Entrepreneurship requires a mental approach to networking, learning, deploying, and problem-solving your way to success each and every day. The trouble for most who consider venturing out into this world of uncertainty is determining where their strengths lie. There isn’t one single blueprint or special “ingredient list” that identifies a strong entrepreneur.
You can be introverted, or extroverted. Analytical, or brash and fearless. You can be the life of the party, or the person who sits in the back of a room and carefully listens and observes. There are, however, certain strengths that do lead to success an entrepreneur. Utilising these strengths requires nothing more than careful self-examination, and a willingness to make improvements where weaknesses are identified.
Here are 7 traits all aspiring entrepreneurs need to lead them down the road to success in business.
1. Assess your enthusiasm
Without enthusiasm, everything else on this list falls by the wayside. Steve Jobs didn’t get fired, rehired, and later take Apple to the top of the tech-space stratosphere because he was only casually invested in the brand and its products. It will be much easier to pay the bills if you get a job and admit you just aren’t passionate about entrepreneurship, or the latest idea that’s struck you.
2. Commit to discipline
Listen to anything by aggressive entrepreneur and retired Seal Team 3 commander Jocko Willink. He’s a firm proponent of discipline, having no less than 3 alarm clocks in his bedroom to ensure he’s up by the crack of 4:30 am daily. He doesn’t run a leadership consulting firm, write 2 books a year, continuously build a supplement and apparel brand, and host an immersive military podcast by inviting distraction or complacency into his life.
To attain entrepreneurial success, you’ll need to adopt the discipline to get up regardless if you feel like it or not — to say no to people who get in the way — and also quell personal desires that slow or completely halt progress.
3. Measure your confidence
Confidence will always lead you down the road to your most telling entrepreneurial strengths. Those who have the confidence “do” and those who don’t will undoubtedly fail due to lack of action and faith in what they’re doing. Having the confidence to push ideas out, especially in the face of criticism from others is how greatness in business is born. People who fear failure lack the confidence to find their way down the path to entrepreneurial success.
4. Evaluate your listening skills
Are you the type of person who needs to do all the talking? Or, are you contemplative and labeled by others as a “good listener”? This is really important in entrepreneurship because those who don’t listen very well tend to be terrible at cultivating strong relationships with others. This is a death sentence in most industries.
Poor listeners don’t learn very well either, leading to further potential problems in your business. Listening is super important at all stages, including the beginning stages when you’re identifying a market that requires something you can contribute. A good listener is also someone who listens to the good ideas of others and doesn’t let their own opinions cloud good judgment.
5. Appraise your true work ethic
The biggest weakness any aspiring entrepreneur can possess is an unwillingness to work hard. The idea that you can hatch an idea and the business will be running itself in a year’s time is foolish and nearly impossible (without massive financial backing and years of business experience).
On the other hand, many inherently lazy people will be motivated by a paycheck and a boss breathing down their neck. To find success as an entrepreneur, you’ll need to be a self-starter that doesn’t rely on others to keep them motivated and working hard.
6. Confirm you have the necessary people skills
There are two key personality types when it comes to the topic of leadership: Those who lead and those who follow. A follower might have what it takes to complete a successful business partnership, but will never be able to run a business on their own with any measurable success.
Which type are you? You’ll need the ability to sell yourself and your offering to clients. You’ll also need a strong grasp of human psychology in order to motivate and manage employees. The ability to identify positives and negatives and coach employees to success will make or break your own prosperity.
7. Affirm your competitive personality
There’s a very simple reality that exists in every successful business: Competition. Even if you break into a niche that has no competition, there will be hundreds of entrepreneurs copying you the minute you start to prove what a winner of an idea you have.
This means that a successful entrepreneur needs to be competitive. Just because you accept a loss and pivot as needed doesn’t mean you like to lose. An entrepreneur needs to be uber-competitive and will inwardly (or outwardly) cringe with disgust every time a competitor hands them a loss.
Do you possess these essential strengths?
If you have the strengths listed above, you possess a great foundation needed to run your own successful business.