10 Winning Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur
Often times aspiring and seasoned entrepreneurs ask me ‘what are the top traits of highly successful entrepreneurs’ which is why I’ve decided to write the answer and breakdown those winning traits which make the most successful entrepreneurs seem larger than life.
Despite what people may think, success doesn’t happen overnight, particularly not the newsworthy success you occasionally hear or read about in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch etc.
Such success takes time, effort, hard work, dedication, money and bit of luck. It takes a very strong entrepreneurial foundation built from the winning personal traits which are shared by all successful entrepreneurs, world over.
Can you imagine going through life without passion, be it in personal or professional life? Hmm…what an awful and empty life would that be, wouldn’t it?
I don’t know about you but I am pretty extreme when it comes to life and everything that makes it so interesting and beautiful…be it love, business, friendship or anything else, I’m either in it all the way – totally consumed – or not at all. Living a life with reserve – half-heartedly – is living a lie, which I refuse to do.
Mediocrity or half-heartedness isn’t my definition of happy and prosperous life which most successful entrepreneurs agree with, for after all that’s partly what makes them successful.
Successful entrepreneurs realize that doing anything in life half-heartedly is equal to cheating oneself which is why they simply don’t do it. Instead, they rely heavily upon their passion and pursue with all their might that which they’re passionate about.
But where does passion come from and how can you find it?
Passion comes naturally, from within…you have to look deep inside to find it – no books, seminars or motivational speakers will do it for you…I don’t care how good they may seem.
Sure, they may get you exited and inspired momentarily but after a short while (days, weeks at best) that excitement will subside and disappear, unless it’s built on your true passion.
You see, when you were born into this world, you came fully equipped with innate talents and abilities which you’re supposed to detect and hone throughout your life, so that you can then put them to use and ‘serve’ the mankind (your target audience) better than anyone else.
Remember, you can ONLY excel and succeed with your strengths, never with your weaknesses.
Perhaps you aren’t aware of what you’re passionate about or what comes natural to you just yet…that’s alright, for some of the most successful entrepreneurs that ever lived didn’t know it until late in their life. What matters is that now you’re aware that passion is the driving force behind every successful entrepreneur…so dig deep inside yourself to find it.
- Perseverance aka ‘Staying Power’
If you ask any serial entrepreneur what’s entrepreneurship like, chances are they’ll all tell you ‘it sucks’…I know I would and for a good reason.
Entrepreneurship is the way of life which is highly unpredictable, risky, painful, stressful, exiting, fulfilling and marvelous, all at the same time.
As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey you’ll inevitably encounter daunting challenges, setbacks and insurmountable obstacles you never dreamed of. There will be times when you’ll feel completely depleted, exhausted, beat up with nothing else to give…at this point you will most certainly quit – as any sane person would – unless of course you have the extraordinary ‘staying power’ which can’t exist in the absence of the BIG and meaningful why.
So, to develop perseverance aka ‘staying power’ you’ve got to have the BIG and meaningful why and no, I don’t mean your desire for riches, fame or power, I mean something very close to your heart, something you can hold on to when the going gets tough…that which you’re so passionate about and believe in with every fiber of your being.
World is full of followers who blindly and without questioning follow the system laid before them by men and women just like them, only much smarter I’m afraid. The system is created in such a way to benefit only a few (masterminds) and enslave the rest or at least a great majority.
When I was a child and all throughout my teenage years, my mother would always be on my case about being disobedient, untamable and unlike other ‘normal’ kids. At the time, I didn’t really think much of it…in fact I didn’t really care, I was too busy having fun being my ‘disobedient’ self.
Now I look back at those days and years with the big smile on my face, knowing full well I’ve always been a rebel which I’m proud of.
Being different rocks…as long as you don’t let others, particularly family and friends get to you with their unsolicited advices, comments and remarks which they never get tired of for some reason.
Being fully aware of how special it is to be a rebel and have complete freedom of mind, I’ve resolved to raise my son to be a true rebel…to question everything and everyone, including me and my wife…let him figure out for himself what to believe in or not.
Who am I or anybody else that came before me to set boundaries, lay down the rules or determine what’s possible and what’s not? Exactly…everyone should figure those things for themselves…and so should you.
Successful entrepreneurs – without exception – are all rebels, black sheep who refuse to accept the world, things and everything around them as is…they want to put a dent in the universe and leave a lasting legacy. They question everything and everyone, and so should you.
Nothing worthwhile ever came by chance…in other words any major feat or accomplishment had to be envisioned in the mind of some great man or a woman before it became a reality. Such men and women see people, ideas and things not for who and what they are but who and what they can be.
Successful entrepreneurs never stumble upon success…it doesn’t just happen by accident. They achieve success on the back of their uncanny ability to envision the end goal before they start working towards it.
Such visionary entrepreneurs are often misunderstood and taken for fools…especially if they talk in public about their visions which are more often than not truly grandiose. Which is to say that if your vision doesn’t scare you and make your mother think you are totally nuts, you need another vision.
Henry David Thoreau said “in the long run, men only hit what they aim at” and so can you. Remember, if you aim for the moon and hit the stars you’re alight, as long as you aim for something.
- Work Ethics
Can you think of any worthy success which came about without ton of hard work and dedication? I can’t and don’t believe there is such a thing. Hard work is prerequisite for attainment of success, be it in personal or professional life.
Sure, you’ll hear people say “don’t work hard, work smart” but that’s just a saying. You can work smart all you want but that alone won’t guarantee you success…you’ve got to mix it with hard work and only then good things start to happen.
All successful entrepreneurs – no exceptions – have outstanding work ethics and make the best use of their time. They all differ in how they go about it but all are equally efficient and produce outstanding results.
It’s no secret that we are the creatures of habit which tend to control us without us realizing it.
Habit is something we develop as we go through life. As such, habit is subject to change, dependent on your predominant thought which leads to certain actions, which in turn over a period of time (21 consecutive days) form a habit…or at least that’s what physiologists tell us.
Habit therefore is truly magnificent ‘vehicle’ to make of yourself what you may. If you consciously develop the winning habits which are conducive to your coveted goal, you’ll more than likely succeed. Likewise, if you unknowingly develop a negative or self-damaging habits, you’ll most likely fail and live a mediocre life at best.
Truth be told, discipline may not be all that exciting and most people find it rather boring but all successful entrepreneurs are extremely disciplined. They have consciously made an effort to become disciplined through the power of habit which they eventually submit to and let themselves be controlled by it.
For example, at first getting up at the crack of dawn, working out, meditating, reading and planning your day ahead might be super-duper difficult for you but if you prevail in doing so for an extended period of time, that difficult task will turn into a habit and become your second nature.
Soon thereafter, you’ll feel like something is missing if you were to ever miss that newly found morning ritual. Developing such habit could help you tremendously in life and business alike…depending on your objectives and priorities.
Societies across the world foster competition and for a good reason, competition is one of the key drivers of creativity, ingenuity, growth and prosperity. Some of the biggest worldly achievements were made possible thanks to competition.
To make it as an entrepreneur you’ve got to have that competitive drive…have the need for victory. You don’t necessarily have to be in competition with another but at least be in a completion with your former self. Competitive nature helps successful entrepreneur to continuously grow, progress and reach new heights.
Never die attitude…failure is not an option…never give up and never surrender are familiar phrases and life doctrines of successful entrepreneurs.
- People Skills
Successful entrepreneurs have a way with people, be it investors, partners or clients. They seem to get what they want, when they want without even asking…true schmoozers.
You can only succeed through people, no matter how superb or superior your product or a service may be. I mean, who’s your end client going to be, aliens or people?
Not only that, to get your product or a service into the hands of your target audience, chances are you’ll need the right people to help you do that…no one ever succeeded alone, neither will you.
While you shouldn’t strive to get everyone to like you as that’s impossible, those who do should really be willing to go that extra mile for you and your business when needed. To get them to do that, you’ve got to be jolly and have strong people skills.
Have way with people and you will hold the whole world in the palm of your hand.
Successful entrepreneurs are true salespeople, no matter what you may heard. To truly make it and make it BIG, you’ve got to be able to sell your idea, product or a service to investors and or clients. There’s simply no way around it.
Having done a fair bit of consultative business selling I know firsthand that listening and empathy are among the most important traits of a successful salesperson. The ability to truly listen to a client’s needs, wants, desires and pains with much empathy is crucial for a business success and entrepreneurship.
Developing empathy therefore, is of utmost importance if you’re serious about becoming a successful entrepreneur.
- Time Management
How you manage your time is more important than how you manage your money. This is simply because lost money can be recouped but lost time is gone forever…so be mindful of how and where your time goes.
I believe with every fiber of my being that the time we have on this earth is by far the most valuable asset we’ll ever own, an asset which is slipping through our fingers and we’re unable to do anything about it to stop it. What we can and must do is to make the most of it while we can.
Successful entrepreneurs are fully aware of the foregoing and are therefore, very stingy with their time. They’ve developed meticulous time management skills and are able to manage their time and make the most of it much better than others. This is why successful entrepreneurs e.g. Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and scores of others make seemingly impossible tasks look easy.
Wrapping it all up
Entrepreneurship is the way of life not suitable for everyone. Uncertainty, setbacks, pain and seemingly insurmountable obstacles put entrepreneurs to the test, time and again. Only the most capable and daring entrepreneurs have a shot at the big league.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s serious about getting to the very top of your industry and achieving truly enviable success which is newsworthy, you’ll have no choice but to develop and master these 10 winning traits in the future. The good news is they are attainable but with lots of hard work and dedication, so be mentally prepared.
Author: Dzenan Skulj, a Co-Founder and CEO at Parttimerz. He’s a serial entrepreneur and student of life. Utterly passionate about and strong proponent of entrepreneurship, startups, freelancing and self-development, which he regularly blogs about on his personal blog dzenanskulj.com. Dzenan also actively mentors entrepreneurs on their entrepreneurial journey.