What makes you a successful Entrepreneur?
Entrepreneurship is not, oddly enough, this bling-bling glamorous lifestyle that it is often portrayed to be. Entrepreneurs are not your normal Type-A personalities – overtly motivated, overarching ambitious-wise people that are always hungry for success. In fact, a 2006 paper proposed that entrepreneurs, personality wise, are far removed from Type-A personalities, which are more suited for corporate and CEOs. Entrepreneurs were found less neurotic, which made them greatly tolerant towards stress. They were also found extraverted, conscientious and far more open to innovation.
So, what exactly makes an entrepreneur successful? There are a quite a few surprisingly common traits that are found in all the successful, top-brand entrepreneurs across the world.
First things first, a good entrepreneur is one who is not afraid to take risks, experiment and innovate. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, says that, “If you can increase the number of experiments you try from hundred to thousand, you dramatically increase the number of innovations you produce.” And this rings true. Risk-taking is something that should be a conscious decision; a good entrepreneur should know when to push through that fear and take that risk.
A good entrepreneur is also someone who is tenacious enough to crawl through bad times. The importance of tenacity and perseverance is often overlooked, but cannot be emphasised enough. Steve Jobs, when he returned to Apple as its CEO in 1997, found the company nearly bankrupt. From there, he took the company and pushed it to be one of the biggest technological giants of the 21st century, with the iPhone, iPod and the iTunes being deemed to have huge 'cultural ramifications'. So, a successful entrepreneur is not someone who is able to work during bad times, but someone who can work despite bad times.
An entrepreneur knows the importance of the customer and s/he makes the business all about the customer. It is a customer who ultimately decides that whether the product is a boon or a bust, and it is the customer who would decide whether you should continue doing what you are doing, or give up your entrepreneur-apron and get a new job.
Also, if an entrepreneur does not have an unique product or service line under his belt, there is quite a chance that it would not work out. An entrepreneur must always ask himself/herself, “Why would anybody want to buy my product, or use my service?” There must be something unique, or different in the product/service line that differentiates the entrepreneur from the incumbent competitions, or in other words, the entrepreneur must, through his/ her product, create a competitive advantage.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, an entrepreneur must have passion and the confidence that what s/he is doing would change the world. Starting a business from scratch is not an easy task, and there are numerous obstacles thrown your way. However, if an entrepreneur is genuinely excited at the work, doesn't fall trap to the naysayers, and sail past the opposition, there's magic that happens.
So, do you have it in you to be a successful entrepreneur?