What are the Essential Qualities that Entrepreneurs Must Possess?
The Decision to Become an Entrepreneur
Your decision to become an Entrepreneur was made long ago. I believe that most Entrepreneurs are born to become business leaders. It is such a competitive activity that without a burning passion, your survival rate is very slim.
Gone are the days of high school and college warfare. Now you are competing against mature and determined warriors. If you are not dedicated and motivated to spend long hours learning your craft, this may not be for you.
Today’s “entitlement society” is poorly prepared for this challenge. That is one of the main reasons why the failure rate is so high. It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype, but the facts clearly show that within a year, almost half of all budding “entrepreneurs” have already bitten the dust.
Every year, about a million people start a small business in the United States of America. Forty (40%) of those businesses fail in their first year. In five years, (80%) of them are history. In 10 years (only 4%) of these companies will still have an open door.
These are the statistics extracted from within the greatest bastion of free enterprise and capitalism the world has ever known, the United States of America. Still interested. Do You believe you can be part of this 4%? Do You really believe that you will still be open for business in 10 years?
It all begins with a vision or an idea.
A Vision and a Purpose
All great and small enterprises, every invention, and every business starts with a vision, … a dream or an idea of something you want to build or create.
Something that does not exist or a better way to do or accomplish something that already does exist. A better light bulb, a better mousetrap, or a faster and more efficient way to communicate your thoughts or words.
This thought of bringing your idea to the world is a great way to get started.
Curious and Eager to Learn
Without curiosity and the eagerness to learn there is no beginning. Curiosity will encourage your mind to constantly seek knowledge. Knowledge is the range of information and understanding you possess. It is the accumulated learning of your curiosity.
Learning is essential for growth and curiosity is the catalyst to get you there. To become a successful entrepreneur requires a quick, active intellect and this can only be achieved through persistent study and curiosity. One the easiest ways to acquire knowledge is through reading books.
All successful entrepreneurs are voracious readers and go through books like hot cakes. The passion you have for your business makes it easy to want to learn more about it.
Ambition and Determination
Ambition and Determination go without saying and are easy friends to make when you love the life you have chosen for yourself.
When you are passionate about your days, clocks and words of encouragement become unnecessary. Time flys swiftly by and your days are spent in focused effort.
Focused and Motivated
Working at a business that you love is not like heading to work on a rainy Monday morning. The attachment you acquire for this new found love is like “first love”.
The hours and days roll into weeks and months and somehow you’re always wondering where the day has gone.
A Resourceful Problem Solver
Being resourceful is to effectively deal with problems. All enterprises go through the same day to day problems that we all do.
The power goes out, the copy machine runs out of paper, nobody ordered paper, the washroom is out-of-order, you get the idea; this plus a thousand more, will all have to be solved before the week is over.
All these minor irritants should all be delegated to others as soon as possible. Do you even know this?
Innovation and Strategy
Very early, you need to develop a strategy for your business. A strategy is simply a plan of action to follow as you advance towards your goal.
Innovation is bringing in new ideas and methods to your game when the old ones are not quite good enough.
An Optimistic Leader
The ability to communicate your optimism and sell your idea with integrity must never be forgotten. The fire you have in your belly for this dream makes it easy to feel excited.
When you are excited it pours out of your soul. Optimism and a brighter future are always around the next corner.
There are two main aspects to leadership, the vision and implementing this vision. The visionary part of leadership sets the direction for your enterprise. It also sets the values and the major initiatives that you pursue. This is the “big-picture” for your company.
The “smaller-picture” understands that good performance begins with clear goals and how to go about accomplishing these goals. In the old days, a leader would come in and bark-off a bunch of orders and people would be expected to carry them out.
Today’s workforce is more concerned with how these goals can be achieved. Discussions lead to plans and a direction to achieve these goals.
Leadership is not always about giving orders, it can also be about teaching leadership to your team in the effort of moving them forward.
The Ability to Communicate and Sell
Communicating your message is expressing your vision. Your skills at delivering your message to your customers are what completes the sale.
Without Honesty and Sincerity, all human communication is short-lived. Integrity is the opposite of hypocrisy and involves a persistent desire for justice and fairness.
As soon as word gets out that you’re shady or deceitful, your days are numbered and the success of your business is short-lived.
Customers are already looking elsewhere.
The Ability to Adapt
Survival is centered on the ability to adapt to change.
Adapting to change is so necessary to survival that it is probably the most important requirement.
The ability to calculate risk will reduce your fear of taking a risk. If you fear taking risks you will avoid risk-taking. Fear is an emotion and emotions interfere with logic.
Fear can be a good thing, for instance, when you cross the street you look on both sides before crossing to avoid getting hit by some big metal object.
This is using logic to deal with your fear of getting hit by a rapidly moving bus. You will never achieve great success without taking calculated risks. Learn to balance emotion and logic.
How can I reduce my risk?
How bad is the worst case scenario?
How great are the benefits if I succeed?
Educate yourself about a risk and spend time calculating the risk before making your decision. Remember when you were crossing the street? You didn’t cross without looking in both directions, and you didn’t cross with your eyes closed.
This is a form of calculating risk. Practice this technique and soon you will calculate risk quickly and accurately.
A Team Player
A successful company is also a successful team. No team achieves success without everyone working together to accomplish this effort. All great teams are well-organized efforts.
Even individual sports Champions are all backed by a team of individuals working together on this common goal.
A Balanced Lifestyle
I am including A Balanced Lifestyle at the end for emphasis. It should perhaps be closer to the beginning because without balance and moderation within your life it is nearly impossible to continue the intense training required to become the Champion that you want to become.
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about these Essential Qualities that are so necessary for business and in life, please do not hesitate to provide them in the space below.
There are surely more essentials out there and you may have a few of your own. I would be very pleased to hear about them!