Lewis Black, in his HBO special, Black on Broadway, sarcastically remarked, “We are all snowflakes,” making the point that as human beings, we are all different, much as snowflakes reveal unique differentiations under microscopic examination.
While this is indisputable, the fact remains that although we are unique, we share many traits in common with others in the human family and this becomes evident when you begin looking into the common attributes of successful entrepreneurs.
As the CEO, and something of a serial entrepreneur myself, I can attest to the fact that the attributes I am about to share with you are common to every entrepreneur I have ever known.
The traits that follow are by no means comprehensive but represent, in my view, attributes that are essential to success.
10 Essential Traits for Success
This is probably not the first time you have read articles on this subject. Goodness knows there are many on the Internet with a similar theme. If you have read others, then you must have recognized that in many cases the traits or attributes being discussed were often restated in a slightly different way, to convey to the reader the impression that a completely different trait that was being described, when in fact, it was a just a re-hash of a trait already mentioned. You won’t be burdened with that redundancy here. Successful entrepreneurs are—
1) In love with what they do. Most successful people owe that success, in part, to the fact they enjoy what they are doing. Entrepreneurs, take that to a higher plateau. They love what they do.
Their work is very probably the most important aspect of their lives and, if not, will certainly rank in the top three.
2) Have a highly competitive nature. True entrepreneurs are penultimate competitors. If they were horses, they would all be striving for a slot in the Kentucky Derby and would be extremely disappointed in themselves if they did not win the Triple Crown.
3) Undeterable from their goals. The entrepreneur has no quit in him. He will overcome every obstacle set in his path.
4) People with integrity. The successful entrepreneur has a true sense of fair play and is honest to a fault. This earns him the respect of his colleagues, customers and peers. This integrity extends to his product or service. He is every bit as interested in customers getting value for their dollar as are the customers themselves.
5) Courageous enough to face failure. If you are afraid to try something new, you have already failed. It takes courage to step outside your comfort zone, to take financial and personal risks.
Entrepreneurs have this brand of courage. He is willing to face the possibility of failure because he believes wholeheartedly in his vision—my next point.
6) Visionaries. Every entrepreneur is a visionary. He sees things differently than most.
Entrepreneurs have a unique ability to see things as they might be, much along the lines of the famous Robert F. Kennedy quote, “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream things that never were and ask why not.” Entrepreneurs also exhibit an uncanny ability to anticipate change.
7) Highly self-motivated. Entrepreneurs need no boss. No one need prod, ply or cajole the entrepreneur to perform. All his motivation to succeed arises from within … not from any external source.
8) Capable problem solvers. The ability to overcome all obstacles is rooted in the entrepreneur’s capacity to solve problems. Every successful entrepreneur has achieved his success by solving problems that stood in the way of his vision.
9) Decisive. Modern life thrusts countless decisions our way each and every day. Those that procrastinate and kick the can down the road will never succeed. The entrepreneur is decisive.
When he reaches a fork in the road he chooses whether to go right or go left, without hesitation.
He is constantly moving forward and making the necessary decisions as he moves toward his goals.
10) Thirsty for knowledge. Every entrepreneur I’ve known is possessed of an insatiable curiosity, a desire to learn new things. This knowledge feeds his vision and aids him in overcoming obstacles.
Theses ten traits are symbiotic. They are all come together to create the entrepreneurial spirit.
They are all necessary to the success of the entrepreneur, like pieces of a puzzle, the parts create the whole.
However, entrepreneurs are people too. I don’t wish to convey the impression that if you have met one, you have met them all. They, like each of us, have countless other traits, quirks, habits and attributes. What I am trying to say is that entrepreneurs aren’t clones of one another. They retain their individualism. These attributes do not define the person as a whole, but rather the entrepreneur within.
Andrew Cravenho is the CEO of CBAC Funding, an innovative invoice finance company. As a serial entrepreneur, Andrew focuses on helping both small and medium sized businesses take control of their cash flow.
-What other attributes do you believe are important for entrepreneurs. Share in the comments below.