Thursday, June 14, 2012

14 Attributes of Successful Entrepreneurs

As a student overzealous about entrepreneurship, I've met all kinds of entrepreneurs across the world--from Russia, the Czech Republic, UK and USA. Entrepreneurs come in all shades, and share many qualities. Successful entrepreneurs also share many attributes, many of which are included below.

Let's back up--first the definition. According to Merriam Webster, an entrepreneur is one who organizes, manages and assumes the risks of business or enterprise.

Want a little more information on where the word came from? According to Wikipedia, Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist, is believed to have coined the word, "entrepreneur" in the 19th century as, "one who undertakes an enterprises, especially a contractor, acting as an intermediary between capital and labor."

What does it take to achieve success? These attributes:

  1. Hard work. The ultimate success is working on a project you are sincerely passionate about. This means your 80-hour work weeks feel satisfying. Understand from the beginning (at least), it's going to be near impossible to get your startup off the ground working 40 hours/weekly.
  2. Confidence. As the self fulfilling prophecy goes, if you believe in your success--you will achieve it. This is both learned and practiced. If you could improve your confidence, join Toast Masters or a comedy class in your city with Skillshare or Dabble. 
  3. Enthusiasm. Passion is unmistakable and contagious! They key: enjoy what you do. 
  4. A heartfelt story. Where do you come from and what need does your business serve? Understand what niche your business fills and be able to describe this to others succinctly.
  5. Plan. Research and plan for your 1-year, 6-month, 3-month, 1-month and 1-week goals/ tasks. What are your financial, marketing and other business goals? 
  6. Clear goals. Goals are important not only for you. They're for your executive team to motivate and excite towards a common purpose.
  7. Motivating others. This starts with you--the entrepreneur! If you wake up in the morning and wonder whether if you really want to do this business, STOP! Move onto your next project if you can. If not, change your situation through an improvement plan. Motivate yourself is paramount to the success of you, your team and your enterprise. 
  8. Knowing your strengths. And weaknesses. Successful entrepreneurs know when they should outsource tasks they're not great at. Get better everyday and you'll be better able to take on your industry. 
  9. Big time connections. Your network should help you grow bigger, and advance your business through partnerships, collaboration, mentors and others who've been successful to inspire you along the way to achieve more.
  10. Down time. Don't get burned out. Reward your achievements with a small time away or something that is most rewarding to you. Pedicure, 24-hour holiday, a comedy show; whatever makes you feel most rewarded--and especially an experience that makes you feel awesome for achieving your goals!
  11. Being resourceful. Unless you startup with tons of capital, you'll need to be resourceful to make the most of money during good and bad times.
  12. Sales skills. Closing deals aren't just for salespeople anymore. Whether you're searching for VC funding or a contractor, make sure you follow-up and ask for what you want.
  13. Manage your money. Spending wisely happens through practice. Keeping a separate account for business is extremely valuable. Proactively considering the ROI on your expenditures is even more important. Is that iPad really going to help move your business forward? If so, how? 
  14. Invest in yourself. Conferences, books, business coaches or hours with a consultant can be helpful if you are making a big change and need help. Filling your knowledge gaps when needed can be the difference between success and failure.
Bottom line: stay hungry, keep motivated and continue to read TechInspire.Me!


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