The Qualities Of A Successful Entrepreneur
Successful entrepreneurs have the potential to radically improve the world on multiple fronts.
Not only can they meet economic needs and please customers, but they can also help their employees achieve their full potential.
If you dream of making a difference in this way, you just might make a great entrepreneur. But first, it’s important to know what an entrepreneur is and the qualities that set successful them apart from the rest.
Are You an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur takes an idea and makes a business out of it.
Successful entrepreneurs have a passion they want to share with the world and turn it into a business they profit from.
Because you set up your own business instead of working for someone else’s, you take responsibility for all the risks, but you also benefit from all of the rewards.
Most entrepreneurs venture into the unknown. They are innovative and hone important entrepreneurial skills to overcome challenges, fears, and doubts to become fearless, think big, and dream big.
Entrepreneurs set up their businesses with their own money, loans, or by partnering with venture capitalists to fund their dreams.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are often attracted to this venture because they get to build a career that aligns with their interests, talents, skills, passions, or beliefs.
Entrepreneurship allows you to have autonomy and the opportunity to improve your standard of living and quality of life.
You can often set your own schedule, connect with like-minded people, and have many opportunities to grow and learn new things.
Many entrepreneurs have the desire to change lives and a strong sense of adding value to their communities.
11 Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur
Aspiring entrepreneurs may have visions of turning their creative ideas into reality, having their own business or multiple businesses, becoming independently wealthy, or being great philanthropists. Whatever your ultimate goal, if you endeavor to be a successful entrepreneur, you must cultivate certain key traits that will set you above the rest and allow you to achieve real success.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur means developing entrepreneurial skills that help you create long-term success. Consider the following qualities that most successful entrepreneurs possess so you can start living your dream.
Successful entrepreneurs regularly define their business goals and come up with detailed plans to achieve them.
This allows them to focus their actions toward a consistent, positive outcome for the company.
A penchant for planning means you will always have a clear sense of what to do next and can better assess individual decisions based on how they fit into your broader strategy.
If you’re not used to setting goals, try setting SMART goals.
Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer company by being an avid goal-setter. He set both long-term and short-term goals to achieve his ultimate goal of building an enduring company that prioritized people.
Entrepreneurs require vision and a business plan that includes steps and reachable goals to get them from the idea stage to their own businesses that are fully functioning and thriving.
One of the most important elements of successful entrepreneurship is loving what you do.
This means not just a love for doing business but also a passion for your specific field.
Not only does loving your work make it easier to carry out your daily duties, but it can make those actions seem like they aren’t even duties at all.
You are likely to spend your free time brushing up your skills or thinking of ways to attract more clients.
Those who love what they do are also more likely to deal with failure constructively, learning how to do better rather than getting discouraged.
To be a successful entrepreneur, know your purpose in life and then strive to achieve it. When you enjoy what you are pursuing, you will have greater resilience to overcome failures that inevitably come and continue striving forward.
Oprah Winfrey has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in our modern time by cultivating self-awareness. She believes everyone has a calling and that it is vital to take the time to find out who you are and why you are here. And then go for it.
Successful entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, counsels, “Some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work? You are far more likely to be inspired and have great ideas if you love what you do, and can instill that spirit of fun throughout your company.”
Effective entrepreneurs and business leaders spend every moment of their time taking productive actions.
They constantly look for opportunities to enhance their business and act decisively whenever they find one. A very important quality for successful entrepreneurs is the ability to take initiative.
Constant action doesn’t mean deciding without thinking; careful thought, after all, is a necessary action in business.
What it means is remaining productive so that all you do contributes to your goals.
Elon Musk is currently the richest man in the world, with an estimated net worth of nearly $152 billion. He has made billions by being extremely decisive. He thinks quickly and takes action without hesitating.
As the co-founder of PayPal, Tesla, and many other business ventures, this famous entrepreneur advises, “When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.”
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As important as it is to make plans, commitment to a long-term vision or strategy should not come at the expense of flexibility.
Sooner or later, something will happen that you did not expect, and you will have to respond to it without hesitating.
A successful entrepreneur is able to adjust her plans when they prove impractical, quickly making the changes necessary to deal with any new development.
When you are taking on new opportunities, you will inevitably meet roadblocks and even failures. If you do not, you are not being innovative enough.
Expect difficulties on your road to becoming a successful entrepreneur, and have the flexibility to change course when it means greater customer satisfaction, increased sales, better service, or greater long-term success.
To start and build your own successful business, you need special discipline. Self-discipline is practiced by all successful entrepreneurs and self-made business millionaires as it helps put you on the fast track to accomplishing your goals.
Learn and practice self-discipline early in your entrepreneurial career. The sooner you incorporate self-discipline, the sooner you will create positive outcomes for your business, including higher sales, a higher rate of accomplishing your goals, and keeping life-long customers.
Being self-disciplined means avoiding distractions and staying focused on your goals. Envision your long-term goal and stay laser-focused on it so that all of your actions will lead to your success.
The fourth richest person in the world, Bill Gates, revealed that when he was a student at Harvard University, he had a terrible habit of procrastinating. While it seemed comical to his classmates for him to cram the night before each test and not even attend his classes, he found that this did not translate to success in the business world.
Through self-discipline and additional key entrepreneurial skills, Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft with his childhood friend Paul Allen, traded this habit to become one of the most successful people on the planet.
Honesty is not just a moral virtue; it is also a practical necessity in the business world.
Employees, suppliers, customers, and regulators all have to know that they can trust you.
If they learn that you misrepresented yourself, they will refuse to cooperate with you, dooming your business.
You have to have a reputation for honesty and integrity to be a successful entrepreneur, and there is no reliable way to secure that reputation other than by actually being honest.
Warren Buffet, one of the most successful entrepreneurs and investors with a net worth of $118 billion, says, “Look for three things in a person: intelligence, energy, and integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother.”
At the early age of 20, Sir Richard Branson became an entrepreneur by starting a mail-order record business and then running a chain of record stores within two years. Eventually, he founded the Virgin Group and today controls more than 400 companies. He is known as a man with high integrity, valuing people and their unique, creative ideas.
On the topic of building a successful business and integrity, Branson says, “Building a business is not rocket science, it’s about having a great idea and seeing it through with integrity.”
Emotional intelligence is indispensable in the business world.
Your own emotions can easily get in the way of decision-making, causing you to view an incorrect choice positively or overlook a correct one.
You must recognize your emotions but not be controlled by them.
It is also important to be sensitive to your employees’ and partners’ emotions, understand how your decisions impact them and strive to keep them happy and healthy. By following these steps, your success as an entrepreneur is virtually assured.
Larry Page, co-founder of search engine and company Google–which is worth nearly $1,200 billion–is known for his emotionally intelligent leadership style. He says, “My job as a leader is to make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities and that they feel they’re having a meaningful impact and are contributing to the good of society.”
To be a successful entrepreneur, you must be willing to take risks.
Without taking risks and venturing into the unknown, you will remain where you are instead of accelerating toward something better.
However, you must understand how to take intelligent risks. You do this by assessing your options, thinking through the possible outcomes, making a plan to meet challenges and deal with a potential worst-case scenario, and taking action.
Andrew Carnegie, founder of the Carnegie Corporation and one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs of the early 19th century, risked losing his family’s home by investing in an express delivery company. The risk paid off, leading to multiple subsequent investments and an eventual fortune.
Steve Ballmer took the risk of dropping out of Stanford University to join a new technology company called Microsoft. He eventually became CEO and has a net worth of $78.6 billion.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg shares, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”
Mark Zuckerberg, a highly successful entrepreneur and billionaire by the age of 23, also understands that entrepreneurs require persistence.
Says Zuckerberg, “Nothing ever goes the way you want it to. People talk about overnight success, and that’s not the way it works. The biggest things that have gotten done in the world tend to be done by people who primarily believe in a mission and are not trying to build a company; by teams, not by individuals; and by people who just don’t give up.”
Successful entrepreneurs see failure as a valuable lesson and opportunity to learn and improve, not as a reason to quit. They keep going through adversity, applying the values of hard work, tenacity, and courage.
Thomas Edison, creator of over 1,000 inventions, including the light bulb, phonograph, and telegraph said,
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. I’ve never failed at anything, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
Persistence and patience go hand in hand on your journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur. You must be willing to wait for success.
This requires having a vision of the future, long-term goals, and a calculated plan to achieve them.
Starting out as an apprentice machinist for the Detroit Dry Dock Company, Henry Ford’s first business, the Detroit Automobile Company, failed in 1899 after just two years of operation. He then founded the Henry Ford Company, which lasted only four months.
Still, he secured funds to start the Ford Motor Company two years after that, which made him the leading car manufacturer in America and a company that is still successful 120 years later, with a net worth of over $125 billion.
Patience and persistence can transform your ideas, passion, and dreams into life-changing success.
Finally, you must be a positive thinker to succeed as an entrepreneur.
A negative attitude, pessimism, and doubt will get you nowhere, but optimism creates new opportunities and gives you the fuel to propel you to success.
See the big picture and the possibilities the future holds.
An optimistic person always looks on the bright side of a challenging situation and knows that success is an inevitable outcome in the future by applying the right principles.
Steve Wozniak, a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple, is famous for his optimistic attitude. What he coins as his “original formula” is “Happiness = Smiles – Frowns.”
Being optimistic gives you the resilience you need to become a successful entrepreneur.
Become a Successful Entrepreneur
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Start developing or improving these entrepreneurial skills and take the next step toward building a successful business that you are passionate about.
On your way, add one more vital tool to your entrepreneurial toolkit by downloading my free guide, Everyone is a Salesperson. It will help you hone the influential skills you need to have a successful business.
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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.