Most successful entrepreneurs that I know have some traits in common that seem to enable them to endure and eventually win with small businesses. On the other hand, I have met far more people that have tried to start a small business only to fail. In some cases their ideas were amazing, they just couldn’t make them happen. Here are six traits you need to possess or acquire if you want to successfully start a new business:
- You have to be an insanely hard worker. Somehow entrepreneurs got a bad rap for being too lazy to work for someone else but my experience is the exact opposite. The best entrepreneurs I know work FAR more than 9-to-5 in fact, they really never stop working because of the passion and drive they have for their ideas.
- You have to be passionate about your mission and ideas. If you want your business to succeed you have to believe it will to your core and be able to demonstrate those beliefs to everyone you meet (literally). You have to be a master evangelist because nobody should love your idea more than you.
- You have to be able to deal with struggles. Look, a start-up is going to be difficult. You have to be able to keep focused even though you know you are scraping by and always looking for that next round of funding or deciding whether or not to keep depleting your own savings to fund the business. If you are looking for job and financial security then you probably shouldn’t start a business.
- You have to believe that you are going to win. If you can’t put your “gameface” on basically on demand then you probably are going to fail. You have to look like a winner because you believe you are going to win and that its just around the corner (because it very well could be your next meeting or that next stranger you give your passionate elevator pitch to that is your big break).
- You have to be a fighter. You can choose to live to fight another day or fight to live another day but either way you are going to have to fight. If you don’t have that killer/warrior instinct in you and the willingness to go into battle (call it cold calling or knocking on doors or …) then you are going to struggle and you probably are going to lose.
- You actually have to be able to produce your product or service and not just talk about it. Some people are just idea guys/gals and that’s all great but if you can’t actually bring the idea to market or know someone that can then you obviously are going to fail. You have to be functional enough to be able to make sure the work gets done and that usually means being willing and able to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty.
There isn’t really a secret to success in starting a business other than hard work, smart work, and determination. It also helps a lot to have a business idea that actually can make money, but that is far from enough. If you don’t have the stomach to be an entrepreneur along with these traits listed above then you really shouldn’t begin because your odds for success are very low.