If you want to own and/or manage a successful business, you certainly need to have desirable products or services, a good team around you, a streamlined process, adequate cashflow, an effective sales, and marketing strategy, and so on.
However, entrepreneurs also need to have a raft of personal traits that make it possible for them to be in business for the long-term and to reach their goals. While these don’t get talked about as often as they should, they are vitally important. Read on for some of the key traits you need to foster in yourself, no matter the industry you’re in or the type of things your business sells.
Passion and Confidence
First up, if you want to make a go of a business you really need to be passionate about it, and have the confidence to back yourself in chasing your dreams. Passion and confidence will help you to excite interest from potential investors, customers, and employees, as well as make it more likely that journalists will be intrigued to write about your venture. Confidence (not arrogance) also helps leaders to keep the workplace culture positive, which translates to a more loyal and engaged workforce, and better results in turn.
Drive is another essential trait successful entrepreneurs tend to exhibit. Drive is what will get you to take all the steps necessary to open your business in the first place, and it will help you to do the hard work involved in selling your wares when no-one knows about you or your venture, in making tough decisions, in dealing with tricky customers, and otherwise facing challenges along the path to business success. When you’re driven, you will also be more likely to continue looking for ways to innovate and to reach new goals so that your organization grows, rather than stagnates.
Perseverance and Resilience
Similarly, you need to persevere and have high levels of resilience to be a long-term entrepreneur. Perseverance will enable you to keep knocking on doors or making phone calls until you get a ‘yes,’ and it will help you to keep honing your products, services, strategies, and processes until you get the results you’re after. Resilience is the trait that will help you to pick yourself up and dust yourself off when things don’t go to plan. When you feel like your business or a particular offering or tactic is failing, you can use your ability to persevere to keep trying new ways of doing things, and/or to move on to the next project rather than just falling in a heap.
A Thirst for Knowledge
Take a look at some of the biggest entrepreneurial names around the world, not just now but over the years, and you will see that invariably they all tend to be known for their thirst for knowledge. To continue to innovate and refine what you do in your business, it is essential to keep learning. This can be through structured programs such as a university degree on business matters (even if you haven’t done much study before you can enroll in an online MBA with no GMAT required), or it can be through mentorships and internships; attending workshops, training programs, conferences, industry events and the like; or reading books, blogs, newsletters, white papers, reports and magazines.
Top entrepreneurs also need to have vision if they want to lead a successful venture. As an owner or manager of a business, you need to be at the “helm” of the enterprise, guiding its way forward and helping team members understand what you’re trying to achieve. When you have vision, you’ll think about where your business can get to in the future, and come up with ideas and opportunities that others just wouldn’t see. Vision also makes it easier to think about potential problems and threats before they arise and/or become a huge issue.
Focus is also key for entrepreneurs. Running a business will always mean you’re pulled in multiple directions by different people, and regularly have offers presented to you, and ideas for new things you could try or avenues the business could go down popping up. As a result, being focused will enable you to stop and consider whether the steps you’re thinking of taking, will actually help you to meet your goals. Focus will also help you get more done each day; be less stressed; and not waste money on actions that aren’t in line with your vision and mission for the business.