart workers are process orientated, which means they look for ways in which they can streamline their business operations.
Smart entrepreneurs look at areas they can decrease their workload and utilise technology to drive forward their results. They also find ways to improve their marketing strategy, such as operating a blog and using a range of SEO tools to boost organic rankings.
Learning how to become process-orientated will help you balance your workload, manage your employees and scale your business.
Self-awareness is about knowing your strengths and weaknesses. For example, you might be a strong creative thinker but lack analytical skills. If this is the case, you know how to problem solve and often think out of the box, but struggle to work out the intricate details of your plans.
When you know how to capitalise on your strengths and deal with your weaknesses, you can make intelligent decisions. For example, if money management is slowing you down, it might be beneficial to get an accountant so you can focus on new business ideas.
It’s also worth mentioning that self-awareness is about how you treat others too. While many people think they’re great bosses, their employees might think differently. When you put yourself in another’s shoes, it’s easier to look at how your behaviour impacts them.
Being your own boss means you must be able to hold yourself accountable. If you’ve never run a company or have no experience working from home, you might find the adjustment incredibly tricky.
Successful entrepreneurs never lose their drive, because when they do, it’s over. Businesses always go through difficult times, and it’s not always possible to meet consumer demands.
If you’re the type that gives up at the first hurdle, then you should consider if starting a business is the right step to take.
How to Remain Motivated
You can remain motivated by asking yourself the following questions:
- Why did I start my business?
- What’s going wrong at the moment?
- Do I need to make changes?
- Can others support me?
By asking these questions, you’ll be able to provide yourself with some useful information and become more motivated.
Sometimes, all you need to do is remind yourself why you started the business and take some time to reflect on why things have gone wrong.
Motivation is central to your success as an entrepreneur, and it’s hard to remain motivated when things go wrong. But by looking at your long-term goals, you’ll be able to focus on the steps you should take to reach them.
If you’re a rigid person, then you might struggle as a business owner. One of the essential traits of successful entrepreneurs is their ability to remain flexible.
Things don’t always go to plan, and you might need to make some changes to the products you offer or how your business operates. Being open to adaptations and meeting consumer demands will ensure your company remains in operation.
The Case of Blockbuster Video
One of the best examples of how rigidity can destroy a business is Blockbuster Video. The company was a global success, and during the 1990s, it reached its peak.
When the DVD player became popular, Blockbuster adapted to the changes and provided DVDs and console games. But then a small company called Netflix emerged as a competitor.
Netflix offered film rental by post but soon began its streaming service. The company reached out to Blockbuster for a merger, but the video giants refused. They didn’t want to make changes to their company and didn’t prepare for the impact Netflix would have.
Online streaming became a convenient way to access movies and TV shows without having to leave the comfort of your home. As Netflix grew in popularity, Blockbuster went into liquidation.
If Blockbuster had been open to adapting their business model, they would most likely still be here today.
As the saying goes, two heads are better than one, and a team of talent can make great things happen for your business. So why do some entrepreneurs want to do it all alone?
When you include your team in the decision-making process, you might uncover some unique ideas that can change your business. Team players are central to building a strong workforce, and it’s helpful to think of how your employees feel.
According to CIPD, employee retention is one of the trickiest issues to navigate. When people feel overworked and undervalued, they’ll take their talent elsewhere. As an entrepreneur, your priority should be creating a talented and happy team.
Don’t forget to offer rewards and incentives to your team, especially when they’re central to the growth of your company.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, our list of the top 10 traits of successful entrepreneurs gives you an idea of how to make your new business ideas work. The main recipe for success is not giving up, even when things seem impossible.
Your business needs time to grow and thrive, so take small steps forward and keep your end goal in mind.
One essential aspect of building a profitable company is having a responsive website and keeping it updated with new content ideas.
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