5 Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur

on April 21, 2016

What Are The Traits Of A Successful Entrepreneur?

Before starting your own business, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of what you bring to the table as a soloprener. While there is no foolproof way of predicting whether a new business will fail or succeed, successful entrepreneurs tend to have certain qualities in common.

Being honest with yourself about which of these qualities you have an abundance of and which ones you could stand to work on, can go a long way to putting your small business on the right track to a profitable future.

So, what qualities do successful entrepreneurs tend to have in common?

1. Tenacity

Successful entrepreneurs know how to keep their eyes on the prize. They are passionate about what they do, and are able to use the big picture as a frame of reference for the day-to-day duties involved with running a business.

Keeping long-term goals in mind allows them to shrug off temporary setbacks. They also tend to possess a competitive spirit and are driven to be the best at whatever they do. They enjoy challenges and are spurred forward by their uncommon clarity of vision and their desire to win.

Richard DeVos, billionaire founder of Amway, put it this way: “If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end . . .”

2. Impeccable Integrity

While those with a certain, shall we say… flexibility of character, tend to be adept at scooping up short-term profits and disappearing, forthrightness and ethical business conduct are essential for long-term success. If a customer’s first experience with your business leads to them feel cheated, you can bet they won’t be back.

They will also tell anyone who will listen to avoid doing business with you, and in the age of Yelp and comments and blogs, a viral discussion about your business’ flaws is especially dangerous

This is in contrast to the customer who feels they are treated fairly by your business, not just when they are purchasing your products, but also when they have a problem which requires your assistance. Establish a reputation for doing the right thing even when it’s not the easy thing, and your business will gain a loyal and trusting clientele, and they too will tell the world about it, and you will be happy they did.

3. The Ability to Lead

Are your colleagues constantly asking for your advice? When your supervisors need something done right the first time, are you the one they call? Do you have the ability to rally a group of people around a common goal? If you can answer “yes” to all of the above, then you probably possess excellent leadership skills. A good leader leads by example, by walking the talk.

People follow such individuals because their actions command respect, and they are trusted to make the right call in difficult situations. If you’re starting your own business, you’re going to be the one responsible for deciding which direction that business will take. If you’re going to have employees, you’ll need to have the qualities that will ensure they will follow your lead, even when you’re not around.

4. Adaptability

While it’s true that entrepreneurs tend to be the relentless types, the most successful ones are not so dead-set in their ways that they refuse to learn valuable lessons along the way. While they do their best to plan everything out ahead of time, and make contingency plans for all of the hypothetical situations, they aren’t afraid of failure. If things don’t go exactly as planned, the successful entrepreneur will analyze the situation to see what can be learned from it.

The same goes for situations in which a competitor gains an edge in the marketplace. Rather than resent a rival’s success, those with good business sense will try to gain insight into what their competitors are doing right. They might even adapt their competitor’s strategies for their own use, or figure out a way to counteract them.

5. Great Networking Skills

Building and maintaining a profitable business is an extremely challenging undertaking, but it can be a lot easier if you develop an effective network of mutual support. Building strong business relationships with those who have the ability to help your business thrive can mean the difference between success and failure. And again, this is true in both the online and offline versions of your business — networking and social networking are both vital to your success.

Remember though, it’s not just a one-way street. Do your best to send business prospects to those who help you, and don’t shy away from lending them a hand if you find yourself in a position to do so.

© 2016 The Strauss Group, Inc.

Steve Strauss
Steve Strauss is the senior small business columnist of USA TODAY and the Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Connection.