4 Character Traits Millennials Need For Small Business Success

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Growing up, we all discovered that life will knock you down. You may have not gotten that part you wanted, the spot on the team, or the grade you deserved. The list could go on.

Similar to how you may have lost some and won some as a kid, you will constantly win some and lose some as a Millennial entrepreneur. You will get knocked down and need to get right back up. This is the backbone of being an entrepreneur.

Interestingly, what I have come to realize about becoming a Millennial entrepreneur, you need resilience to continue to push forward. Yes, I know this can be hard for all generations, but I especially think it is difficult for our generation. The world built up our hopes about what was possible after working hard in school and getting a good education. In some cases, it seemed as though all of our dreams would be fulfilled after going to college. I believe many of us never learned what it means to be resilient and patient. As a result, being a Millennial entrepreneur can be extremely difficult sometimes.

Being a successful Millennial entrepreneur requires not only a good idea, but also the grit and the courage to execute that idea — regardless of any tough times that may come your way.

Recently, I connected with some aspiring young Millennial entrepreneurs. One said that he tried starting two companies, but both failed. He noted various reasons for why the companies did not succeed.

We both realized there are four main character traits needed to succeed in business: patience, belief, persistence and perseverance.

1. Without patience, you will not have the tolerance to make your company’s vision a reality. My fellow Millennials, we do not live in a microwave startup era. To build a successful company that actually lasts, you need to do the hard work to see it through…and that could take a while (like 5-10 years to see its full greatness). Building a company requires tremendous heart and fortitude. With patience, you can withstand the tough times, knowing you are on the road to running a successful venture.

2. Without belief, you will not have the imagination to achieve your dream, despite all odds. I know it’s easy to see the negative stories about Millennials in the media and take them to heart. The grim news and stereotypes often make us feel like we cannot fulfill our dreams and that there is no point in believing. But you have to always believe in your vision. Never let anything convince you otherwise. My fellow Millennials, you have to believe it, before you can see it.

3. Without persistence, you will not have the mental stamina to keep trying and to keep knocking on every door until you succeed. I know a lot of my Millennial contacts and friends find it hard to keep going, particularly without support. But again, you can never stop trying. Keep throwing paint on the wall until something sticks. And it has to stick eventually. Many think that after two or three attempts, they might as well give up. However, that’s not how this entrepreneurship game works. It works by how badly you want to win. If you persist, nothing will resist. It’s always too soon to quit.

4. And most importantly, without perseverance, you will not be able to push through and surpass any obstacle you face. I believe this is the one trait that tops them all. It’s a combination of every trait that I mentioned. But somehow, studies have revealed that our generation often lacks the grit needed to persevere when times get hard. We often are perfectionists – wanting things to turn out a certain way. If not, our whole world falls apart, and we sulk. As an entrepreneur, you will not have time for sulking. You experience the heartache if it occurs, and pick yourself right back up again. Keep fighting, and move forward towards your big breakthrough dream.

I know all of this is easier said than done, but you can do it. Entrepreneurship is just as much of a mental game as it is a game focused on having a great idea, business model, concept, team, etc.

Now, with this knowledge, push yourself towards developing the positive, committed and focused mindset needed to build a successful company. Realize that you have everything inside of you to make your vision come to fruition. You just have to believe this for yourself, work hard, and do not give up. Never, ever give up, my fellow Millennials. You can do anything you put your mind to do.

by Ashley M. Williams for SCORE

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SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.