Entrepreneurs often must find a successful way to differentiate their venture from the competition in a challenging marketplace. This challenge is combined with the goal of trying to make ends meet when expenses are high and income may be low, trying to determine what consumers truly want or need, and more.
As the leader of your startup, your unique qualities and personality traits play a critical role in the overall success of your business. Remember that investors typically get involved with a venture early in the game before the success of the business is entirely known. This means that investors are making their decisions in large part based on the founders.
Many of the most successful entrepreneurs share similar qualities, and you can determine if you need to improve in any of these areas before you launch a new business.
1. Communication Skills
The ability of an entrepreneur to communicate effectively is critical. It is necessary to develop relationships with investors as well as to win over customers. A key component of excellent communication relates to likeability, and likeability is largely conveyed or perceived through how you communicate with others. You must be a person who others find trustworthy and who they enjoy spending time with.
Entrepreneurs must communicate effectively to solve problems throughout the startup process. The successful entrepreneur will be able to effectively communicate a problem and work toward a solution. Because of how critical communication is and because different people interact better with some people than others, many successful startups have two or three founders who are each effective communicators in their own ways. Effective communication between the founders is also imperative to the success of the project.
2. Open to Criticism
Many successful ventures do not become a success immediately. The founder often must make changes to operations, vendors, products and more over time, and many rely on feedback and constructive criticism from others to determine what changes need to be made. Successful entrepreneurs are open to criticism, and the best ones even openly seek the opinions and feedback of others.
Some individuals take criticism harshly and personally. Others may be too stubborn to make changes when others recommend them. These responses to feedback can be detrimental to the success of the company. While it is important to have strength in your convictions, you also need to review all feedback and criticism openly to determine if changes within your business need to be made. In some cases, you may even need to completely revise your plans or start from scratch.
Entrepreneurs invest a considerable amount of time and energy into a project, so it is understandable that you may get defensive when faced with criticism. However, evolution and revisions are necessary if you want your project to succeed.
3. Quick Learners
Many entrepreneurs are experts in their field, but they often must continuously learn new concepts and strategies to keep pace in a rapidly evolving marketplace. It is common for entrepreneurs to perform a wide range of duties in the formative months before a full team can be hired.
It is important that you become familiar with technology early in your endeavor. However, it is also important that you focus on what is most important to the business. Therefore, it may be necessary to outsource some tasks so that you can focus your attention on essential or critical items.
Successful entrepreneurs are truly determined individuals. Ventures are not launched without stumbling across numerous obstacles, and those who feel demoralized may struggle to accomplish even modest goals. You must take a can-do attitude that incorporates your ambition and vision with exceptional tenacity.
This determination must also take into account the future of the company. Those who succeed with a startup often have a solid, long-term vision for the company, and they have the excellent ability to get others excited about that vision as well.
5. A Little Bit “Crazy”
As you might imagine, not everyone has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. These individuals often have a little more creativity, imagination or resourcefulness that others lack. This could be seen as craziness by some, but it actually is creativity with an intelligent aspect. Great entrepreneurs know how to bend things in their favor, such as rules or circumstances.
Remember that this is the right kind of crazy. It inspires others, and it allows for outside-the-box thinking. While some rules may be broken, these are the right kind of rules to bend rather than rules that could land them in hot water.
Successful entrepreneurs may have each of these skills or traits to some degree, and many also have other personality traits that work strategically in their favor. Take an honest look at your traits today to determine if self-improvement is necessary for the benefit of your startup.
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