The post covers 12 traits of an entrepreneur and reiterates the importance of continuous innovation. Anyone thinking why one should bother becoming an entrepreneur? Here is an interesting infographic from Entrepreneur.com on why One day everyone would be an entrepreneur. The most effective entrepreneurs view themselves as assets. They continually invest in themselves and in their future through innovation, education and self-improvement.
I would like to take an example of Wilfred Emmanuel Jones. He was not born into a wealthy family, but like every single-minded entrepreneur, he focused on one goal. Wilfred’s dream was to own farm, it was not a dream that changed the world, but it was his dream. He worked for many different companies over the years, yet kept the focus on owning a farm. He was eventually able to buy a farm, and over time it turned into something he never imagined ‘The Young Black Farmers scholarship in England’.
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My motive to quote Wilfred Jones in the post opening is to focus on key traits of an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are not born, they are made. They all have a determination of steel. Traits of an entrepreneur are simple easy to imitate things but it is the combination on these simple traits that makes a common person an entrepreneur. Level of innovation differentiates between entrepreneurs. Like we need food for energy, entrepreneurs need continuous innovation to evolve.
12 traits of an entrepreneur
1) Perseverance holds the key for entrepreneurial success– Entrepreneurs evolve through hard work, a love of what they are doing and a sense of respect for their love. Above all perseverance acts as a bridge between a failed effort and a successful innovation.
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A massive 80 percent crash. Needless to elaborate that those who persevere find themselves in the elite 20 percent club.
2) Effective Planners have an edge – A mind map is crucial. As goal posts keep changing in entrepreneurship, plan for each day is crucial. Those who plan better, evolve better and gain a competitive edge.
3) Remembering purpose– Entrepreneurs are exposed to new ideas every day. In the myriad of ideas it is easy to lose track of the original purpose. It is important to keep the purpose in sight all the time.
4) Focus- Quite similar to the previous idea. Purpose engulfs the overall vision while focus implies sticking to minute details of the task. Sticking to a single task differentiates between a successful and an unsuccessful entrepreneur. This is one of the most important traits of an entrepreneur.
Focus helps in sticking to an innovation. Its innovation and creativity that helps add the million dollar prefix of successful behind entrepreneurs.
5) Effective delegation – Entrepreneurs want to do everything themselves. This the reason most of the startups run out of gas within one year of inception.
Art of effective delegation is required to free up some time as forced breaks are necessary to keep the same energy level. Effective delegation will leave a lot of things on experts. It is then required to regulate the time freed up by effective delegation. Make sure that you move intermittently. Don’t sit all day. Stretch and take deep breaths. Take a lunch break. Start your day with a healthy breakfasts and clear your desk daily. None of the important traits of an entrepreneur can be imbibed without a healthy routine.
6) Excellent visualizing and conceptualization Visualize your success. Successful entrepreneurs are those who can see the future and conceptualize a roadmap to make sure that the visualized future is realized.
7) Art of saying ‘no’ to opportunities that can get in the way to success Not all that glitters is gold. It is important to know the art of saying ‘no’ without hurting others. Successful entrepreneurs at times need to say no to most of the things to keep their focus.
Opportunities might be tempting but it is important to look at the trade-offs and most of the times there is a big YES of future success hidden behind numerous ‘No’s.
8) Time management is extremely important Timing is synonymous to luck in entrepreneurship.Doing things right at the right time is required to spin-off something special.
9) Great listeners Great entrepreneurs are normally great listeners as well. They listen to absorb ideas. The ideas then sink in properly and resurface when required. Listening carefully helps in better retention of words and ideas and thus is one of the important traits of an entrepreneur.
10) Showing gratitude Entrepreneurs always thank everyone for even smallest of support. Gratitude acts as a catalyst to learning. It will make sure that the list of well-wishers never dry up. Trust me, you need more wishes now as an entrepreneur.
11) Resourcefulness Networking, mobilization of resources, arranging funds and getting partners are few of the many specialties of an entrepreneur. Ideas are simply not enough. We are living in an era of stiff competition and abundance of talent. It is important to be extremely resourceful and to have an ability to mobilize the resources when required. Resourcefulness would also mean the intangibles like fresh idea, investor confidence, brand value etc.
12) Innovation and creativity This is a must in all lists if we speak about traits of an entrepreneur. Flexibility in ideas and action is crucial and so is continuous innovation. An innovation that was a delight in past might get obsolete within a decade of even in years. We have a better version of iPhone every year so that Apple can sustain its place of top innovator. Similarly it is important to stay ahead of competition. Thus continuous innovation comes into the picture.
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Apart from the 12 traits of an entrepreneur mentioned above, there are few other common attributes to go with it. Entrepreneurs are not risk averse. Successful entrepreneurs are leaders and know what success means to them. They like to earn success when the rest believe that they were just lucky. Luck to them is just a mixture of several traits, few of which are discussed in this post.