I’ve been working with a number of young entrepreneurs for a while now. It’s true when people say you seldom find two people the same. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to entrepreneurship.
However, many successful entrepreneurs share common qualities with one another. Certain personality characteristics, behaviour and psychological traits can significantly help an individual become successful.
1. Commitment to business
All successful entrepreneurs love and are obsessed with their business. They think, eat and sleep business. Every little step that they take is related to business in one way or the other. By being committed to their business, entrepreneurs keep on trying hard until they succeed.
Successful entrepreneurs are those who cannot be defeated easily. They view every failure as an opportunity for future success. Entrepreneurs thrive on and remain calm through uncertainty. This is what enables them to be resilient and grow when faced with challenges and hardship.
3. Action oriented
Successful entrepreneurs never wait for things to happen – rather they make things happen. Instead of worrying about an uncertain future, entrepreneurs constantly work on making their idea a reality. Being successful in a startup is all about being action oriented and being willing to listen and learn.
4. Early risers
One key trait of successful entrepreneurs is that they are early risers. Waking up early allows entrepreneurs to gather their thoughts, plan their day, read and avoid unnecessary distractions. Staying healthy and fit is important to every entrepreneur and a morning gym session is often the best place for innovative and strategic thinking.
5. Passion and motivation
Successful entrepreneurs are always passionate about what they do and they are highly self-motivated. Entrepreneurs need to be self-starters, have strong work ethics and be disciplined enough to outwork everyone and get work done. Many entrepreneurs also collect mentors to increase motivation and passion.
6. Planning and risk taking
Every entrepreneur will tell you that he or she is a risk taker. However, not all risk takers turn out to be successful entrepreneurs. Risk taking must go hand in hand with planning to deal with the unknown. Successful entrepreneurs don’t over plan or over think – they plan just enough to understand risks and how to deal with them.
Successful entrepreneurs all exhibit the trait of being decisive. Entrepreneurs always need to think and act fast else the competition will oust them. Informed decision making is an essential skill of an entrepreneur – move fast and execute.
8. Pivoting and flexibility
Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that their business turned out to be somewhat different from their initial vision. The reason why they managed to succeed in business is because of flexibility and adaptability. Only those entrepreneurs who can think on their feet and adjust to changing circumstances and information can be successful.
9. Financially aware
Across every business, entrepreneurs need to manage money wisely. It doesn’t matter whether a business is going to be VC/seed backed, or you’re going to bootstrap the startup – capital decisions must always be taken with care.
10. Able to sell
Be you an introvert or extrovert, as a founder, you’ll always have to be selling. Selling your vision to prospective partners and potential investors. You’ll need to sell your idea and convince why people should join your startup. Chances are at the start you will be selling your product/service. You’ll be selling your employees on why they should remain calm and stay with your unknown startup when things get difficult.
11. Innovative and creative
Creativity and innovation are two traits that help successful entrepreneurs sell their products or services. Entrepreneurs are often able to make connections between seemingly unrelated situations or events. They then use creative and innovative ideas to come up with unique solutions.
The odds are not stacked in your favour so the possibility of failure as a startup is huge. Understand and accept this and don’t let your fear of failure cripple you. Fail fast, fail early and fail smarter. Coupled with your attributes, only then will these failures lead to your success.
About the author:
A founder of multiple startups Hader Ali is an innovation & business consultant.
Hader Ali Consultancy works with startups, SMEs, and large organisations. Specialising in business strategy, product/service development, sales & marketing.
To future-proof your business. Hader Ali Consultancy will work with your company to create an innovation portfolio by providing a framework for structured innovation. All while creating an ecosystem of ideas and a culture of innovation.