Entrepreneurship is a challenging activity. What makes the difference between those who get to the top and those who fail? If you’re striving for success, these five qualities are ones that you should work on:
It almost goes without saying that entrepreneurs need to be determined, but what does that mean? It’s interesting to observe that, unlike less successful business people, those who excel tend to start out under-resourced. Their ambitions are out of proportion to their means, but they make things happen anyway, and their personal determination inspires those around them. However, they don’t just dream big – they understand the effort that’s required to make those dreams reality, and they really put in the work to make it happen.
No matter how skilled entrepreneurs are, it’s rare for them to have everything go their way. One unusual trait that you’ll see in those at the top is an ability to bounce back from almost any kind of failure or rejection. They pay attention to the negative feedback that they get, but they don’t let it affect them emotionally, and they certainly don’t let it put them off when they’re convinced that what they’re doing is right. They pace themselves so that they will always have the energy to cope if something goes wrong.
Confidence is important in entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that they should assume that they know everything. In fact, it’s those who make a continual effort to learn from their experiences who are the most likely to do well. Successful entrepreneurs constantly seek out opportunities to enhance their education, take an interest in every part of the operations that they run, and really listen to those around them. In particular, they understand that failures can present vital opportunities for learning and improving.
If you read some articles celebrating successful entrepreneurs, you’ll get the impression that they never take no for an answer and keep on battering through obstacles until they get what they want. In fact, those most likely to succeed are those who identify those obstacles and then work out practical ways around them. They understand that there can be multiple ways to solve problems, avoid getting stuck in their ways, and apply lateral thinking where it’s needed.
It takes a lot of energy and persistence to make it in the business world, so entrepreneurs need a lot of ambition and they also need to enjoy what they’re doing. This doesn’t mean that they never feel frustrated, but it does mean that frustration is a minor issue to them and the excitement of making gains is a much bigger deal. They relish a challenge and delight in the process of finding solutions. As soon as they reach a goal, they’re ready to focus on the next one.
What a winner looks like
Vangelis Marinakis is the owner of a shipping empire and two football clubs. His father was also in the shipping business, but his ambitious streak led him to expand considerably on what he started with, and he was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Shipping Industry by Lloyds in 2016. More recently, he has become involved in media, making an unusually large investment to gain control of one of Greece’s four licenses to broadcast nationally.
Janice Bryant Howroyd started her first company with little over $1,000, but she went on to make ACT-1 Group a global operation. Focusing on HR services and talent acquisition, she works across multiple industries and has also served as an advisor to government. She has provided guidance to the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporate Board and the International Trade Advisory Commission Board, among others.
One other characteristic that entrepreneurs have in common is that they tend to be highly individual, so they’ll sometimes take you by surprise. They’re good at identifying and developing their own personal strengths. Not all the successful ones were born with the skills that you see listed here; some had to work hard to develop them. This means that if you have the passion and the energy but you’re not so hot on other things, there’s still room for you to improve. The boldness that makes many other things possible gets easier with experience, and the more time you spend problem-solving, the better you’ll become at it. Make the effort to hone your skills and you too could have what it takes to get to the top.
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