“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” ~ Roy Ash
So you think you have what it takes to start a business? Entrepreneurs can almost seem like another species. Let’s take a look at some of the qualities of a successful entrepreneurial spirit.
1. They are highly motivated to accomplish and don’t become discouraged easily. The goal is always on their mind, and roadblocks don’t deter them from their pursuit. They just put tires on the car that will handle the potholes.
2. Entrepreneurs have nerves of steel. When their bank balances drop like a lead weight, an entrepreneur isn’t paralyzed by fear. This is not to say they don’t feel fear. They just know how to move forward during times of adversity and never lose faith in themselves and their own ability.
3. Calculated risks are part of the package. Sure, you’ll make mistakes along the way. Consider them challenges, not death sentences. They are learning experiences. Calculated risk is what propels a successful business to the next level. Learning from the mistakes you make is critical to success.
4. They know when not to reinvent the wheel – they just make the wheel better. Sometimes taking an idea that has been around for decades and making it new and improved is all it takes to create a winner. A good business owner can look at the wheel from the perspective of a cultural anthropologist who is visiting from Venus and just make it roll faster.
5. They have the ability to learn from others’ mistakes as well as successes.
In 1991, when Gerald Ratner of jewelry company Ratners in the UK was asked how he could sell jewelry at such low prices, he admitted that his goods were poorly made. Sales plummeted. The moral of the story? Don’t sell poorly made goods, and above all, don’t trash- talk your own business.
A successful entrepreneur will read this, learn a valuable lesson and be able to apply it to her own business. She’ll study businesses that have been wildly successful, and carefully look at those who plummeted to the bottom.
6. They delegate. They are confident in their own abilities, but know when to consult other professionals. No one can be great at everything, and a really successful entrepreneur will hire the best people for those tasks they either dislike or at which they aren’t outstanding, and focus on tasks at which they excel.
7. They are good judges of character. The most outstanding entrepreneurs are astute at ‘reading’ people. They can quickly discern the wants and needs of their audience. A good part of this is the ability to listen well – not only to what a person is saying verbally, but their body language and unspoken messages.
8. Their world view is different from the rest of us. Successful people commonly don’t view the world (or themselves) as limited. They are seldom satisfied with the ‘status quo’, and will continually strive to make their product or service better – perfection is surely out there on the horizon.
9. They have clarity. Ask a successful business owner what he or she hopes to accomplish in the next 10 years, and you are likely to get a long and detailed answer. These people know where they are going. They have the ability to adapt to changing conditions as necessary, but have a very clear definition of themselves and their company.
Next time – take our quiz “Am I Ready To Be A Successful Entrepreneur?” and find out how you score.