Success in entrepreneurship isn’t just about your idea or your money. Plenty of people have interesting ideas or a lot of cash to throw around — and they never quite manage to find success in their ventures.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, take a step back and evaluate whether or not you have the following characteristics. (And remember: if you don’t have these traits now, you can develop them down the road to improve your chances of success.)
One of the most important traits of entrepreneurs is self-motivation. When you want to succeed, you need to be able to push yourself. You aren’t answerable to anyone else as an entrepreneur, and that sometimes means that it’s hard to get moving without anyone to make you. You need to be dedicated to your plan and keep moving forward — even if you aren’t receiving an immediate paycheck.
2. Understand What You Offer
As an entrepreneur, you need to know what you offer, and how it fits into the market. Whether it’s a product or a service, you need to know where you fit in. That means you need to know when it’s time to tweak things a little bit. This also includes knowing whether you are high end, middle of the road or bargain. Being able to position yourself and then adjust as needed is an important part of entrepreneurship.
3. Take Risks
Successful entrepreneurs know that sometimes it’s important to take risks. Playing it safe almost never leads to success as a business owner. It’s not about taking just any risk, though. Understanding calculated risks that are more likely to pay off is an important part of being an entrepreneur. You’ll need to be willing to take a few risks to succeed.
4. Know How to Network
Knowing how to network is an important part of entrepreneurship. Sometimes who you know is an important part of success. Being able to connect with others and recognize partnership opportunities can take you a long way as a business owner. Figure out where to go for networking opportunities and make it a point to learn how to be effective.
5. Basic Money Management Skills and Knowledge
We often think of successful entrepreneurs as “big picture” people who don’t worry so much about managing the day to day. And it’s true that you might have an accountant or other team members to help you manage the business. However, if you want to be successful, you should still have basic money management skills and knowledge. Understand how money works so that you know where you stand, and so that you run your business on sound principles.
To a certain degree, you need to be flexible as an entrepreneur. Be willing to change as needed. Stay on top of your industry and be ready to adopt changes in processes and product as they are needed. Sometimes, you also need flexibility in your thinking. This is an essential part of problem-solving. You want to be able find unique and effective solutions to issues.
Finally, successful entrepreneurs are passionate. They feel deeply about their product or service or mission. Passion is what will help you find motivation when you are discouraged and it will drive your forward. Passion is fuel for successful entrepreneurship. If you find yourself losing your passion, that might be the clue that it’s time to move on to something else (that stokes your passion). There are many serial entrepreneurs that create successful businesses, sell them, and then create something else.
As you consider your characteristics, think about how to better develop them to help you become a better entrepreneur.