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Articles of Interest

Key Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

By Craig Wagener D.Optom, Ph.D., MBA, MCNE

While studying successful people, it became apparent that they do share certain identifiable skills sets, talents and characteristics, which combined, enable them to succeed in business and in life.

You may already possess some of these traits and wield them with little effort. These are your strengths. If you find that you do not have a certain skill or talent you can always seek out individuals who do have them. Endeavor to learn from those people who have mastered the skills you desire to acquire. Skills can be learned and developed.

Let’ s look at the skills, talents, and characteristics that research reveals to be common among successful entrepreneurs:

1. Passion.

Successful people are driven by a clear sense of purpose and passion. They often have a dream with a definite goal or end point in mind. They are focused on achieving their goals and are not easily detracted by the opinions of others. This strong emotion stokes actions that result in big results. Passion drives these individuals to act toward accomplishing what others say is impossible.

2. Spirit of Determination.

Entrepreneurs who want to build a startup will need to be determined to succeed. They may be faced with repeated obstacles and failures but must remain determined to learn from their mistakes and continue working toward the attainment of the set goal. Obstacles and failures should be viewed as challenges and lessons and should provide renewed energy to rise and continue striving toward the future goal. Listening to constructive criticism and altering the course are necessary actions to continuing forward movement,  such a mindset is the spirit of determination.

3. Ambition.

Ambition and creativity will drive the successful person to succeed in accomplishing their goals. Successful people produce results by owning their mistakes and failures. It may only take one sound idea to achieve their goals and make them successful. This attribute contributes to the individual having enthusiasm, willpower, and long-term commitment to seeing things through to a successful outcome.  

4. Discipline.

Successful people are self-disciplined which is advantageous in that they have trained themselves to habitually work hard and dispose of common limiting mindsets. Discipline breeds focus and focus breeds intentional action, precision in planning and execution.

5. Fearless.

Successful people tend to be risk-takers and creative thinkers. This does not mean they are careless or reckless but instead analyze and calculate the risks. Successful entrepreneurs use their experience, judgment, and intuition to mitigate startup business risks. Over time, entrepreneurs develop methods of problem-solving from which they glean the knowledge and confidence to identify the most lucrative paths to business success. They are patient to wait for the appropriate time to act and diligent in identifying and assessing the appropriate information.

6. Specific knowledge

Successful people have expert knowledge in their field and are constantly adding to and honing that knowledge. They surround themselves with people who know more about the subject than they do and they put themselves in a position of being mentored by the other person. They are perpetual learners.

7. Courage

One of the most admirable skills to hone is the courage to admit one’s mistakes. It is essential that an entrepreneur be able to accept his or her contribution to mistakes. Without acceptance, the mistake cannot be analyzed toward altering a course of action nor can the same mistake be prevented in the future.

8. Flexible

Successful people are flexible and easily adjust to constantly changing environments. Business flexibility infers the ability to think out-of-the-box and to change tactics and strategies toward the achievement of goals. Start-ups entrepreneurs rely heavily on the ability to be flexible and creative to meet the changing environment of the target market.

9. Promote

Whether introverted or extroverted, a successful leader will learn effective ways to ‘sell’ the business offerings. An idea, vision, dream, or product must be given life through the process of promotion.  It’s important for customers and partners to believe in the product or service, but just as important is the belief of the employees who will manufacture the product or perform the service. The ability to promote oneself in tandem with the goal in an effective way will go far in achieving ultimate success.

10. Solutions

Successful entrepreneurs examine a problem with creativity, even to the point of the redesign of a product or service. Problems are considered merely a means to an end and a challenge of creativity and an opportunity to advance and overcome. A growth mindset provides an unlimited, unscalable well of ways to tackle a problem and while tackling the problem, the generation of new ideas, new products, and new services to expound upon.

11. Co-Operate

Successful people know that cooperation is key to achieving goals. Business function relies heavily on the cooperation of others whether, to acquire materials or services or patronage, a business must maintain a network of various connections, business and general public, in order to succeed. Collaboration is paramount to research and development, quality of goods and services, and timely delivery.

12. Balance

Maintaining a strong sense of perspective is essential to survive as an entrepreneur. Balancing business with personal needs requires a simple clear focus. It involves being at peace with oneself and others and learning from failures. Understanding that not all battles are worth winning, and there may be times when you need to simply walk away from certain situations.

13. Viewpoints

Having passion and ambition is not always enough. Sometimes to shift one’s viewpoint is more important. The ability to move from one viewpoint like that of micromanagement to micromanagement and back again is paramount. An entrepreneur, as a visionary, must see the big picture and all of its minute details. One viewpoint cannot exist without the other. Diligently attending to the smallest detail can mean the difference between success and failure.

14. Resilient

Successful entrepreneurs are resilient and pliable and not easily affected by the fixed mindset of others who don’t share in their vision. These individuals will stay focused on their goals and dreams. They have learned to use the negativity of others to gain strength and momentum.

This list presents a tall order for those wanting to become entrepreneurs, the joy of the matter is that anyone who applies himself or herself and continues to learn can build a successful business. Begin by identifying your strengths and work on acquiring the tools and evolve as a person. City’s are built a brick-at-a-time.

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