10 Traits of an Entrepreneur

| July 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

The thought of owning a business can be very alluring—setting your own hours, making lots of money and hiring your dream team of employees. But many individuals who have these dreams fall short of turning them into reality because they lack the necessary characteristics to make them happen.

So, what are the common traits of an entrepreneur?

The top 10 are here:

1. Hard Work Ethic

A strong work ethic is vital to the success of an entrepreneur. In business, time management is crucial and the dedication to “get the job done no matter what” is essential to the end result. Without the motivation to stay the course, valuable time and talent will be lost.

2. Self-Confidence

For others to believe in your skills and abilities, you must first believe in them yourself. True entrepreneurs listen to their instinct and trust that those “gut feelings” coupled with solid knowledge will lead to smart decisions.
As employees of others, many aspiring entrepreneurs get frustrated with inefficiencies, office politics and colleagues who don’t work as fast as they prefer.

3. Flexibility

Multitasking becomes the nature of the beast when you are a business owner. You need to be ready to change and adapt to all of the moving pieces that make up the venture. Challenges are a part of the deal, and how you respond to those will ultimately shape your success.

4. Competitiveness

Entrepreneurs love to win. In fact, they thrive on challenges. Many business owners actually enjoy the journey more than the victory itself. Being a savvy competitor will position you as the leader you need to be within your organization and to external entities.

5. Decisiveness/Accountability

There is a level of fear associated with the responsibilities of running a business. Instead of passing the weight of decision-making on to others and letting the chips fall where they may, a true entrepreneur will welcome the opportunity to be that “go-to” person and assume the risks of possible failure that come with the outcome.

6. Communication Skills

Although public speaking and presenting are important, this is not the context of communication that I am referring to here. I am actually talking about the ability of an entrepreneur to share their vision and create excitement around it. People are motivated by different things, and often times leaders forget to properly provide a reason for that motivation in the workplace. By communicating their business intentions and goals, you’ll give your employees a reason to work hard alongside you and realize how their contribution will help the greater good.

7. Balanced Optimism

The quintessential entrepreneur will possess a charisma that attracts others to them, and a thirst for success that is within their reach in part due to positive thinking. They will understand that things are not always going to go smoothly, but believe in a successful outcome because of the information they have gathered and applied to their process. They also look for the best in others.

8. Self-Discipline

A good entrepreneur needs to be strict about self-regulation and have the ability to put their business first, even when less challenging or more fun opportunities arise. A strong work ethic will guide your decisions and help you maintain a healthy sense of self-discipline.

9. Maniacal Focus

Often times entrepreneurs are at their best during adversarial moments. They adapt a maniacal focus to soldier through whatever negativity is facing them and ultimately beat the challenge. They are not deterred by their obstacles; they flourish when beating them. As long as your eyes are constantly “on the prize,” you will be able to maintain this focus and handle whatever comes your way.

10. Imagination

Creativity is a necessary trait for entrepreneurs to possess because they are constantly thinking about inventing and improving their products and services. With an active imagination, you can take an idea, recognize its potential and strategize creative ways to make it work and achieve your goals.

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Category: Business Tips, guest post, Resources, Startups

About the Author ()

David Nilssen is an award winning entrepreneur who co-founded Guidant Financial. He is currently the CEO of Guidant and also co-authored Making the Jump into Small Business Ownership. His Twitter handle is @davidnilssen.