How to become an entrepreneur: 8 traits of successful entrepreneurs

Are you wondering whether you’ll make a good entrepreneur? Or, if you already are an entrepreneur, are you giving some thought to what personal characteristics you should develop in order to help your business thrive? In either case, you’ll find this list immensely helpful. Here are eight traits of successful entrepreneurs.

They enjoy what they do.

One reason a lot of people choose to become entrepreneurs in the first place is in hope of finding a more enjoyable job. Even if that’s not the primary reason you want to become – or have become – an entrepreneur, it’s incredibly important for success. If you enjoy your work, you will be more passionate, more committed, and more willing to put in extra hours. All of those things are huge factors in determining whether you will ultimately be successful in your endeavor.

They are independent.

In fact, this is one of the traits that came up as being most important in a Gallup poll that studied 1,000 successful entrepreneurs. It makes sense that entrepreneurs would be independent – they’ve struck out on their own to do things outside the traditional office environment. Usually, people that even want to become entrepreneurs in the first – whether or not they ultimately make successful entrepreneurs are independent. A good entrepreneur needs to be able to work without taking direction and without relying on others for decision-making.

They take their work seriously.

If you are running a home business, it is easy to lose focus or to consider it “not a real job.” You can’t allow yourself to fall into that mentality if you want to be successful. That sort of mentality will allow you to be easily distracted and to allow other things to take priority when you should be working. It will allow you to be swayed by other people who don’t consider your job a real job just because you don’t have set hours or an office. It will allow you to engage in many behaviors that will sabotage your ability to succeed as an entrepreneur.

They are tenacious.

As an entrepreneur, you will encounter a lot of naysayers. You can’t listen to them, though. You will also encounter a lot of failure – all great entrepreneurs have had some pretty significant failures on their journey toward success. Ultimately, though, the reason that they succeeded is because they didn’t give up. They were tenacious.

They are risk takers.

Success often involves a lot of failure. As Jimmy Carter once said, “Go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.” In other words, you have to take risks in order to achieve success. When you work in a company, you may not feel that on a personal level the way that you will as an entrepreneur. In a company, when the company takes a risk, if you fail you will all fail together; as an entrepreneur, it’s just you. Knowing that can make it harder to take risks, because you know you’ll be the only one picking up the pieces if things go wrong. Nonetheless, successful entrepreneurs are still able to take risks – and to move on and get past it if they fail.

They manage money wisely.

Even if you don’t know a lot about money management going into it, once you become an entrepreneur you will have to get good fast if you want to succeed. A positive cash flow is what keeps any company alive and is a huge part of how we define what makes a company successful. So, in order to be successful as an entrepreneur you have to have a good understanding of the finances of your operation. As an entrepreneur, there won’t be someone else to leave it to – you’ll have to deal with all this yourself. You’ll need to properly allot for expenses, understand how to price your product or service for maximal returns, and understand what you really need and what you don’t. This may all seem obvious, but in fact when people make the decision to become an entrepreneur the lack or presence of money managing skills is not often a deciding factor.

Strong people skills.

Even though many entrepreneurs work from home, they usually still need to have strong people skills. People skills are good for networking, for securing funding, and basic customer service. Even if you sell an online product and never meet your customers face-to-face, you will probably still have to answer questions and possibly deal with issuing refunds to unhappy customers – and both those things require people skills whether you’re doing them online or on the phone. If you handle these things badly, you may end up with a myriad of negative online reviews or Better Business Bureau complaints – outcomes which would undoubtedly have a negative impact on your business. So, even in the scenarios that involve the least significant amount of human interaction, you will still need people skills.

They are creative.

There are all sorts of different kinds of creativity. So, even if you’re not an inventor and don’t think of yourself as the person who will introduce a new product to the world, you may still have other kinds of creativity that will help you succeed as an entrepreneur. You might think of different ways to market your product or service or you may have a creative twist on something that already exists. Whatever the case, entrepreneurship presents tons of problems that creativity helps solve in novel ways that can go a long way towards achieving success.