Traits of the Successful Entrepreneur

By: James Abron 3 years ago

Vision and Tenacity

While there is no sure-fire recipe for building a successful business, we know the traits all successful entrepreneurs have in common.  This topic has been studied in business schools for years.   How do you stack up?  Are you the next Steve Jobs?

I recently took a look at several sources of information on this topic.  The table below summarizes my findings.  I was astonished at the similarities between each source.

Forbes Magazine Entrepreneur Magazine Small Business BC
Abounding Curiosity Tenacity Clear Vision
Bursting with Creativity Passion Determination
Clarity of Vision Tolerance of Ambiguity Ambition
Ability to Communicate Vision Self-confidence
Leadership Acumen Self-belief Good Health
Loving Risk/Taking Action Flexibility Realistic
Tenacious Beyond Belief Rule-breaking Problem solver
OK with No Pay
Unique Skill

All three sources cite Vision as a trait.  As author Eric T. Wagner states in the Forbes article “You simply need vision as an entrepreneur.  And more importantly?  Clarity around that vision. (It’s) Crucial to have a crystal clear vision of who you are; what you want to do; and where you want to go.”  Sounds like a good business plan would take care of this one.

Entrepreneur Magazine offers another view of entrepreneurial vision:

“One of the defining traits of entrepreneurship is the ability to spot an opportunity and imagine something where others haven’t. Entrepreneurs have a curiosity that identifies overlooked niches and puts them at the forefront of innovation and emerging fields.”

The need for entrepreneurial vision manifests before the business is created, during creation in the business plan, and after the firm is operating.  At this stage, communication of that vision is crucial.  I’ll discuss this in detail in future posts.

Both Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine cite Tenacity or Tenacious beyond Belief as a common trait.  Small Business BC calls it Determination.  Why is this important?  Small Business BC contributor Vancity states:

“It is absolutely imperative that every entrepreneur demonstrate the determination and resolve to stick with an idea when they believe in it. Undoubtedly, all business ventures will suffer setbacks and, like the team captain, the entrepreneur is expected to push on to victory.

After writing Chicken Soup for the Soul, the authors were ready to approach publishers. In the first month, 33 publishing houses turned them down and all together they were rejected by 140 publishers. But, they eventually found a publisher who shared their dream, and the Chicken Soup series has become a phenomenon in publishing history, with more than 100 million copies sold to date, in 170 titles and 41 languages. “

Joe Robinson of Entrepreneur Magazine puts it this way “Entrepreneurs who can avoid saying uncle have a better chance of finding their market and outlasting their inevitable mistakes.”

By now you might be wondering if you have what it takes to create and grow a successful business.  Do you need to be born with the marketing instincts and vision of Steve Jobs?  It would be nice, but the answer is NO!  Most of these traits can be developed through coaching.

I plan to discuss other entrepreneurial traits in my future blog posts.  This is both a critical and fascinating topic for new business owners.

Note: Click the magazine name in the table to open the article cited in the blog post.

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