Have you got the skills to make it as an entrepreneur?
We all want the wealth and contentment that comes with great success, but the truth is, it takes a certain kind of person, with a certain skill set, to make it as an innovator.
I’m not a believer in fate defining your fortune.
We make our own luck and most entrepreneurs become successful through sheer grit and determination.
But they also share common traits and habits.
Here are 8 of the most common characteristics of top entrepreneurs.
These are the skills you will need to work on if you wish to join their ranks.
1. They are smart
I am not talking textbook smart either, although many do have high IQs. I’m talking street smart.
I am talking about the ability to read people, assess a social situation quickly and play their hand.
In fact, in many ways, they are like poker players in that they are observant types who know when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em.
This comes in particularly handy in business when they are closing a deal and can assess when to push a little further and when to hold back.
2. They are charming
Behold the entrepreneur at a networking event!
They are a highly charming personality type and are great at working the room,
because they have confidence and will back their ideas to the end.
This is also one of the reasons they are so successful.
Their confidence is infectious and pretty soon they have everyone else believing their “sales pitch” too.
3. They are not afraid of failure
Failure is a necessary part of any business venture and good entrepreneurs know this.
Of course no one wants to fail, but the truly innovative types won’t let this fear get in the way and they will adopt a philosophical approach to failure.
If I think of the so-called “failures” in my life, they’ve often been blessings in disguise.
Sure at the time, I wished for a different outcome, most of my biggest successes have occurred after significant setbacks.
Think about it, the same has probably occurred for you too.
That’s why hindsight often allows us to cast failure in a positive light and the top entrepreneurs know this.
4. They are driven
What motivates you to get up and go to work each day?
Is it a desire to be a success?
To reach a certain milestone?
Or are you merely treading water?
Entrepreneurs have clear goals and ambitions and they work hard so as to reach them.
A pay cheque at a nine-to-five job is most definitely not for them, and they are often driven as much by an inner ambition as a basic need to make money to pay the mortgage.
5. They are adaptable
Life and business do not always go to plan.
You may have your heart set on a project that falls over or the investment deal you were hoping to put together may fall through.
This has happened to all entrepreneurs at one point or another but they refuse to give up. Instead they adapt and moved forward.
This may mean tweaking the business concept, or simply dusting themselves off and approaching the idea, or doing the deal in a different way.
Market conditions also change.
You will need to adapt to changing trends and consumer demand or investment markets to be a top entrepreneur with your business and strategies always evolving.
6. They are free thinkers
Most entrepreneurs have something of the renegade about them.
They may be slightly eccentric, unorthodox in their worldview or just immune to what others think of them.
This is because they’re not afraid to stand apart from the crowd.
They’re happy to ignore those who tell them it is not a good time to start a business, or to make an investment or that they will never succeed and they’re better off playing it safe.
While most people are highly susceptible to the views of others, successful entrepreneurs often have a way of crowding out the chatter and listening to their own inner truths.
7. They are optimistic
There is a world of difference between extreme optimism and wishful thinking.
Wishful thinkers set unrealistic expectations.
They rely on good luck or outsource success to outside forces.
A good example of this is playing the lottery (which is really a tax for those who can’t do maths.)
On the other hand, those who possess extreme optimism manufacture their own luck.
They never quit, no matter how difficult their success journey is, because they expect it to be long, hard and filled with setbacks.
However, they believe they will survive that journey and succeed in the end.
I’ve heard it said that lucky breaks come by chance, while success comes by choice.
8. They are good with money
Last, but not least, is the ability to manage money.
There’s no point being determined and resilient if you are not great when it comes to managing money.
When you start out as an entrepreneur, there will be some very challenging times and your ability to stick to a budget will be crucial.
Big spenders are unlikely to make it as entrepreneurs.
The early years of a start-up often involve reinvesting every cent you make back into the business, which means going without a few luxuries in the short term for long-term gain.
Furthermore, rash financial decisions, such as allocating funds to the wrong area or investing in the wrong aspects of the business, can quickly kill any entrepreneurial business.
A strong financial brain must be guiding the ship at all times.
There you have it – 8 common traits shared by successful entrepreneurs, business people and investors.
Also published on Medium.