When a person is thinking about whether he or she has the qualities, or attributes, to be a successful entrepreneur in the future, the question of what actually are the most essential attributes that any entrepreneur must have invariably comes up.
You don’t necessarily need to have the enormous courage of Steve Jobs or the intellect of Bill Gates or the vision of Elon Musk to get into the game, so if you don’t feel like you have big league courage, intellect or vision yet, it does not mean you are disqualified from being an entrepreneur.
What is important is that you are honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, what attracts you and what repels you, as you examine your own characteristics related to your personality, attitude, skills, motivations and expectations for a career.
The following are ten key attributes that help an entrepreneur succeed in the long run. You should reflect about yourself in light of this list and think deeply about how you measure up with these qualities.
- You don’t need positive reinforcement from others to feel good about the work you are doing. You are continuously learning on your own (self-learning). You are basically competing against yourself.
Comfortable in an unstructured environment
- You like to roll up your sleeves and do work, even without structured bureaucracy or support systems around you. You embrace the chaotic environment of constant change.
- You are not lazy or complacent. You are energized to accomplish important things, and you bring that energy in your efforts every day.
Attitude: nothing is impossible
- You believe that you can do it. You do not have a problem with self-limiting beliefs. You tend to be optimistic, but you are also realistic and realize it will take a lot of work and dedication.
Love to solve complex problems
- To use a metaphor, you would rather build a roller coaster than ride a rollercoaster. The thrill is in figuring things out.
Believe in yourself
- You have a core belief within yourself that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Strong work ethic
- You love to work, as if it is like playing. You put in extra time and lose track of time because you are so focused and determined to get something done.
- You admit when you don’t know something and are willing to listen to others who know more than you do.
Conviction or passion that you are going to change the world
- This quality is something that would come out of your heart, not just your mind. You may have even had this feeling for years. You are dissatisfied with the way certain things are done and you want to create change. You are not afraid to pay the price to usher in change. You want to leave a lasting legacy or make the world better for future generations.
- You will do things that need to be done, even when lots of other people disagree with your or think you are “insane.” While others are looking to do things right, you are looking to do the right things. It’s the difference between being tactical and strategic. (Hint: strategic is better).
You would be smart to rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 on each of these 10 attributes. One last thing – if there was an 11th attribute, it may be that money is not your primary driver or motivator in life. You measure success in life in other ways. For an entrepreneur, it can be the growth of the company, or experimenting and continuously learning, or working with others in a high-flying environment facing high risks of business failure more often than not.
Your satisfaction with the entrepreneurial life may be directly correlated to how honest you are with yourself as you do your own self-examination at this stage about your own attributes as a person and as a potential entrepreneur.