The characteristics of an entrepreneur are identified in incredibly high energy creative people and are extremely self-confident. They also have high levels of self-esteem, have the need to continually solve problems, take risks and learn from failures, both from theirs and others. They also tend to thrive on change and have a natural predisposition to showing initiative and willing to accept personal responsibility. They scoop all available resources within their scope in order to realize success but only on their own terms.
Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs possess these characteristics:
1. Self-confidence This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities. Self-confidence is extremely important in almost every aspect of our lives, yet so many people struggle to find it. Successful entrepreneurs tend to have self-confidence in abundance.
Self-confident people are not obstinate people even though they tend to be dogged if they have a complete conviction in something. If they have a thought about something and it seems to differ from the way another person is thinking about it, they will usually try to look at it from that person’s point of view, understand why it makes sense to them. Surprisingly, a confident person’s impression of self is very grounded. It does not simply blow in the wind and their ideas do not waiver based on what others deem important. A self-confident person is not cocky or know-it-all. They have their doubts and make mistakes, and are far from perfect. Nonetheless, they are willing to acknowledge their inadequacies without dwelling on them. They do this by maintaining a sense of humor, putting problems in perspective, and focusing mainly on what they’ve done right, not wrong. Despite the fact self-confident people are great believers in themselves, they make it a point not to suffocate others with their beliefs and ideas.
Individuals are self-confident in what they know not only because they read, learn and think but also because they respect their instinct, intuition and the unique body of knowledge that they’ve developed by living life. They also understand the fact that one doesn't have to be labeled an “expert” to believe in one's own truths. Individuals who are Self-confident let the world know who they are. If they happen to covet something sufficiently enough, they feel they have every right to “go for it.” Yet, they also accept that the path will rarely be easy. Blunders, mistakes and failures are all part of the learning process.
They seek to learn from their errors and do not waste any time at all beating themselves over what “could have been”. People with Self-confidence don’t undermine their own worth by comparing themselves with others, only to conclude that they aren’t “good enough”. They value their strengths and endeavors and can acknowledge, without embarrassment, their weaknesses. They don’t live in the “victim” position. Even if something really bad has occurred, they turn it into a challenge, remembering to be appreciative for the small things in life.
2. Achievement Oriented Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks. Entrepreneurs compete with themselves and believe that success or failure lies within their personal control or influence. They do not see non-successes as failures but as learning experiences. Entrepreneurs tend to be focused professionals. It does not matter where they are working from,be it from their bedroom, the kitchen table or a home office, they function just as they would if they were in a high end office building. They are hardly distracted when they get to work. Most of all, they never give up and never quit striving for success.
3. Risk Takers Successful entrepreneurs know too well that risk is unavoidable, but you do get a choice in life at to which risk you wish to take – to risk a failure that leads to the loss of replaceable assets or to risk a failure that leads to the loss of one’s life. The successful entrepreneur will tend to choose the former because they truly perceive that a life is lost if it is lived without significance, or simply lived without seeking to be the best they can be. Entrepreneurs are in fact fearful of a so called ‘risk-free’ life that ends in the torturous regret of what might have been, of what could have been. The successful entrepreneur is never content with the ordinary life returns of pleasure and comfort preferring instead to strike out for a life of fulfillment. These rewards are so highly valued by the entrepreneur that they are willing to risk everything they own to have them. Entrepreneurs subsequently simply invest their lives to attain the highest return and gladly acknowledge the risks that this involves.
Risk taking is 1. Opening yourself to change. It is the accepting of the need for change and it is taking the behavioral steps that will result in that change.
2. Honest appraisal of a situation in life requiring your action.
3. Understanding the risks involved in taking such action.
4. Weighing the pros and cons of taking the action.
5. Making a choice to take the required action.
6. Performing the action with full consciousness of the risks, pros and cons and potential outcome.
7. Accepting the consequences of such action.
8. The behavioral process involving the gamble that you may experience rejection from others for the actions you have chosen to take.
9. Deciding to make a personal sacrifice of time, energy, ability and knowledge as an investment to better your circumstances.
10. Hoping your circumstances will improve as a result of your personal sacrifice, but making it anyway.
11. The effort to be honest with yourself about your part in interpersonal problems, admitting that you have certain personal barriers that prevent the resolution of the problem.
12. Committing to become objective in pursuing a rational approach to a problem.
13. The willingness to identify irrational blocking beliefs, which hinder resolutions.
14. The willingness to accept honest, objective feedback about the need for you to change your own behavior.
15. The effort to be less subjective, less defensive and more open in your search for truth, honesty and sanity in resolving your problem.
16. The willingness to take a healing, forgiving and forgetting attitude in pursuing the resolution of a conflict.
17. Opening yourself to be vulnerable, to being taken advantage of by the other in the conflict situation.
18. Demonstrating your trust in the other person's willingness to accept an honest, open and upfront approach to resolving the conflict.
19. Direct confrontation of a problem. It is the absence of procrastination and denial in dealing with a problem.
20. Responsible action taken to pursue the resolution of a problem.
4. Commitment Commitment is the basic drive of the entrepreneur. It is about the commitment to do and subsequently see it through - not just the commitment to see it through but to see it through with everything on-the-line. It is a commitment to the long term, the commitment to never giving up on the goal, the commitment to getting up and starting all over again if fate so desires. The core competency of an entrepreneur is to uncover new ways to solve problems and to come up with smart workable solutions.
The characteristics of an entrepreneur are naturally curious, inquisitive, bright and highly flexible in their way of thinking. They constantly scan their environment for new trends and are finely honed to spot an impending new venture. Quite a remarkable aspect of the entrepreneurial mind-set is that having no money is not generally viewed by them as a barrier. They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve their goals. Entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies.
They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck. So which of these three main characteristics is the most important? Believe it or not, it has to be self-confidence. Without self-confidence, nothing else is possible. If you don't believe in your abilities, then the first challenge that arises may knock you off the path to achieving your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence.
Positive Thinking Well, it all starts with a positive attitude, doesn't it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking simply is not allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember too, that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.
Persistent Action Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be enough. Keep at it one step at a time.
If you can't get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it. At the beginning of this article we identified a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs. You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don't give up. If you can do that, you're already half way there!
Charles Friedo Frize