May 06, 2014
One of the definitions of an entrepreneur is “a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.”
Maybe you are wondering whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, or wonder how to develop those traits. Perhaps you have an idea which you feel is very innovative and will be a great success. How do you start? What are some characteristics that successful entrepreneurs have?
Much has been said about the personality traits that an entrepreneur should possess. According to the definition of an entrepreneur, given above, there is “considerable initiative and risk” involved. With that in mind, you could say that an entrepreneur should be self-driven, and not afraid of pursuing his or her dream. However, let’s look at some traits and see what successful entrepreneurs have to say.
SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS KNOW THEIR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Outspoken entrepreneur Lord Alan Sugar said in one of the Series 4 Apprentice (UK) episodes: “Simon, if I asked you to build me a wall, you'd build me a wall, I'm pretty sure of that. If I asked you to dig me a trench, you'd dig me a trench. But I'm not sure that if I asked you to run my investment portfolio, you'd be able to do that very well. I'm sorry my friend, I think you're a little bit out of your depth here. And with regret, you're fired.”
What Mr. Sugar means is that if you are proposing to work in the financial field, for example, you should know how that business works. Don’t get into something that you are not good at or know nothing about. If you want to get into a new product or service, make sure you know everything about it.
SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS LIKE TO SELL
Julie Meyer is founder and Chief Executive of Ariadne Capital in London, an investment and advisory company. She has also appeared on the Dragon’s Den, offering advice to would-be entrepreneurs.
Ms. Meyer advises “…, sell, sell, sell. I've known a lot of very clever people in my life who don't like to sell, who think it's beneath them. If you don't like to sell, then don't run your own business”
Whatever product or service you have, you will need to let the public know about it. It’s not going anywhere if no one knows what it is. Your enthusiasm about the product will go a long way to help sell and promote your business idea. You should casually incorporate your product into your conversations. Remember, an entrepreneur is always selling themselves, their image, and their product.
SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS ARE PRACTICAL, YET IMPATIENT
John Baldoni, an internationally recognized leadership development consultant, executive coach, author, and speaker has the following advice. “…successful entrepreneurs know how to keep their feet on the ground. First, they get inspired through personal observation, developing ideas from needs they see in the world around them. Second, they develop a concrete plan. They may work the plan, changing it as they go, but always with an eye towards getting a good return.”
Mr. Baldoni further advises that impatience may be a desirable quality: “Sure, patience is a virtue in some cases. But for an entrepreneur, so is impatience”
An aspiring entrepreneur will always research their product and audience, and develop a plan. He or she will find out about different business strategies and approaches. With a plan in mind, successful entrepreneurs are impatient for success and use this drive to forge ahead with new ideas.
SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS LIKE THEIR WORK
Successful entrepreneur and host of the The Apprentice (US), Donald Trump advises “If you're interested in 'balancing work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable. “
Sometimes an aspiring business owner will have to dedicate himself to the new venture more hours than he or she realized. Make sure you enjoy what you are doing and it will make the process much more successful and enjoyable.
In summary, successful qualities include knowing your product, enjoying your work, being practical, and having the drive to sell your product. All this should be mixed in with a little bit of impatience to get the job done. Remember, you want your business to succeed and taking some time to think and plan will yield great results for your business in years to come. You are the entrepreneur. You are going on a voyage that involves initiative and risks.