10 Must-Have Traits for All Successful Entrepreneurs
I've helped thousands of business owners -- here's what I learned.
Entrepreneurs have a vision, focus and determination that will take them anywhere they want to go. They also have strong leadership skills and know-how to motivate others around them.
Every great entrepreneur shares ten critical attributes, which I've witnessed during my time helping thousands of business leaders succeed. When starting a business, these key components should be at the forefront of your mind as they pertain directly to success.
First up on our list is a trait that is often taken for granted. In fact, it's so important to have the ability to problem-solve and think critically about issues at hand no matter what comes up in your line of work! If you are always looking to get the job done, you must possess this skill set to circumvent any situation life throws your way. The most successful entrepreneurs go outside of their comfort zone to find solutions while keeping calm under pressure.
2. Impeccable communication
As an entrepreneur, you can accomplish little to nothing if you lack communication skills. Expressing oneself clearly and concisely can often be the difference between an average professional and someone who excels. This applies to your day-to-day interactions and the way you communicate on paper and email.
3. Determination to excel
This next trait is something that only those who know what it feels like to fail can genuinely appreciate: determination! Successful entrepreneurs don't let anything stop them from getting where they want to be, including failure. Life doesn't always go according to plan, but there are still ways of achieving desired results so long as one has perseverance.
It doesn't matter how often the entrepreneur fails; the determination to succeed makes each new failure seem like a minor setback. In fact, this crucial trait can mean that one learns from those setbacks and tries even harder.
4. Calculated risk-taking
If not used properly, this trait can be a weakness; however, taking risks and making calculated decisions have helped many entrepreneurs succeed. For example, an entrepreneur might risk not expanding his or her product line when sales are on the rise. If calculated risk-taking weren't present in the entrepreneur's skill set, he or she wouldn't be able to make that decision quickly.
5. Learning continuously
There is always more you can learn and new tools that will help your business grow. Be sure to check out trends in your niche and network with like-minded individuals. Take some time each week to reflect on how you learned something new about the business industry. Then, decide if there is a way you can implement this new piece of knowledge into your business to help move forward. Finally, make continuous learning part of your daily routine. You will never know everything, but continuous learning will get you closer to understanding everything.
6. Strong leadership skills
While leadership attributes are essential for everyone, they become even more critical when running your own business. If you don't have leadership skills, your team will not be able to work together effectively with the same vision and understanding of your entrepreneurial goals. In addition, without leadership skills, there won't be any clear direction or motivation within the company.
7. Passion and ambition
Passion is the flicker of excitement in your eyes when you get asked about your business, or for some, it's practically their life. Ambition is what drives entrepreneurs to do what they do every day.
It might be that passion that led them into entrepreneurship because starting a business can be scary and uncertain, not for the faint-hearted. Entrepreneurs have an innate drive to achieve success, which could have stemmed from being passionate about their idea. They are relentless in their pursuit of success, and this mentality needs to be fueled by ambition so it doesn't run out along the way.
As an entrepreneur, creating and launching a product involves extensive research on what customers want and need. This process requires disregarding assumptions about what currently exists in the market and seeking new ways to meet customer needs instead of trying to fulfill old ones (reactive versus proactive). In order to create such innovative products, entrepreneurs must be willing to experience something new, even if it means subjecting their current beliefs and assumptions about the market to scrutiny.
9. Work-life balance
There seems to be a never-ending debate about whether entrepreneurs need a work-life balance. For many, the discussion is debatable because they believe entrepreneurs are too busy scaling their business to have much time for anything else. However, this can have significant consequences for entrepreneurs and the businesses that depend on them.
The entrepreneur's life has always been full of challenges and sacrifices, but that doesn't mean entrepreneurs should cut out family, friends and health from their lives completely. Entrepreneurs are humans with needs, just like everyone else. They have personal goals they want to accomplish outside of work, families who rely on them and friends they enjoy spending time with.
10. Team player
Managing a business requires a wide variety of skills, and a good entrepreneur needs to navigate the landscape full of the diverse people they will work with. This means pushing past strengths in their own knowledge base and taking on responsibility from other areas and professionals as well.
Being a team player also helps entrepreneurs stay connected with their employees and colleagues and keep up on industry news. In addition, an entrepreneur looking to build a larger team will understand how to delegate tasks and how an individual's day-to-day tasks fit into the overall scheme of things.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor