At some point in our lives, most of us entertain the idea of taking control of our professional destiny. It might start early in life when we turn our first profit running a lemonade stand or delivering Sunday newspapers.
Once the fire is lit, it is difficult to have someone put out the entrepreneurial flame. However, despite many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs so often being on our televisions and in our newspapers, most aspiring industry magnates struggle to properly answer one simple question: do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?
Many professionals who want to control their own destinies eventually find they lack what it takes to turn a brilliant idea into sustainable enterprise. Yet, a natural entrepreneurial spirit can often be narrowed down to the amalgamation of only a small number of personality traits. From learning the ins and outs of ecommerce marketing services, to opening an online store, to discovering a ground-breaking biotechnological cure for a terminal disease, entrepreneurs must possess six characteristics to have a chance of reaching for the stars and grab their lifelong dreams.
Fire in the Belly
It goes by several names and hidden meanings, but you must have a passion for becoming an entrepreneur. Your passion can derive from wanting to end the fight against poverty or create a more efficient way to deliver pizzas. It does not matter what drives you; it matters that you are driven. The best way to drive towards the entrepreneurial finish line is by possessing what many secondary school gym teachers like to call fire in the belly. For example, you cannot half-heartedly put together a marketing strategy and expect to attract new customers for your business. It’s all or nothing.
We tend to mix up the words passion and motivation. Therefore, a better personality trait description for entrepreneurial motivation is dedication. After you tap into your passion, you have to make sure you are dedicated enough to push you and your team towards the goals of your organisation. You will not have a manager or colleague holding you accountable for exceeding funding goals or passing every inspection that’s thrown at you with flying colours. As they say on the altar, once you say yes, you cannot go back. Are you dedicated enough to assume full responsibility for the success of your team?
Glass is Half Full
No Debbie Downers need apply for the role of an entrepreneur. If Murphy’s Law doesn’t get you, then entrepreneur law will dampen your day. Murphy’s Law goes like this: What can go wrong will go wrong. Entrepreneur law is more like “Expect things to go wrong.” The question is not whether you will run into major roadblocks on the journey to realising your lifelong dream. What you need to ask yourself is “Am I an optimist or does the glass always look half empty.” Whenever members of your team see you hanging your head or losing your control because something unexpected went wrong, you can be sure to lose some of the respect and talent you wanted along for the entrepreneurial ride.
Thinking Outside the Box
Thinking outside the box has become an overused term that is applied to far too many people. Let’s go with an old-school word called creativity, then. Entrepreneurs are incredibly creative professionals, and not just by introducing cutting-edge ideas and solutions to problems. Businesses thrive because of a combination of small ideas and big dreams. Both the small ideas and big dreams need to come from a rich source of creativity. For example, an ecommerce marketing plan you hatch should include you looking for new and improved creative ways to attract visitors to your online store. What creative solutions are out there to keeping a remote team working together across different time zones? Or is there a way of linking safety protocols with how you track items around your warehouse? Successful entrepreneurs have creativity as a core value of all their ventures.
Taking Calculated Risks
You do not have to be a daredevil who likes jumping from one side of the Grand Canyon to the other side within a propane fuelled rocket, but entrepreneurs do have to be able to call a calculated risk. This takes bravery, decisiveness, and self-belief. Of course, we wish to minimise risk, even for a hedge fund manager who runs a brokerage house. The point is to never allow limiting risk to prevent you from achieving your entrepreneurial dream. But what if it all goes wrong? Entrepreneurs take their risks with their eyes wide open – they understand what’s at stake, just as they’ll understand when the right moment is to put their neck on the line and strike.
“Everyone can tell you the risk; an entrepreneur can see the reward.” Successful entrepreneurs treat their brains like idea incubators until the vision for starting and running a successful vision reaches full clarity. From successful ecommerce marketing to developing product innovations, entrepreneurs have the vision to stay the course.
So, the question remains, do you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?