Are people born to be an entrepreneur or can you develop your “building blocks” in the pursuit of becoming an entrepreneur? Most likely, you can develop them. But learning to be an entrepreneur starts early in life with a high level of curiosity and evolves throughout your early work career. Quite a few of the characteristics that will make you successful in your career will make you successful as an entrepreneur. You absolutely need a growth mindset (meaning you can learn what you need to learn versus being stuck with what you were born with). You also need to be super optimistic and have a high degree of self confidence.
While there isn’t any “ideal” entrepreneurial personality for an entrepreneur who is successful, there are key building blocks. Serial entrepreneurs say that new entrepreneurs who have become successful will have some common characteristics, which are shared below:
You will be passionate. This is the most significant characteristic that almost every entrepreneur has and for obvious reasons. They will be successful because they love what they do. These entrepreneurs put all the extra hours they have into the business to make it successful. They don’t think of their startup as work. These entrepreneurs are always researching and reading things to find strategies on how they can make their business better or whether they need to pivot.
Your work ethic will be strong. Entrepreneurs who are successful are not afraid of working. No four-hour workweek reality here. Most entrepreneurs will tell you, in the early days, they worked 70-80 hours per week. But it does not feel like work when you are building your own company. It’s not about the quantity of hours but the quality. You need to work smart.
You developed strong people skills. A successful entrepreneur is someone who has excellent communication skills for selling the products or services to customers and motivating their employees. Skilled entrepreneurs will have the power to motivate their employees by communicating a strong mission with a clear vision. They also become very good at hiring people smarter than themselves.
You will have doggedness. The successful entrepreneurs are never greatly impacted by the failures they encounter on their startup journey. For them, failure is like an opening for a success story, and hence, they try again and again or they pivot. Moreover, these entrepreneurs are not wired to believe that some things are not possible and cannot be done. They believe that there is a solution for every problem.
High creativity = problem solving. One of the main aspects of creativity is the ability to understand the complete problem, then to begin the hunt for solutions. Entrepreneurs usually come up with the solutions to these problems that are a combination of other insights. Learning to live with problems is a normal state of mind for an entrepreneur.
Competition is good. The number of companies started each month continues to rise. Competition is good. It helps grow an industry, provides trained talent and forces you to compete for your customers. You can also analyze, survey and watch your competitor’s customers to gain insights. Having competitors also allows you and your team to focus on the competition as an additional motivator to strive towards success.
You need to be confident. A successful entrepreneur never questions if they can succeed or if they are even worthy of success. They are highly confident that their knowledge, experience and network will help them make their business a success. And they radiate this confidence in everything that they do for the startup. That’s why investors invest in the startup team, not always the solution.
Discipline will be key. Successful entrepreneurs always focus their energy on making the startup work and eliminate the distractions or obstacles to their goals. They have overarching strategies that help them to reach the goals they have while they constantly adjust the plan to achieve the final outcome. Moreover, successful entrepreneurs are disciplined to always take the right steps each day towards the actual accomplishment of their objectives.
So, if you want to be an entrepreneur and have some of the above building blocks, then refine the ones you need to improve and perhaps look for a big problem to solve. If you are going to work for 30 years, might as well work for yourself.