Originally Blogged By: Jason Bowser, Featured Startup Business Expert on Minority Business Development Agency
Starting a business is a lot of work. Anyone who tells you it’s not is either lying or has never actually started one themselves. The hours are long, sacrifices are great and you are assulted with new problems and challenges every day with seemingly no end. If you don’t have the constitution to weather these things, your business could implode on you faster than it started.
Clearly, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. But how do you know whether it’s for you? You should start by asking yourself what it takes to be a leader because, for the most part, you’ll be doing a lot of the work up front by yourself. If you can’t lead yourself through startup, chances are you won’t likely be able to lead your business and future employees through growth and on to success.
Successful entrepreneurs, from Henry Ford to Steve Jobs, share similar qualities with one another. To see how you rank against these distinguished entrepreneurs, do you share at least half of these qualities?
1. STRONG LEADERSHIP QUALITIES
Leaders are born, not made. Do you find yourself being the go-to person most of the time? Do you find people asking your opinion or to help guide or make decisions for them? Have you been in management roles throughout your career? A leader is someone who values the goal over any unpleasantness the work it takes to get there may bring. But a leader is more than just tenacious. A leader has strong communication skills and the ability to amass a team of people toward a common goal in a way that the entire team is motivated and works effectively to get there as a team. A leader earns the trust and respect of his team by demonstrating postive work qualities and confidence, then fostering an environment that proliferates these values throught the team. A leader who nobody will follow is not a leader of anything at all.
2. HIGHLY SELF-MOTIVATED
You probably know from knowing even a little bit about some of the most famous business entrepreneurs in history that leaders are typically pretty intense personalities. Nobody makes progress by sitting back and waiting for it to find them. Successful people go out into the world and invoke change throught their actions. Typically, leaders enjoy challenges and will work tirelessly to solve problems that confront them. They adapt well to changing situations without unraveling and are typically expert of helping their teams change with them by motivating them toward new goals and opportunities. Often you will learn that successful entrepreneurs are driven by a more complete vision or goal than simply the task at hand and able to think on a more universal level in that regard. They are also often very passionate about their ideas that drive toward these ultimate goals and are notoriously difficult to steer off the course.
3. STRONG SENSE OF BASIC ETHICS AND INTEGRITY
Business is sustainable because there is a common, understood code of ethics universally that underpins the very fabric upon which commerce is conducted. While cheaters and thieves may win in the short term, they invariably lose out in the long run. You will find that successful, sustainable business people maintain the highest standards of integrity becauase, at the end of the day, if you cannot prove yourself a credible business person and nobody will do business with you, you are out of business. With importance in working with clients or leading a team, effective leaders admit to any error made and offer solutions to correct rather than lie about, blame others for, or dwell on the problem itself.
4. WILLINGNESS TO FAIL
Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers who have all gotten over one very significant hurdle: they are not afraid of failure. That’s not to say that they rush in with reckless abandon. In fact, entrepreneurs are often successful because they are calculating and able to make the best decisions in even the worst of cases. However, they also accept that, even if they make the best decision possible, things don’t always go according to plan and may fail anyhow. If you’ve heard the old adage, “nothing ventured, nothing gained,” that’s exactly what it’s saying: do not be afraid to fail, put it out there and give it your best shot. Again, there’s not one successful entrepreneur out there sitting on his couch asking, “what if?”
5. SERIAL INNOVATORS
Entrepreneurs are almost defined by their drive to constantly develop new ideas and improve on existing processes. In fact, that’s how most of them got into business in the first place. Successful people welcome change and often depend on it to improve their effectiveness as leaders and ultimately the success of their businesses as many business concepts rely on improving products, services and processes in order to win business.
Read 6, 7 and 8 traits and full article here: http://www.mbda.gov/node/337
Featured Image – August Udoh Photography
8traitsofsuucessfulentreprenur image -Aluko Grafix