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Being an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Not everyone can handle the stress, risks, and responsibilities of having dozens or hundreds of persons’ lives depending on your choices or reporting to a board or directors or panel of your investors. An analysis of the traits commonly found among successful entrepreneurs may assist in deciding if you are right to be an entrepreneur.
Here is a list of commonly noted traits of entrepreneurs. Put a check next to each one you believe you have.
_ Bias toward action
_ Perseverance and persistence
_ Drive to achieve
_ Orientation toward opportunity
_ Ability to deal with the abstract and ambiguity
_ Ability to prioritize
_ Drive toward efficiency
_ Ability to take feedback
_ Tolerance for stress
_ Ability to deal with failure
_ Ability to learn from mistakes
_ Ability to delay gratification
_ Ability to plan
_ Ability to build a team
_ Ability to inspire and lead people
Do you have these attributes? If you checked more than half, you may have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
As part of a series of interviews I conducted with six successful entrepreneurs in the North Carolina region, I asked the question, "What traits are most important for an aspiring entrepreneur to have." I gave the entrepreneurs fifteen options and asked them to number their choices 1 through 15 in order of importance. The results were very interesting. The most important trait for aspiring entrepreneurs to have, according to these five successful entrepreneurs, was "The Ability to Build a Solid Team". The second and third most important skills were, "Leadership & the Ability to Inspire," and "Persistence." The least important attribute of all, number fifteen, was "A College Degree." Here are the full results in order of importance.
1. Being able to build a solid team
2. Leadership & the ability to inspire
4. Motivation & ambition
6. Ability to communicate effectively
8. Being able to execute
9. Having a bias toward action
10. Having a good idea or plan
11. Knowledge of marketing
12. Good networking skills
13. Having the right advisors
14. Knowledge of accounting & finance
15. A college degree
Would you work seventy hour plus weeks for months on end, sleep at the office when you get backed up, put your own money on the line when payroll is due and the bank has yet to approve a loan, be the janitor, the receptionist, the custom support representative, the bookkeeper, as well as the President, and get up and present in front of a room of investors, after already being turned down by 105 other banks, angel investors, and venture capital firms? If you think so, then you just might have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
There is no successful entrepreneur that would say it is easy and there is no one who would say that there is no risk involved. If it were easy, there was no risk, and did not take years of dedication and persistence, everyone would be an entrepreneur. Unfortunately, the market does not have compassion nor feelings. It doesn’t pull for him who works the hardest or him who has the best idea. It pulls for him who works the most intelligently, sells what the market demands, puts together the needed resources, and executes. Let’s take a look at the best and worst things about being an entrepreneur.