For the last seven years, much of my day-to-day work has focused on helping entrepreneurs get ideas out of their heads and onto paper so they can turn those ideas into dream businesses. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about the personality traits that are essential if you want to make a living from something that starts with a single thought.
We entrepreneurs are not like other people. We are a special breed. We are dedicated to our ideas and obsessed with bringing them to fruition. Setbacks and failures can be hard blows to us because the course we’ve chosen is so personal. These aren’t someone else’s ideas we are trying to make happen; these are our best ideas and strategies. When they don’t work, we have to recover quickly and find ways to put positive spins on what we’ve just learned. We constantly think and talk about how to improve our craft or make our product or service just a little bit better. Because of this, we can be impossible company for our partners and friends.
Entrepreneurs make important contributions to our society. For example, we are narrowing the gender gap in leadership roles. For every 10 men who start their own businesses, seven women are doing the same. We’re evading the glass ceiling by designing our own buildings. Plus, most entrepreneurs start businesses to pursue their goals, not because of financial necessity. This tells me we have more opportunities to be happier. In fact, entrepreneurs are more likely to describe their lives as “excellent” and “close to ideal.” Working for yourself is so much better than working for someone else’s goals, isn’t it?
If you’re not already one of us, you may be dreaming of the life you’ll have when you finally become an entrepreneur. But first you need to consider if you have what it takes to make your great idea a viable business.
Here are the Top 10 Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur:
- Passion and drive to turn ideas into success stories.
- A “big picture” view. Entrepreneurs want to change the world, or at the very least make an ordinary thing so much better. We clearly see how our products or services influence the ways people interact/live/play. This is the fuel we drive on.
- Ability to take hard hits. The road to success is littered with small, medium, and large failures. (Some of which can be very costly.) We must shake off failures and emerge stronger.
- Refusal to quit. If it’s not this, then we find something different. Entrepreneurs keep looking, adjusting, and fine-tuning. There must be a way to bring an idea this good to market—and we will make it happen.
- Good dose of narcissism. We carry the belief that we are the only right person to do this and our idea is simply better than anything else out there.
- Desire to work hard. Contrary to what most people think, being an entrepreneur involves hard work and long hours. Even the best idea needs a solid business structure, a logical implementation, and constant tweaking.
- Courage to take risks. It takes money to fund an idea, often from our own savings or from generous family and friends. There is no risk-free start-up. Entrepreneurs have the courage to overcome their fears on a daily basis.
- Ability to think of the business as its own entity. This is a hard one! All business owners I know feel about their businesses as if they are children. But, you need to take a step back. Aside from love, constant affirmation, and attention, we also have to run it with discipline.
- Willingness to learn. Nobody can know everything. Successful entrepreneurs go to conferences, take classes, and read books not just about their own fields but also about business and self-improvement. They continuously want to learn how to run their businesses better.
- Contagious optimism. As entrepreneurs, we focus on ‘how we can make it work’ instead of ‘can we make this work?’ We see the payoff of our ideas and we make our businesses our priority.
The business world is buzzing. I have met many innovative entrepreneurs who are brimming with fantastic ideas and who are designing their lives around their personal goals.
If you’ve got a great idea too, now what do you think is your next step?
At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”
Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.
If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.