Successful entrepreneurs are scarce. According to an article in Forbes.com dated September 12, 2013, 8 out of 10 businesses fail. Yet the founders of those 2 survive and prosper. An article posted on August 6, 2014 at SmallBusiness.com () gives the names of entrepreneurs who started businesses after age 55, starting with George Washington who started a distillery at age 65! (You might say that was his second successful start-up after the U.S.)
An article published on Hiscox, dated June 7, 2013, entitled “10 Important Personal Characteristics of Entrepreneurs” describes the rare skills and traits of successful entrepreneurs. They are bold and driven. They set goals and commit their full resources to reach them. They plan strategically and then focus clearly on the plan. They are so committed to their business they are not easily defeated. To them every obstacle is an educational experience, an opportunity to do better in the future.
They’re proactive “doers”, not “thinkers.” If something needs to get done they jump on it themselves. They take part in day-to-day operations even if they don’t have to. Uncertainty invigorates them. Things go wrong in business at the most inconvenient times. Entrepreneurs not only take the lead in solving those problems, they keep calm while they do it. Vanquishing problems makes them stronger.
They continually look for ways to improve their company. Every new situation is a potential opportunity to grow. Constantly seeking new ideas, they extract them from their experiences and surroundings. They know that listening is the most important part of learning. Always willing to take risks, they never question their ability to prevail.
They use their great people skills effectively. Their talent for communication enables them to sell themselves, and thus their services or products, to customers or clients. They are natural leaders that easily influence and motivate those around them. Their inherent creativity gives them the ability to develop innovative ideas that they can transform into profitable services or goods. Their passion for their job drives them to put in all the extra hours it takes to make their business successful. Passion may be the entrepreneur’s most important trait.
Few people are born with all of those characteristics. Fortunately, they can learn them through webinars, seminars and books. There are so many sources of information though, that many prospective entrepreneurs find themselves overwhelmed. Another Biscox article dated February 1, 2013 entitled “How to be an Entrepreneur: Four Golden Rules” gives rules entrepreneurs should never forget:
They must never forget the importance of the customer. He is, after all, the real boss, not the entrepreneur. Losing him means sure death for his company.
They have to keep watching the profits. Rising monthly sales targets can seem so exciting they can obscure declining profits. Focus should never be lost on the balance sheet’s bottom line.
A bad image is difficult to live down. A good reputation takes a long time to gain but a short time to lose.
The entrepreneur must avoid becoming so self-absorbed he forgets the other elements that makes him successful. Yet he shouldn’t lose faith in his own judgment. He is, after all, his most important advisor,
The attributes of a successful entrepreneur vary from individual to individual – no definitive mix works for all – but true entrepreneurs will possess many of the traits described herein.