Do you ever wonder what it is that makes one entrepreneur very successful and another not? Is it luck, timing, money, connections, intelligence, honesty, dishonesty, attitude or that it is just mean to be for some and not for others? I have put together a list of 10 attributes that are universal for all who wish to be successful entrepreneurs. Successful does not mean being Dale Carnegie, Bill Gates, Donald Trump or Mark Zuckerberg. It means achieving the success you want in your life. This is not my opinion but attributes taken from other lists over the years as well as form the many books I have read that have discussed the keys to success for many successful entrepreneurs.
1. Creative Thought. – It is the creative thought of the entrepreneur that inspires them to go forth and make a difference. For each of us as entrepreneurs, creativity will never be lacking. In fact, too much creativity may be our biggest downfall. Too many times we get caught up in the excitement of the creative idea that we lose focus on the most important task at hand. Creativity is the lifeblood of the entrepreneur. Almost all we have today is because an entrepreneur came up with the an idea for change or betterment to what currently existed.
2. Courage – Despite all the odds we know are against us we go forward with our desire for entrepreneurship. Courage is the knowing the risks that you must face, yet going forward with your desire for your new entrepreneurial venture.
Think of the world with no personal computers. Imagine they do not exist. Let’s say you’ve heard of these things called computers, but they were really for the big secretive companies, government and maybe very, very rich people. Now imagine a guy coming up to you and saying that he was going to invent a computer that would be called the Personal Computer and that in a short time every household would have at least one. How crazy would you think this person is? That is not exactly how it happened but close enough for our discussion here. Because of that crazy idea with all the odds against him Bill Gates had the courage to go forward and today is the second richest man in the world, with a net worth of $56 Billion.
3. Bravery – In the midst of start-up or business growth the entrepreneur does not think of who this is for, why it is worth it or the consequences of failure. They push forward with the fortitude of success. Bravery is different from Courage in terms of action. Bravery is the act of “the fight” and not caring how big the odds are against you. But Bravery exists because of the desire to win and you put it all on the line. Successful entrepreneurs have both courage and bravery. They have the knowing of what is against them and as they enter the ring of battle they put all to the side and focus on success. Their bravery comes from a deeper place, not that just of money but of success for a personal and deep emotional reason. If they do not have a deep emotional connection to the reason for their success their bravery is empty and will not succeed.
4. Confidence – The entrepreneur has a “knowing” that they can achieve their dream. No matter what anyone else says to them. Confidence is not blissful ignorance. Confidence means that after acquiring the research, data and facts needed, knowing that YOU can make it work. A high level of confidence is extremely important because there will be many things that will happen during your pursuit of success that will challenge your belief and of those around you.
Did you know that Colonel Sanders, of Kentucky Fried Chicken, went to 1009 restaurants (which took over 2 years) before he received his first yes. 1009….how many of us would have kept going after 50…100…200…not me. I would have thought I had a bad idea and gone back to rethink. Not him. He had confidence in his idea and was not going to let anything or anyone break that confidence. God bless him.
5. Humility – To balance their confidence the successful entrepreneur needs to know that they don’t have all the answers. Although confident, they are humble enough to understand that they must always be open to the feedback of the world around them and be willing to absorb, analyze and decide which feedback will help them to achieve their dream. Stubbornness is just stupidity with an attitude. If there is one thing the successful entrepreneur is not, is stupid.
6. Learner – It is at that moment that you feel you are “there” that you are then the furthest you have ever been from being there. The entrepreneur must be the perpetual and hungry student. The longer we are in business, the more experience we gain, the more knowledge we accumulate, the more we realize how little we know. Learning is the key to succeeding. Miki Agrawal
7. Strategist – Very, very few businesses become successful by chance. Successful entrepreneurship takes thought, planning, execution, analysis, evaluation, adjustments and implementation. In a word, Strategy.
Imagine you have been dropped in the desert with 2 days of water and 3 days in every direction but one, until you reach a water supply. If you guess which way to go, you are more than likely dead. However, if you take time to strategize where you are now and which direction is the most likely path to water in two days not three, you have greatly upped your chances of success. The strategist is all about working smart not hard. The strategist understands the muscle between your two ears is much more powerful than all the other muscles in your body, combined!
8. Focus – This is the myopic thought process of success. If you know what you want and you stay focused on achieving “that” then all you do will continue to get you closer to achievement. As mentioned above, creativity is usually the one attribute of the entrepreneur that can make them never reach success. Non-focused creativity can cause us to put time and energy into things that are not of the most immediate importance. Staying focused is the key to clear and productive creative thinking.
9. Determined Perseverance – The successful entrepreneur is determined to succeed no matter what gets in their way. You will have tough times. You will want to quit. You will be frustrated, tired, exhausted, depressed and stressed out. It is okay. Just persevere. Your determination will drive your perseverance.
It is said that Thomas Edison had at least 10,000 failed experiments until he came up with the right formula for the electronic light bulb. Ten-thousand. That is a lot. Is there anything you would stick with if you failed at it 10,000 times? Now that is Determined Perseverance. Excuse me while I go shut off the light.
10. Celebrator – The hard-working entrepreneur knows when to celebrate. Encouragement for the entrepreneur rarely comes from the outside. Most of the “at-a-boys” have to come from each of us to ourselves. It is important that we celebrate our successes. We work hard for successes, but we must understand that we don’t achieve success like winning the lottery. Our ultimate vision of success doesn’t happen all at one time. It come in bits and pieces. Like stepping-stones. There have been those few that do reach it at once, but they are few and far between. Most of them who succeed so quickly fail almost as quickly, because they have not been able to learn from the experience of failures. We must celebrate the mini-successes we have. The benchmarks of success are what let us know that we are reaching our ultimate goal. Otherwise the ultimate success we are looking to achieve may be too far off to appreciate.