5 Common Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

Not everyone who has a good idea and starts a business based on it is going to become a successful entrepreneur. It takes a confluence of elements to lead a professional venture into a promising future, and having a great idea and the nerve to pursue it is only the beginning. You’ll also need a solid business plan, adequate funding, targeted marketing and promotions, and maybe even a little luck. But aside from having a plan and the resolve to follow through, it turns out that many successful entrepreneurs share common traits that contribute to their accomplishments. And if you want a better chance to follow in their footsteps, consider adopting just a few of these characteristics along the way.

  1. Use failure as an opportunity. Everyone falls flat on their face at one time or another; and some of the most successful business moguls in the world have done it more than once, and in a spectacular fashion, to boot. What sets the successful entrepreneur apart is that he takes his failures in stride and uses them as a learning opportunity. As Thomas Edison famously quipped, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” But like any great success, he kept going, assimilating information and trying new things until he found what worked. And that’s the attitude required of anyone who wants to reach their entrepreneurial goals.
  2. Toot your own horn. Self-promotion is an essential aspect of success. While you can certainly go along, working hard and hoping to get discovered, rare is the business that gains recognition and sales via some thunderclap of fate. You absolutely need to master the art of self-promotion if you want to get anywhere in the business world. It’s one thing to be good enough, but it’s another thing entirely to convince others of that fact.
  3. Surround yourself with talent. Every successful entrepreneur knows that succeeding in business requires collaboration with people who are experts in their field. Just look at the aforementioned Edison - many of his successful patents came from people who worked for his companies. This isn’t to say that you should steal the work of others, but you should definitely create a circle of trusted business partners who know how to hold up their side of operations.
  4. Do what you love. One of the main reasons so many people fail in business is that they don’t really know what they’re doing. When you do something you love, chances are better that you’ll learn all of the ins and outs of your business, simply because it’s your passion. This is not an essential ingredient to becoming a successful entrepreneur, but it certainly helps. Nobody wants to put time, effort, and money into something they hate.
  5. Continuing education. Whether you’re taking classes at a local college, signing up for online courses, opting for programs like the Tim Sykes challenge, asking for help from colleagues and experts, or merely learning from the school of life, it’s important to remember that you can never know enough, and that all information is valuable. Many successful entrepreneurs go far in school while others drop out, but one thing is common to all - they’re constantly learning and trying new things.

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