Not all entrepreneurs are the same. They all come from different social classes, education levels, upbringings, locations, and geographic locations. While there isn’t one set of instructions explaining how to achieve entrepreneurial excellence, the one consistent thing is that they possess certain traits. Being a self-starter makes entrepreneurs very desirable in their business. We offer advice for self-starters in our free webinar training on how to create a long-lasting business that generates income on the web. Entrepreneurs who have these traits and continue to take risks (see #1) are likely to succeed in all that they do.
#1: Unafraid to take risks
As we just mentioned, entrepreneurs are unafraid to take risks. You may be scared at first, but to make progress you must push past your fears. Entrepreneur recommends pushing those doubts aside and taking a chance — you never know what could happen.
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs took major risks, and they paid off in a big way. Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran turned a $1,000 loan into a $5 billion-dollar real estate business that she sold for $66 million back in 2001.
When most people hear the word “risk,” they relate it to a financial risk, but in Corcoran's case, the initial financial investment wasn’t itself particularly risky. The risk came into play when she went all in, devoting 100 percent to making her business work with such a small amount of seed capital. Many would assume it isn’t possible to start a business with very little money, but those who aren’t afraid to take risks don’t see limited funding as a handicap.
It’s hard to succeed without passion, which is why Medium says starting a business always starts with being interested in something. If you’re passionate about something such as dogs, fashion, or technology and you base your business off that, then you’ll be more likely to succeed.
This is the most significant characteristic that every entrepreneur has, and for obvious reasons. They are successful because they love what they do. These entrepreneurs put all the extra hours they have into the business to make it successful and flourish. It is a pleasure for them to see the results of their labor, which goes well beyond the money received.
People like this are always researching and reading things to find strategies in how they can make their business better.
The Muse adds to this by quoting Justin Spring. Justin says that a company needs to have a willingness to change and push past those boundaries.
Building a company requires not only a willingness to change, but a passion for change. If things are working, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t work better. Having an innate desire to try new things and shake things up has helped my companies succeed in many ways.
—Justin Spring, BringShare, Inc.
Are you flexible? Things aren’t always going to go your way, which is why Forbes mentions developing an effective business plan but going with the flow if and when things need to change. If you’re afraid to make changes, it’s likely you won’t grow personally or professionally. Many times it’s hard for a business to succeed without change and growth that comes from those changes.
Being able to adapt to changes and challenges is crucial for any business. In fact, most entrepreneurs will inform you that their idea or business plan is drastically different than when it began. An idea may be brilliant, but in reality it isn’t effective. Entrepreneurs are flexible enough to make the adjustments to make that idea feasible. Furthermore, entrepreneurs are prepared and willing to modify their plan when new information arrives and when there are changes in circumstances.
A great example of being flexible would be the recent story behind Hyungsoo Kim and his company Eone, which is short for Everyone. Kim initially develop a wristwatch that featured braille. He quickly discovered that people want to be included and not have attention brought to their disability. So, he trashed the original plan and came up with a watch that would not only be worn by the blind, but even people with sight.
#4: Loves to learn
Another trait small business owners possess is having an interest in learning. Think about it: There is always more to learn! Entrepreneur recommends soaking up all the knowledge you can and using it to your advantage. The more you know about your industry, the more likely you will succeed.
You have to stay sharp, and that requires that you be constantly learning. Industries constantly change and evolve; Only those that are also growing through constant learning will stay ahead. You will always have competitors breathing down your neck trying to surpass you. There will always be someone claiming to be the next greatest thing.
Staying sharp through constant learning will enable you to stay ahead and avoid getting passed. Read books and wake up earlier in the morning to read industry news — do everything you can to constantly learn and absorb new information.
Similar to having a passion for learning, The Muse mentions paying attention to detail. As you learn you should pay more attention to the details because the two are often in tandem.
Entrepreneurs can often fall into the trap of looking for the next ‘big thing,’ at the expense of doing the little things right. From writing a thank-you card to a new client (yes, I mean actually putting pen to paper!), to reviewing contract details with a keen eye before signing, to checking in on the staff member whose wife just had a baby, it’s attention to detail that makes the difference.
—Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group
Even if you go through some rough patches, Forbes says you must be willing to bounce back. You may feel tempted to give up sometimes, but don’t! Think of new ways to make something work and figure out a solution. You won’t get anywhere if you give up every time something gets difficult.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.” As an entrepreneur, you’re going to fail. That’s just an unfortunate fact. While something that drastic would be too much for most people to handle, an entrepreneur has the uncanny ability to get up and dust themselves off. Instead of giving up, an entrepreneur will learn from their failures. What went wrong? How can I long from my mistakes? How can I succeed next time? These are the type of questions an entrepreneur will ask themselves. An entrepreneur doesn’t stay down when times get rough. They’re resilient and thrive off of the negativity.
If you need proof on the resilience of entrepreneurs, just look into the stories of successful entrepreneurs like Walt Disney, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Henry Food or Thomas Edison. They all experienced setbacks during at some point to only become some of the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs in history.
Don’t forget to stay disciplined while running your business. Medium recommends getting rid of distractions and staying focused. It’s hard sometimes, but the sacrifices will pay off.
Successful entrepreneurs always focus their energy on making the business work, and for eliminating the distractions or obstacles to their goals. Their overarching strategies help them to reach the goals they have while they outline the plan to achieve the final outcome. Moreover, entrepreneurs become successful as they are disciplined to always make new steps every day towards the accomplishment of their goals.
Similar to learning, your mind should always be curious to learn more and figure out what is and isn’t working for your business. The Balance Small Business says that Thomas Edison would have never come up with what he did if he didn’t keep on trying. He was curious, and you should be too!
Inc. columnist, Naveen Jain, founder and CEO of Inome, sums up the essence of this trait in his post, The Most Precious Resource on the Planet? Big Dreamers. He states, “You should always remind yourself that the day before something is a breakthrough, it's just a crazy idea.”
Thomas Edison would never have come up with his inventions, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the long-lasting, practical electric light bulb if he had not been curious.
Curiosity is a fundamental trait of any successful entrepreneur. Business leaders do not make it through life by being indifferent to the activities occurring around them. They are always looking for the next way to make something better.
There are many traits small business owners should possess, and even if you don’t have all of these traits now, you can learn them. Join us during our next free webinar training where we’ll offer support on how to transform something you love into a business. We also provide advice on how to get a return on investment for all of your hard work as an entrepreneur.