Certain traits seem to be a common theme among most entrepreneurs. While they all possess their own unique idiosyncrasies, there are a few overlapping qualities that are shared among the most well-known and successful entrepreneurs.
These traits have really nothing to do with schooling, backgrounds, or their fields of interests, but more with the innate qualities that have made the most successful and revered entrepreneurs that we know today. While they may utilize these traits differently, the end results have all been the same.
Here is a look into the five common personality traits that most successful entrepreneurs share, even if they display them in different ways.
Some people like to say that they “aren’t creative” when it comes to thinking outside the box. I like to think that we are all creative, just not in the same way. For instance, some people are creative in the art and digital world, while others can engineer and come up with mathematical formulas to solve problems.
Creativity is powerful because it’s what separates the extraordinary ideas from the common ones. Creative thought is about bringing to light ideas and innovations that no one thought possible. Entrepreneurs come up with new ideas and evolutionary ways to enhance the business world or their own company.
There are entrepreneurs in every aspect of the business sector, which means that creativity doesn’t limit itself to one niche. What has assisted in making many entrepreneurs successful is their creativity in how they run their business, but also being one step ahead in evolving their company in unique and creative avenues.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosopher and acclaimed poet who was a founding father of transcendentalism thought.
Determination to not give up
Some of the most famous entrepreneurs were fueled by being told that they wouldn’t make it or be successful in their aspirations. Having determination in what you do is one of the things that pushes you to see your dreams become a reality.
Having determination to be successful isn’t where the trait ends. You want to see projects and problems through until the end or until you find a solution. You stay on top of the business industry and its trends because you are always determined to make it better. You do not delegate the important tasks or issues onto someone else, because you want to be the one who figures them out. Entrepreneurs have the determination to keep their company alive and thriving, without losing the flame of passion for their business or giving up halfway through.
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney, pioneer of the animation industry whose entrepreneurial dreams lead him to one of the most successful companies in the modern-day world.
Vision and a clear idea of what you want
I have seen many people on TV pitch their ideas to investors or read stories of how people had an entrepreneurial idea that didn’t work because their vision wasn’t clear. I think we all have ideas, especially ones that sound really good or practical in our own minds. However, the vision to make it a reality isn’t all that clear.
If you feel that your product, service, or idea can offer a greater good to the world, that’s just one step in having a clear vision for your entrepreneurial dreams. You not only have to know what you want, but you have to have an idea on how to get there. One has to do their research, understand the risks, but also be prepared for the ups and downs that come your way.
You also have to be passionate about this vision and to not give up when it’s not going the way you want it to. That is why you have to be clear on your business aspirations, because the path gets murky and can be easily derailed. If you know in your heart and mind what you want, along with a clear picture of your goals, then the outside forces or opinions shouldn’t stop you in your tracks from accomplishing it.
“Chase the vision, not the money, the money will end up following you.” — Tony Hsieh, Zappos founder and CEO
Perseverance to still be standing when the going gets tough
Similar to determination, perseverance is a trait that one must possess in order to be successful in the ways that they want. You are going to have setbacks, dips and valleys, along with good years and bad years. This doesn’t mean you give up or scare yourself from being an entrepreneur, it means to hold your head a little higher and to keep trying.
You cannot run from the bad times or take all the credit when the going gets good. I was once told to not say the word, failure, but to say, “I wasn’t as successful as I wanted to be or in the way that I wanted.” Taking the word failure out of the equation was one step in persevering over a fear of failing at something.
If you think that owning a business or being an entrepreneur is easy, then you have to sit back and look at how some of the most famous businesses started. Many were started in garages, and most had extremely humble beginnings. The difference between the ones you know, and those you don’t, was the ability to persevere and keep going even when they wanted to give up or thought it wasn’t the effort.
“Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.” – Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and other online services.
Advantageous, yet calculated, risk-takers
I think risk-taking immediately comes to the forefront of someone’s mind when they think about entrepreneurs. The idea of starting something or taking on a dream where the path isn’t certain is not only overwhelming but also scary.
However, where would he be if Jeff Bezos didn’t think the idea of Amazon.com was worth the risk, or if Bill Gates thought it was safer to pursue law than pursuing his dream of building Microsoft. Their dreams, while advantageous, were also calculated risks that both Bezos and Gates were passionate about. They didn’t just give up everything on a whim or to do something that they had no passion or vision on where it was going. Their decisions came with risks, but they were made with a clear mindset and dream that made the risks worth the pursuit.
“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” — Peter Drucker, well-renowned business consultant whose educational and provocative insight paved the way for American business thought