Entrepreneurs are special. They launch companies, help create products and services that solve problems, and they create wealth. They pay taxes and fees to support an economy and they create a legacy. None of that, however, comes with a tremendous amount of hard work, sacrifice, and a lifetime’s worth of work on self.
To begin with, not everyone who decides to go into business comes with what it takes to succeed. There are certain character traits, for instance, that don’t exactly match the entrepreneurial mindset. You’ll usually find Successful entrepreneurs with a few character traits. The easiest way to succeed then (nothing is easy and this “easiest” is relative, at best) is to observe, learn, and adopt.
Here are a few character traits every entrepreneur should obsess about, absorb, and internalize:
The desire to make money
People come with their own school of thought on the subject of money. For some cultures, money is evil. The less you think about it, the better it is. The American dream pushes the subject of money into something that almost anyone with enough gumption can earn. Some people save and some others will squander.
For business owners, there’s just one dream: to make money, and to make lots of it.
Agreed that some entrepreneurs don’t start businesses only to make money. Some others start businesses out of compulsion (the reluctant entrepreneur, anyone?). A few business owners start because they had no other choice while a select few decide to become social entrepreneurs with a rather egalitarian approach to business with a charitable cause.
You can start a business for absolutely anything you wanted to achieve, but you just have to make money. Let the money fill in your needs however you want but it’s the money you’ll run after. No matter how you slide and dice it, it’s the green thumb that gets to do what she wants.
Start. Fail. Start again
Most people don’t fail as much as entrepreneurs do. Apart from those with personal, life-changing circumstances, most others have a relatively easier time dealing with their lives. Come to entrepreneurs and it’s a different story altogether. Not a day goes by without plunging downs and gravity-defying heights. There are more good and bad day cycles in a small business owners’ life than anyone else’s.
As a business owner, you’d have to train yourself to be comfortable with these feast-famine cycles. You’d have to learn to take it all into your stride. It takes will. It takes guts. It takes a lot more of you than you know.
The obsession with time and productivity
Take the average John Doe and he wouldn’t be so concerned about time. Most people just get by. They don’t put a premium on their time. You’d only have to look at countless people who let time fly by. Nothing gets done. Everything has a “tomorrow”. Time sweeps into a huge void of nothingness. No goals. No pursuits, and no clocks ticking to track work.
Successful entrepreneurs, however, are obsessed with time. They almost have a tendency to send invoices out for any block of time you’d want to take away from them. Whether they have more money than they know what to do with or whether they trade their time for dollars, time is still of primary essence for them.
So the ninja entrepreneurs outsource work, focus on a single task at a time, get an outside perspective, define priorities, and even get into bunker mode sometimes according to this post on Venture Beat by YEC.
Continuous Hiring with trials built in
No successful entrepreneur would go look for people and stop somewhere. Hiring is a continuous process for them. The “looking for the right people to do business with” act stays on forever.
Of course, none of the relationships start with face value. They start with trials, instead. When looking for contractors, for instance, successful entrepreneurs put up trial projects on simple project management tools and have people work on those tasks. Further, “hiring” doesn’t just relate just “looking for employees”. It also means hiring as in looking for vendors, suppliers, and partners.
Everyone goes through the process; only the performers get anywhere into the team.
Successful entrepreneurs believe in the power of teams and the fruitfulness of collaboration. They get the best of the minds and the bravest of the hearts t work on projects that they believe in. To achieve that, they are always looking for people. They network, they meet up, and they put themselves in groups of like-minded people.
An average person has about 200 contacts, give or take. Successful businesses owners have so many contacts that they’d need someone else to manage these contacts for them. They always have people to meet, things to do, ideas to execute, conferences to attend, and meetings to sit on.
The art of giving
Successful business owners understand the power of “giving”. For the rest of the world, “giving” is a chore. It feels like an unnecessary drain on resources. It means “parting with things, ideas, time, or effort”. For entrepreneurs, “giving” is “investing”. They believe that giving is getting and everything they do reflects that. They go out and help others much like Marcus Lemonis – the host of CNBC’s The Profit – does. They put their own money, effort, time, and other resources to help others.
Here’s the best part about giving: while entrepreneurs don’t give just to expect something back, almost everything they want comes back to them.
Entrepreneurship is a different calling. It demands a slightly different set of traits, skills, and resources. You’ll need a lot more for entrepreneurship than for any other endeavor you might want to take up.
No amount of arguing is going to change the set of things you need to become a successful entrepreneur.
How are you going at it? What are some of these traits you started to build on? What makes you tick?