Entrepreneurs have to be much more than being smart, innovative and motivated.
What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Is it just a matter of working hard, following your passion and making money? No, it’s more than that. To start your own business, you need an innovative, unique and profitable business idea that excites you and solves an existing problem. But, taking a plunge into entrepreneurship with just your passion and an idea does not always lead to success. There are some other qualities that entrepreneurs must cultivate in order to make it and thrive in the competitive business world.
1. The courage to take risks
First and foremost, you have to be willing to put yourself on the line. If you want to set up a business, bear in mind that you will have to put your financial resources and time into the project. Also, you need to take full responsibility for your investment and business decisions. You cannot afford to be afraid of failure or criticism; if you are, you will not be able to make tough decisions. To compensate for this fear, many entrepreneurs surround themselves with advisers and experts who will provide the support they need when the situation requires it.
2. Listen more
Good listening skills are essential to running a business. If someone is willing to offer advice, always consider what they have to say and think it through, even if it contradicts what you think.
Sometimes, you might find yourself only engaged in “internal listening” (where you appear to be listening but actually are drowned in your own thoughts) or “focused listening” (where you are listening but still missing the nuances and nonverbal cues). To actually learn from others, especially those who have more experience than you in running a business or specific aspects of it, you need to achieve “360-degree listening” to also pay attention to how one is saying it and what they are not saying.
With good listening manners and an attitude of being eager to learn from others, you may unravel new opportunities and solutions that help grow your business. Needless to say, listening to your employees genuinely will make them feel valued and truly heard. This can help foster the bond with your employees, which in turn keeps the work environment supportive and positive.
3. Know when to ask for help
Putting together a team requires time and money. Due to a lack of funds, a new startup may not have enough employees in every department. That means, sometimes, entrepreneurs need to learn and even get your hands into everything, such as bookkeeping and advertising. Yet, everyone has 24 hours a day only, and there is just so much you can do. So, in order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you have to learn when to ask for help.
If you are on the brink of making a decision and can’t decide what is right or wrong, seek help from experts around you. You should seek advice from your investors or experts in the industry, who have extensive experience and insights, to help you make the best decision for your business. Sometimes, you might have the lightbulb moment simply by talking to anyone, such as your family, friends and your employees.
4. Self-belief and persistence
Just like any other thing, you cannot become a good entrepreneur without believing in yourself and being persistent. Self-confidence is a fundamental quality for an entrepreneur because it makes you more resilient and helps you make powerful decisions. Holding up to that confidence in spite of hardships is key to building a successful business.
Often times, you might find yourself sinking in moments of self-doubt, especially when facing a challenge, like your business pitch being rejected by investors. You may begin to wonder whether all the time, money and effort is worth it. Your feeling is valid, and you must recognize this feeling when it arises so that you can manage it before it goes out of hand. A simple way to regain self-belief is by reminding yourself of the reasons why you are in this business and how far you have come. Never sell yourself short or compare yourself to others. Also, if you believe it is worthwhile, even when everyone around you tells you otherwise, always stick with your vision, idea and passion.
5. A clear vision of what you want to accomplish
All entrepreneurs need to have a vision so that they know where they are going and how they plan to get there. It’s not enough to simply say that you want their company to be “big”. How big is “big”? Do you want to be the biggest local or regional clothing retailer? Do you want to open stores all over the world? You need to have a meticulous plan and a clear picture of how you are going to accomplish these goals step by step.
6. Motivate your team
Another important characteristic that an entrepreneur must possess is the capacity to encourage their team. Many entrepreneurs face a significant challenge in motivating their staff to get interested and devoted to assisting them in reaching their goals. If you can’t accomplish this, you will find yourself always battling alone. Hence, you need to motivate on a regular basis because they are the people who keep grinding every day to run your business. Whether it’s a pat on the back from time to time or offering monetary incentives, it is crucial to appreciate their effort and hard work.
This is just a short list of the many qualities that entrepreneurs should possess. Of course, there are so much more than these, such as being able to adapt and having great communication and problem-solving skills. but these above-mentioned qualities should provide you with a good start if you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur.
Wondering how long it will take your startup to become successful? Read this article to find out!
Good luck, budding entrepreneurs!
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