There is a growing community of people who have chosen to abandon the corporate comfort of 9 to 5 in exchange for the low-paid, statistically reckless and stressful prospect of building something from scratch. And they enjoy every minute.
And why wouldn’t they? Successful entrepreneurs are the rockstars of the 21st centuryfull of praise and inundated with deals that would make even Mick Jagger’s head spin (at least more than usual).
Still, data is a tough mistress, especially for entrepreneurs. Nine out of ten startups fail, and it is increasingly difficult to find enough funding for your project. With that in mind, before you quit your day job and risk your entire future, it’s crucial to ask yourself: “Do I really have what it takes to be entrepreneur?»
To help you on the path to self-awareness, here is our list of the most common characteristics found in the most successful entrepreneurs. While none of these traits can guarantee your place among the stars of business, they are often mandatory for the success of any startup.
Whatever you’re trying to build, being clinically obsessed with your product is the first step to making it great. Entrepreneurs are people on a mission. Whether it’s reinventing a multi-billion dollar industry, curing notorious diseases, or helping people poop better, they are completely shameless and unapologetic
According to a Gallup poll, only about 13% of employees worldwide describe themselves as “engaged at work”. Entrepreneurs are also not committed to work. They are your job. The market doesn’t care about anyone’s dreams and aspirations. It’s cold and unforgiving, and the only way to beat the odds is to live and breathe the idea.
Being passionate about work also makes perfect business sense. Enthusiasm is contagious. It spreads to teammates, making them work harder to implement the company’s vision. It shows in the service, turning its customers into loyal ones. ambassadors of your brand.
Lack of genuine zeal about your product is one of the biggest pitfalls of today’s entrepreneurs. Sure, building a selfie app seems to pay dividends these days, but is that really something you care about? If so, of course, it strengthens our selfie game. However, if you’re just doing it for the money, there are plenty of other gaps in the market to consider. One of them will surely light your own entrepreneurial fire.
A startup is not for the faint of heart. With so many things that can potentially go wrong at any given time, keeping it together requires some unique problem-solving skills, along with a threshold of stress abnormally high.
Simply put, being an entrepreneur means living with increasing uncertainties. You’ve spent all your savings building a product, but what if no one wants to buy it? What happens if your competitor beats you in the market? How will you pay your employees next month? What happens if you run out of money? What happens if clients are not happy with the design?
It goes without saying that running your own business requires a special kind of mental tenacity. But it is this exceptional ability to manage fear that separates the Facebooks from the Myspaces of this world.
By nature, startups are a high-risk, high-reward type of company. Maintaining composure while skyrocketing burn rate is no easy task. However, it’s one that most founders have had to face at one time or another. (Deep breaths).
Like it or not, your startup won’t be an overnight success story. If anything, you’ll probably be rejected countless times every step of the way, from the low-profile app reviewer to the multi-million dollar venture capital funds. And you know what? That’s perfectly fine.
Rejection is a way of life for most entrepreneurs. Today’s most successful founders are those who are barely phased by people who constantly tell them “no.” That doesn’t mean they keep doing the same thing hoping it works. Instead, they see every denial as an opportunity to get invaluable feedback on their product.
The worst thing you can do is take rejections personally. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you will have to leave your ego at the company’s door. Learn to love your failures; you will be able to learn from them faster if you do.
When things get tough, the hard part is getting going. To succeed, you must first fail. The perseverance It is essential for the success of any startup. If you’re looking for a quick way to get rich, it’s probably best to try the lottery.
It’s dangerous to go alone! (Come on, no Zelda fans?) An entrepreneur is only as strong as his team. Remember the Gallup poll from a moment ago? If you can’t cultivate mutual trust and motivate the people you work with, it will soon be impossible to get anything done on time.
Team disharmony is repeatedly cited as a major cause of startup failure. As such, the best way to build quality relationships with your employees is to enforce and encourage transparent communication at all times.
Most new startups can’t afford a resident HR department from the start, so it’s up to the CEO to make sure everyone feels excited about the work they’re doing. That’s why empathy is such a hot commodity among founders: It’s up to them to identify each employee’s top drivers and spot when their needs aren’t being met.
An entrepreneur must also be able to “sell” his company’s vision not only to his employees, but also to his clients, partners and even potential investors. A little charisma goes a long way, and being a master storyteller is pretty much in the job description.
Initial bankruptcies are often the result of poor financial oversight, rather than an innate lack of demand for their service. Managing money is just as important as making it, and many founders seem reluctant to brush up on their math.
This is where you should let your Uncle Rich McDuck inside. Essentially, cash flow represents the movement of funds in and out of your business. On the one hand, there is the money that your clients bring in, which translates into income. On the other hand, the amount you spend paying for tools, supplies, and workers, also known as expenses.
An entrepreneur who has been in business for a year knows his exact cash balance at any time. He knows his customer acquisition cost or cost per unit like the back of his tired hand. He quickly identified and eliminated all unnecessary expenses related to his business. Becoming paranoid about money is the first step to never having to worry about it again.
To keep your business afloat, you’ll often have to be more flexible than an Olympic gymnast. Being able to quickly adapt to changes in the market means revisiting the drawing board from time to time and making significant changes to its design, features, or even the entire business model. If the final product looks nothing like what you initially started with, you’re probably doing it right.
Many founders are too slow or hesitant when it comes to adapting to market demands. Many times, this unwillingness to change comes down to nothing more than ego. Being flexible means accepting that you were wrong in the past. It also means recognizing that what you’re doing just isn’t working, over and over again. Constantly doubting yourself can be difficult to reconcile with having a strong sense of self, which is also imperative to getting down to business.
There’s a sweet spot somewhere between complete insecurity in your decisions and massively inflated self-confidence. Find it and you are ahead of 90% of entrepreneurs.
In the startup world, if you stop learning, you die. Most of what today’s founders are doing hasn’t been taught in schools yet, so it’s up to you to find the information you need on your own.
As an entrepreneur, you often need to find a gap in the market first and get familiar with the market second. You couldn’t find a sitter for your dog and complained to your friend. He’s had the same problem, so you thought to yourself: “What if I started a community of dog sitters across the country?”
At this point, you probably have no idea what the market really looks like. You don’t know how big it is if there is competition, and what dog-specific regulations exist. What you do have, however, is an idea. Making it happen requires rigorous testing and becoming a bona fide expert in all things dog care, from interviewing distraught owners to actual product development.
This learning process never stops. There will always be new features and places of business to explore, and new obstacles to overcome. Knowing your industry inside out requires a genuine interest in what you do and a desire to always be one step ahead of the competition.