When you make the decision to strike out on your own there are a number of factors that will decide your success. It takes a certain type of person and belief system to be able to stand up to the pressures of owning your own business. You have to be willing to ride the waves of uncertainty, while still exhibiting a calm and positive exterior. This can be challenging for anyone. To see if you have what it takes to make it as an entrepreneur, compare your strengths and weaknesses to this list of traits every entrepreneur must have.
When you have a regular job, you have a steady paycheck. You have co-workers you’re going to see most days and you have tasks that you pretty much know you have to do. When you own your own business, everything can be up in the air. Sometimes that means things can take a lot longer than you originally expected. Often there are unexpected setbacks. Most entrepreneurs are action-oriented and want everything done yesterday. However, that’s not a realistic expectation. When you set out, it’s important to accurately analyze the realistic nature of something going the way you want. Make sure you aren’t setting expectations too high and allow for a little patience when some things slip through the cracks.
There are a number of people who don’t understand the entrepreneur mindset. They can’t wrap their minds around why you would want to live in a way that doesn’t provide you a “sure thing” in the form a weekly or monthly paycheck. Not only that, but you’ll also find yourself confronted with naysayers who don’t understand or believe in your vision. As disappointing as it may be, these naysayers can come from your inner circle as well. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to really believe in what you’re doing. I’m not talking about blindsided belief, but the confidence that comes from research and knowing you’ve got a good thing. On the flip side, one thing that sets an entrepreneur apart from the rest of the pack is not necessarily the belief things will work, but rather the belief that they’ll still be alright if it doesn’t.
All In Mentality
If you truly believe in something, you will find yourself adopting an all or nothing mentality. This trait is essential for a entrepeneur. Sometimes people want to test the waters as a safeguard. If you hold back, even a little, you could be robbing yourself of untold opportunities. Think about why you want to have your own business. For many it’s about freedom and being able to stop “working for the man.” Whatever, your reasons, make sure you remind yourself frequently why you’re doing this.
This is probably the most obvious trait an entrepreneur needs to exhibit. Think about the amount of work it takes to run and promote your own business. You will be working it every day for quite some time. If it’s not something you believe in or are passionate about, it will start to show. If you don’t feel passion about what you’re talking about, when you have to repeat what you do over and over to get new business, people will begin to notice your failing drive. When you start out, make sure it’s doing something you love. If it’s not, figure out how you can make it something you do.
Business owners experience setbacks on a regular basis. A bill was more expensive than previously thought. You get outbid on a sure sale. A natural disaster closed your business for a week. This is where perseverance comes in. Some days things are going to feel like the whole world is against you. When that happens, take a break and reconnect with the things you love about your business and your life. It also helps to join networking groups with other business owners. Talking about issues openly let’s you know you’re not the only one having problems.
I hate to say it, but there are some people, I’m sure, that we all wish we’d never met. People are people and at some point, they are going to do stupid things. These “things” may cause you grief or temporary hardship, however, a successful entrepreneur knows they need to just move on. If you allow yourself to give attention to the negative, you’re taking away time you could be focusing on the growth of your business instead. It’s an easy trap to fall prey too, but if you can avoid it, you and your business will be better for it. Learn to ignore stupid people or situations and just move along.
What traits do you have? Are there a few you need to work on? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!