Becoming a successful entrepreneur is a big goal for many. In 2019, more than 700,000 new businesses opened, according to statista.com. That’s almost a billion people deciding to leave their 9 to 5 jobs and set out on their own. Unfortunately, not all of them became successful entrepreneurs, as evidenced by nearly 600,000 businesses that close every year. For the companies that can get off the ground and running, only 51% will make it more than five years.
With such disheartening numbers, you may be wondering if you should venture out on your own and start a business. If you’ve made it past the first year, you might wonder whether or not you’ll succeed as an entrepreneur. The good news is, anyone can become a successful entrepreneur by taking the right steps and practicing the proper habits. In this article, we’ll cover the 7 common traits and habits that successful entrepreneurs have.
The first trait that the most successful entrepreneurs have is tenacity. When it comes to business, tenacity means that you don’t take failures personally. You see them as learning experiences, and you keep working, sometimes for years, to get the things you want in your life. A tenacious entrepreneur will never give up and can bounce back when they face setbacks, run into challenges, trying something new, or look for another way.
Most people tend to give up and quit when they become frustrated or when things get too hard. Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are a different breed. When things get tough, they merely shrug their shoulders and move forward with their plan. When you look at successful entrepreneurs, it’s often wrong to assume that they’ve never experienced failure. This isn’t always the case. More often than not, they’ve experienced even more failure, and they’ve learned what works and what doesn’t, which is why they’re successful.
It’s a common misconception that successful entrepreneurs are driven by money. In comparison, most will tell you that they’re driven by their passion for their service or product. They’re driven by their need to solve a problem and make life better, more comfortable, and affordable. They believe that they’ll be able to change the world and are excited by what they’re doing.
Having a passion aligned with the mission of your business provides an intrinsic drive and belief that the internal reward will help sustain you. It’s your passion for what you do that’ll push you to go the extra mile with your idea. This passion will provide you with the excitement to go to work every day to get things done.
It’s the ability to withstand the fear of uncertainty and potential failure. Successful entrepreneurs are inherently risk-takers. The ability to control one’s anxiety is the most critical characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Many face a multitude of fears; the fear of humiliation, running out of cash, missing payroll, declaring bankruptcy, and the list goes on. The ones who come out of this can look at this fear in the face and push forward with their plan.
The ultimate entrepreneurial test happens on the mental battlefield. You have to decide to either go with the fear and quit or push through it, towards your goals. The ones that come out on top always push through this fear. They’re able to control their thoughts and mentally commit to their plan and the actions that follow. They look at a situation and know that the outcome is ultimately up to them.
Another defining trait that all successful entrepreneurs possess is their ability to spot an opportunity and imagine something others haven’t. They’re curious about the world, and this curiosity gives them the ability to identify overlooked specialties and put them at the forefront of innovation and emerging fields. They’re able to imagine another world and have the ability to communicate that vision to others.
Successful entrepreneurs are always looking for ways to change things around them, make them different, unique, and better. They’re willing to take the risk to see that vision become a reality because they know that it’s going to be something big.
Perhaps the most critical trait that successful entrepreneurs have is self-confidence. If you don’t believe that you have what it takes to do something, then it’s likely that you won’t succeed in your business venture. You need to have faith in your thoughts and opinions and know that you’re capable of accomplishing anything you put your mind to. You have to be sure that your product or service is something that the world sorely needs and that you can deliver it.
This mentality is often described as task-specific confidence. It’s a belief that allows you to turn risks around and confirm that you can get a particular job done based on the research you’ve conducted. You have to have confidence and be willing to take calculated risks. The most successful entrepreneurs know that they’re right and confident that they’re making the right decisions for their lives.
Your ability to survive in business depends on your ability to adapt and be flexible to the continually changing world. The final product or service that you offer will look different from when you started. Being flexible is what allows you to respond to changing interests and market conditions quickly. This is essential if you want to be a successful entrepreneur.
If you’ve always been stiff, or stubborn, you’re in for a challenge when it comes to being an entrepreneur.
In business, something will eventually go wrong. The most successful entrepreneurs understand that things aren’t always going to go according to plan. They’re able to see when things are going off track, figure out why and then make the necessary adjustments to get back on the path.
There is a common misconception when it comes to time management. Time can’t be managed. The difference between successful people and the rest of the world is that they can make the best use of the time they have. They’re highly organized, which allows them to complete tasks without wasting time. This leads to accomplishing more throughout the day, without having to put in excessive hours.
Achieving success as an entrepreneur takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and taking decisive action. By developing these seven characteristics and incorporating them into your daily life, the job, and the challenges that come with it, it can be easier to manage. Take some time to look at your life and see which of these 7 traits you already possess, and which areas hold you back from taking action.
I’d like to invite you to watch a video from our Planning for Success series called Taking Action. In this video presentation, we’ll help you uncover your motivation as you consider growth as an entrepreneur and teach you how to recognize opportunities that will make a difference in your business. Click here to watch.