Do you ever wonderful why some entrepreneurs are successful, and others are not? What is it that successful entrepreneurs do that others do not do? Is there some secret formula to success or are they just “lucky?” In this post, we will explore some of the common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and see what they do, that unsuccessful business owners don’t do.
What qualities does it take to make a difference so that you are going to be able to stay on top when things get rough? Do you need lots of money, influence, or power? The answer is not as complicated as you may think. It comes down to some specific qualities that we find in every single successful person that we know.
Look at the following traits of successful entrepreneurs and see if you identify with any of these characteristics.
They remain determined.
First of all, one common factor we find among successful business owners and entrepreneurs is that they have a fierce determination that guarantees their success. Even when the going gets rough, they buckle down and work even harder to reach their goal. They don’t let so-called “bad luck,” the naysayers, or “the breaks,” or any other misfortune get them down. Just when others might quit, they seem to grow a second skin and become tougher than ever in their resolve to win.
Mark Cuban describes this as winning at the “sport of business.” In addition to owning a successful TV network and having started in internet radio with his “Broadcast.com” site, he also owns The Dallas Mavericks basketball team. In his book, “How to Win at the Sport of Business,” he talks about how business is like a sport, and you have to be aggressive, determined, and competitive to win.
I like this analogy because it pinpoints the number one reason the successful people become successful and can sustain this over the long haul: determination.
Successful entrepreneurs know there will be valleys and mountains. We do it for the mountains, but we don’t jump out when we’re in a valley.
They manage their money well.
Another factor that you don’t hear as often when the topic of entrepreneurship comes up is how well successful entrepreneurs manage their money. Not all entrepreneurs are natural money managers, but they learn the skill as they go if they want to stay in business. Many a business has been lost in the first year because they just could not stay in the positive with their bank account.
You cannot expand if you cannot afford the basics. Money creates money, and it is the smart business owner who understands the power of good accounting.
They continue to learn.
Something else that successful people do is that they see life as one big classroom. Entrepreneurs, unlike employees, seem to always be in touch with the fact that the learning just starts where the classroom ends. They often don’t much as much emphasis on school or academics. Instead, they prefer the classroom of life in which they can experience first-hand what life has to teach them.
The well-known entrepreneur, Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s hamburger chain, dropped out of high school to start his business. Later, he went around to schools urging kids to stay in school because they needed their education. Still, Thomas was the product of a determined will to make it on his own, and many others have done the same thing.
They are insanely focused.
Steve Jobs, when he first attended Columbia University, seemed to wander from major to major in a state of identity diffusion. The only course he was remotely interested in was Calligraphy because he likes the beauty of different fonts that you could design. Years later, after dropping out of the prestigious Ivy League school to start his own computer business, he took his love of calligraphy into his work by creating unique fonts for his Macintosh computer.
Jobs thought it was a waste of time to study everything. He preferred to focus on only the skills and areas that would benefit him to do what he wanted to do.
Everyone who knew Jobs would tell you that he was insanely focused and obsessed with creating the best possible quality in every single thing he did. This is what has produced the giant computer company known as Apple.
The ironic thing is that Jobs said he was never “in it for the money.”
He advised other entrepreneurs to find work that you love and that you find worth your time and the rest would take care of itself.
They know what to say “no” to.
This is a hard one for many entrepreneurs, especially if you are just starting your business. You may have the idea that you need to say “yes” to as many opportunities as you can to reel in cash and expand your business. But the opposite is true.
Again, quoting Steve Jobs, “What we are doing is opening doors. We have to be careful what we let in.” He was referring to hiring only the best people, investors, and business partners for his Apple Company.
Warren Buffet said it another way, “It’s what we say ‘no’ to more than what we say ‘yes’ to that determines our end.”
Some wise words from two very intelligent entrepreneurs. Think about what you are saying “yes” to and make sure it’s an opportunity that you want to make time for. Weed out those things that are stealing valuable time from other pursuits that might be a better use of your day. Also, be wary of taking on partnerships that don’t promise to give you a good return on our investment.
Remember that your time and your money are both a type of investment. Invest both wisely for the largest return.
They are pragmatic dreamers.
At first glance, these two terms seem contradictory. But they work together correctly for the entrepreneur. The successful entrepreneur is both a dreamer and a cautious pragmatist. We have the vision that moves us forward every day, but we figure out a way to do it that will work.
We don’t just sit idly by and hope for the best. Instead, we take specific actions that guide us toward our goals, using a tried and true specific method to get there.
And if our way does not work, we don’t throw in the towel and give up. Instead, we go back to the drawing board and think of another way to make it work. Entrepreneurs are not just hopeful dreamers who don’t have a plan. They are determined planner that have a dream.
The Sea Before Us
The successful entrepreneur is like a captain of his ship, out on the sea alone. He knows there will be rough waters and stormy seas. He knows there will be huge waves that will try to wash his ship over and shatter it into a million pieces. But he doesn’t let that stop him from trying. Keeping his eye always on the horizon and bracing himself for the coming storms, he knows that if he reaches the shore, there’s a treasure trove of wonder that awaits him and a sunlit beach with sparkling shores.
For the successful entrepreneur, that is enough.