One thing I have found is that becoming a successful entrepreneur is not a matter of having a great idea. That great idea is just the beginning. It takes the right combination of certain factors to take that great idea and make it into something successful.
I have found 10, not-so secret, secrets of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Here they are.
Strong leadership abilities
An entrepreneur cannot build an empire without strong leadership skills. An entrepreneurial endeavor comes with a certain about of uncertainty and unpredictability. A strong leader can reassure his team and motivate them to keep moving forward.
Motivation for an entrepreneur must come from within. An external motivation, like a job loss or pressure from a loved one, is not going to get a budding entrepreneur very far. A strong, internal drive to succeed and take an idea as far as possible will push that person forward even on the worst days.
Willingness to fail
Failure is a part of business, especially for entrepreneurs. It helps them learn what is not working, so they can change directions toward what is working. It builds a certain mental resiliency that makes the entrepreneur stronger and more motivated than ever.
Willingness to do the hard work necessary
Let’s be honest. Starting up a business is not a simple task. There are tons of things to do and, in most cases, very few people to do it all. The entrepreneur must be willing and able to put in the hours and hard work necessary to keep the business running and moving forward.
Dedication to see the venture through
An entrepreneur must have a stubborn sense of dedication. Getting people to buy into a new idea can be an uphill battle. Getting lenders to buy into a vision can be a long journey littered with rejection. Getting customers to make that first order can seem like an effort in futility. That is why dedication is critical for entrepreneurs.
Desire to build strong relationships
Almost all successful businesses are built on strong relationships. The entrepreneur must have the desire and ability to build those kinds of relationships with peers, employees, vendors, lenders, investors, customers, and just about everyone else.
Willingness to treat staff the right way
Treat your staff with trust, dignity and respect, and you will see results. If you treat your staff members right, they will treat your customers right. If they feel discontent and no motivation, that will reflect in how they treat your customers.
Constant sense of competitiveness
One thing that motivates most successful entrepreneurs is the desire to win any challenge presented to them. They see opening up a company as one of the biggest challenges out there. This sparks their competitive side to win at all costs.
Ability to recognize and address knowledge gaps
The inability or unwillingness to ask questions is a weakness that can cause a business to fail before it gets off the ground. Asking questions and seeking advice from subject matter experts is a cornerstone of successful entrepreneurs.
Comfortable with taking risks
Opening a business is a risk. Putting yourself out there to sell your idea to a potential investor is a risk. Signing that first customer contract is a risk. Cold calling 20 people a day is a risk. An entrepreneur who is risk-adverse is not going to get very far.
I have seen many great ideas go nowhere because the people behind them just did not have what it takes for an entrepreneur to succeed. Do you have what it takes?