The Internet has completely changed the world, especially the world of business. Not only have traditional businesses become more streamlined and connected, but the web has also brought along a renaissance of non-traditional businesses. Entrepreneurship has skyrocketed over the last decade, as many are attempting to become the next Jeff Bezos or Mark Zuckerberg. But, as these people quickly find out, successful entrepreneurship is not easy in the slightest.
The difference between an entrepreneur and a successful entrepreneur is quite significant. Everybody thinks that they’ve got the next game-changing idea; but simply having the idea isn’t enough these days. Being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with your current physical, logistical, or financial circumstances. It’s all about your personality and how your mind works. Luckily, all successful entrepreneurs have a few traits in common, and by studying and adopting these traits, you can better position yourself for success.
We’ve rounded up the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs below. If you want to make it in entrepreneurship, we recommend that you hone these attributes:
This is, without a doubt, the most important trait that you can possess. If you truly have passion for your project, everything else will fall into place.
Passion acts as the gasoline that fuels you on this long journey of entrepreneurship. It’s easy to look at the Bill Gates and Steve Jobs of the world and be fascinated with the end result: fame, fortune, and respect. But, the fact of the matter is that 99% of entrepreneurs work countless hours and end up with very little (often nothing) to show for it. Being an entrepreneur is a grueling, demanding, and oftentimes lonely lifestyle.
So you may be asking yourself why people become entrepreneurs in the first place, but the answer is a simple one: They do it because they love it. Entrepreneurs are driven to solve a problem and make life a little bit easier for someone else. These people have identified their specific niche as their purpose, meaning that trivial things like money or failure mean very little to them. They are happy because they are doing what they want to be doing.
The thing about passion, though, is that it cannot be taught. Even if your life depended on it, you wouldn’t be able to develop genuine passion for anything unless it came from within. That’s why the most important step to entrepreneuring is to determine what you truly are passionate about and work around that. Build something out of who you are and what you love.
Adaptability is an important trait not just for businesspeople, but for humans in general. Our ability to adapt to challenges is what defines who we are as people. This is especially true for entrepreneurs, who face trials and tribulations on a daily basis. No two days are the same when you’ve thrown the structure of a 9-5 job out the window.
Flexibility is key to success in today’s climate. We live in the age of information, and new information is being thrown at us relentlessly. You may have the best idea ever, but that doesn’t mean that it’s realistic in today’s world. If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to fail as an entrepreneur, remain rigid in your ideas. If you’re looking to succeed as an entrepreneur, accept the fact that some of your ideas may need some re-working in order to reach their full potential.
You don’t need to change completely, but, you need to be willing to adjust in order to achieve maximum success.
Opportunity is everywhere. Modern day technology has given us the best quality of life to date. We have access to the entirety of human knowledge on a device small enough to fit in our pockets. We can have our ideas heard by thousands of people with a single tweet. Entrepreneurs realize that it’s never been easier to create your own path and find success outside of a traditional 9-5 job.
Opportunities are everywhere, even if they don’t necessarily seem like opportunities at first. This is the type of mentality that breeds success in entrepreneurial ventures. You have to adopt the mindset that everything that happens is an opportunity for something new and exciting. This positivity will go a long way towards your success.
It’s nearly impossible to control what happens to you, but you are completely in control of how you react to any and all situations that arise. If you react to something as an opportunity rather than a roadblock, then you’re putting yourself in a position to succeed.
As Stephen McCranie said: “The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried.”
Nobody likes to fail. Yet, we all do it. We work to the point of exhaustion, only to come up short. Then, we come home and turn on the TV, and what do we see? Constant images of people who are all incredibly successful. What the media doesn’t show us, however, is the countless hours of work and the countless failures that those people have under their belt. Nobody is successful without having failed a countless amount of times.
That’s easy enough to say, but that amount of failures can really start to get to you. You’ll lose confidence. Friends and family may start to tell you that it’s time to give up. Your bank account may beg for you to quit. In the face of all of that adversity, what separates the successful from the average is the resilience to keep going. Entrepreneurs get knocked down time and time again, but they brush themselves off and keep going.
You know what’s easy? Living a structured life where you go to a 9-5 job that doesn’t inspire you. You put in the minimum amount of work necessary, get paid, and go home to sit around until it’s time to go back to work.
You know what’s hard? Putting yourself in a vulnerable position every single day, knowing that the only person that determines your own success is you. You log days of hard work and see very little (if any) tangible results. All of the work you’re putting in is toward a vision that may not come to fruition for years, if it does at all.
A lot of people fantasize about the idea of being an entrepreneur. The idea of owning your own business, working for yourself, and not having to answer to “the man” seems like a dream come true, in theory. So why are so many of us continuing to work our same desk jobs when we know there’s a whole world of opportunity out there?
Take the Plunge
When it comes down to it, taking the plunge into entrepreneurship is absolutely terrifying. You have to cut ties with your comfortable day job, your sense of financial security, and pretty much all of your free time. You’ll have to tell your friends and family that you no longer have a “regular job” like them, that instead you’re going to gamble on yourself and achieve one of your dreams.
The scariest thing, however, is that you’ll realize the type of person you really are. Maybe you’ve always considered yourself a creative person, but have never undertaken a creative venture. Or maybe you’ve always considered that you would be the hardest worker of all time, but you’ve never been put in a position where you had to put your money where your mouth is. Being an entrepreneur is one of the most freeing things that someone can do, but it can also be the most sobering thing you’ll attempt in your lifetime.
An important part about being an entrepreneur is using all of your available resources. There is never any shame in asking for help; as a matter of fact, it’s actually encouraged. CO2 offers coaching services to put you in the best position to succeed with your business venture. Check out our executive entrepreneur coaching services and see what we can do to make you a better entrepreneur.
By: Gary Cohen