24 Jan How to have the personality of a successful entrepreneur
When thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be helpful to reflect on your personality and to know your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you might wonder “Do I have the personality needed to be an entrepreneur?” We have good news for you in that regard.
Sometimes in the media, entrepreneurs might appear to be celebrated as rugged self-made individuals who were born with a distinct set of personality characteristics that made them successful.
Actually, entrepreneurs come in a wide range of personality types. And that’s a very good and important thing. The success of entrepreneurship is in a wide range of people bringing their own unique vision, skills, capabilities, and perspectives to make their innovative contributions successful in serving the community around them with their products and services.
If everyone had the same personality, everyone would have a similar approach. That wouldn’t provide the diversity needed for successful innovation and the wide range of different types of businesses society needs.
Also, from a very realistic perspective, in many important ways everyone is already an entrepreneur. Even if you think you are currently an employee in a business, the reality is you are selling your services to that business. Sometimes this is thought of as “You, Inc.” where you have developed your personal brand, marketed your skills via your resume and other resources, to successfully engage your market for your services. Your employer is your primary client. Your employer, very likely and most commonly, appreciates you and your contributions, but understands you are a free agent and you can sell your services to a different business at any time (hopefully giving a couple weeks notice).
Part of the benefit of becoming an official entrepreneur, and owning your own business, is you can have more control over your resources, more opportunity to determine your future, to grow and scale your offering, and to gain some more security by diversifying your income/revenue streams.
The fact that everyone is in some regards an entrepreneur also helps to explain the similarity between the personality traits of successful entrepreneurs and employees. In both regards, these personality traits will help you succeed.
Personality traits commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs include:
Creative: you are able to think of new solutions to current problems, and implement these solutions in new ways by successfully adapting systems and strategies to achieve your vision and goals.
Curious and inquisitive: rather than simply accepting things as they are, you ask questions very often (such as “Why?”, “What if…?”, “Why not?”). By asking questions, you are able to discover new insights, connect new ideas, to create new innovative solutions.
Self-aware: you are able to perceive yourself somewhat objectively, and you are sensitive to your surroundings, your influence and impact on those around you, and your ability to successfully engage with others.
Resourcefulness: you are able to draw upon the resources around you, in a creative way, for successful results.
Process-oriented: you are able to think of your goal and then conceptualize and develop the systems and processes needed to achieve it.
Empathetic: you are sensitive to others around you. You can understand and appreciate how they feel and what they are experiencing, and with empathy you can successfully collaborate with them for win-win partnerships.
Flexible: you are able to adapt to changing circumstances and markets, seize new opportunities as you see them arise, and apply new approaches that can work better than earlier ones.
Risk-taker: you are able to calculate the risks in your potential decisions, weigh the pros and cons and likelihood of success, and make the right decision for success.
Resilient: you are able to realize we all, everyone, experience setbacks and challenges, and you are able to strategize your way around these challenges to continue your success.
Bold: you have the confidence to pursue the direction, vision and decisions that you believe are the right ones to do.
Action-oriented: while you are naturally curious and think things through very thoroughly, you are really very action-oriented and have a “Do it now” perspective. By being inclined towards taking action, you are able to see your decisions come to fruition. And you can learn quickly from the results, to continue testing and optimizing your solutions.
Passion: you have the inner drive to move you forward to achieve your goals.
Rational/practical: while you have the passion that drives you forward, you also have an inner calm, a reasonable perspective on things. You are able to successfully see a balanced outlook on your situation, with pros and cons understood and assessed in a logical and structured way.
Original: you are unique, as we are all as unique as our fingerprints. By pursuing your unique vision, you are able to bring new, innovative solutions to market, to achieve your success.
Collaborative and sociable: you are able to connect with others, build relationships and rapport, to successfully collaborate with teams. You learn from others’ perspectives and insights, appreciating that everyone’s viewpoint can add value.
Optimistic: you realize the power of positivity. While keeping a balanced perspective to understand the pros and cons in a situation, you understand “you need to see the opportunity, to seize the opportunity.”
When you consider your own personality, along with the traits of successful entrepreneurs, you can see where you are strong.
Also as an entrepreneur, you have a great opportunity to choose people for your team, who can compliment your strengths, and can provide traits where you might be less strong.
Oftentimes, this is why business advisers will recommend that in the most successful startups and businesses, people work in co-founder teams. By working in teams (for example, teams of founders), you can recognize your strengths, and your team can help with areas that might not be your strengths.
That way, in collaborating with your team, you can all be successful together.
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