The American Dream tells people that with an idea and hard work, anything is possible. Unfortunately for entrepreneurs, it’s not always that simple.
Studies have shown that 50% of businesses fail within their first five years, with only one-third of companies making it to ten years. Aside from working hard, it’s clear that it takes a certain type of person to succeed.
So what sort of qualities do you need to become a successful entrepreneur? And are any of the necessary traits learnable?
Keep reading to learn about nine of the qualities you’ll need if you’re hoping to achieve business success.
As mentioned, ideas are great—but they only get you so far. It’s going to take a lot of determination to see your idea to fruition.
Make a promise to never give up, no matter how challenging things are at the time. Entrepreneurship and adversity go hand in hand, but you may be close to success without even realizing it.
Aside from having determination, it’s also essential that you’re passionate about the product or service that you’re offering.
Having passion will motivate you in times of adversity. It’ll help remind you that if even if things are hard now, you need to keep trying—because what you have to offer to the world is worthwhile.
Customers can tell when the person they’re buying from feels passionate about what they’re selling. They’ll be more likely to work with a passionate person than a subdued one.
3. The Ability to Build a Team
You’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with, which is why surrounding yourself with the best of the best is so important.
If you’re an idea person, find someone who can help you execute the details. If you’re not a strong communicator, find people who are.
All of the people you work with should complement and balance out your strengths and weaknesses.
4. No Problem Thinking Long-Term
It’s tempting to operate with a mindset that prioritizes immediate gain, but try and look beyond that. Sometimes the best decisions are those that don’t benefit us right away.
The ability to think long-term, even if times are tough at the moment, is essential in business. Successful business people, like UConn MBA candidate Jasdeep Singh, have no problem doing this.
5. Strong Communication Skills
Anyone who works in the world of business knows how important communication skills are. As an entrepreneur, they’re especially important.
It’s your job to sell your product or service, as well as help the people working by your side to see the value of what you’re offering. That takes a level of charisma that not everyone has.
Even if your business operates in an industry that doesn’t traditionally value strong communication skills, being a good communicator will still make your life easier. You’ll need to inspire, motivate, and convince people all the time.
6. Good Listening Skills
Aside from being able to speak well, you’ll also need to have solid listening skills. Having confidence is great, but thinking that you and your business are the best will get you nowhere.
From competitors and industry experts to business partners and investors, make a point to listen to everyone around you. In doing so, you’ll find that everyone has something of value that they can provide you with.
This can keep you from making damaging mistakes, as well as from having to take a trial-by-error approach. The right people can provide you with a shortcut to where you hope to go.
As technology and automation replace many traditional jobs, those that fail to innovate are left in the dust. Make sure that you’re always ready to innovate and adapt.
Always be on the hunt for new pieces of technology that you can incorporate into your work. In most cases, they’ll make you more efficient and productive.
In some cases, changing circumstances may even force you to change your entire business model. It’s tempting to try and resist doing that, but try and be open-minded. You’ll thank yourself in the long run!
8. Comfortable With the Uncomfortable
If you’re looking for a job that provides you with stability and comfort, being an entrepreneur probably won’t offer that—especially not when you’re first starting.
Make sure that you’re comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. There might be times when you don’t make money, or when you lose money. Some years you might do really well, while others might be tight.
You don’t want to feel threatened by a lack of stability, as you don’t know if you’ll always have it.
9. A Go-Getter
Do you have a good idea? Act on it right away. Too many people sit around and think about things, only to realize that someone else already went and did what they were hoping to do.
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be a go-getter. Having an innovative idea is no longer enough—you need to be able to create a plan and execute it as fast as possible.
Want to Be a Successful Entrepreneur? You’ll Need These Traits
While having a good idea is important, it’s not the only thing you need if you hope to have a successful career in business. If you’re considering starting your own company, ask yourself whether or not you have the necessary successful entrepreneur traits.
If you don’t, the good news is that you can develop many of them with practice!
Do you now have a better idea of how to succeed in business as an entrepreneur? If you do, spend some time checking out our other posts for more business-related guides and tips.