What trait or aspect is particularly important for succeeding as an entrepreneur, and how do you cultivate it?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Be Creative
As an entrepreneur, you’ll often find yourself in situations you can’t just Google yourself out of or that don’t allow for the time to look for solutions, so it’s important to be creative. Creativity is usually the union of basic concepts from very different subjects, so invite diversity into your life—this can be in the books you read, the activities you attend and the network you build.
There will be many ups and downs with any business, but an entrepreneur needs to remain confident during the bad times. Otherwise, you may find yourself making poor decisions based on fear instead of economics. It is helpful to try and think of the glass half full and reinforce the positive momentum you built during the down times to stay confident.
As a successful entrepreneur, you have to be ready for anything, which is why flexibility is an important trait to have. Things don’t always go right in business; if you had what you thought was a great idea that turns out to be not so great, you need to be open to changing course. Being flexible will allow you to take on any challenges that come to your way and pivot so that you can reachsuccess.
Every successful entrepreneur I know has persistence. I define it as the willingness to get up and keep going every time you fall. Persistence is not even a character trait, it’s more of a mindset or an attitude. You can cultivate it by seeing each problem as an opportunity. Building a business is tough and challenging, but you can’t fail if you never give up.
All successful entrepreneurs have a common thread. They all have a passion for improving themselves and their ventures. A good entrepreneur knows that there are always ways to evolve and improve. Cultivate this mentality by making sure you ask your employees or people you’re mentoring how they think the business can improve. Listen carefully to their ideas and use positive reinforcement.
The moment a young and ambitious entrepreneur becomes old and soft is when he or she no longer feels the need to succeed. Innovation has always come from necessity, so it’s important to stay lean and hungry. Whenever I find myself resting on my laurels, I immediately focus on reinvesting profits into new aspects of my business so I don’t have an abundant safety net. It’s scary, but it works!
Million dollar companies seemingly appear overnight, and it’s easy to wish the same for your business. However, in many cases, those successful entrepreneurs waited and worked for years on different concepts and ideas before finding the right formula of product, price, promotion, placement, process, and people to effectively execute their vision. To ultimately succeed, you need to practice patience.
The biggest difference between having a job and running your own business is that with the latter you need to be 100 percent self-motivated. Most entrepreneurs are intelligent, ambitious and have some good ideas. However, you also need to manage your time, prioritize and follow through on tasks that get tedious and don’t always show immediate results. You need the self-discipline to keep going.
My time is constantly spent obtaining buy-ins from others, whether it’s clients, investors, employees, etc. The better I am at being inspirational, the larger the army we have in working toward achieving our vision. The key is to think of yourself as a multiplier and you’ll need to inspire others to be a multiplier. Practice connecting with others on their level and learning their motivations.