What characteristics do successful entrepreneurs have in common? According to the 2009 edition of The Small Business Economy released by Advocacy and posted on sba.gov this year, it was stated. "Risk-taking entrepreneurs are often the generators of the innovations that drive the American economy forward." So if this is true, if it is the little businessman and not the big corporation that often drives the economy back into the black; what do you need to be one of those successful entrepreneurs? After doing some research of several entrepreneurs, the following traits seemed to be the most common of those cited or observed.
Optimism is looking at any event and seeing the positives rather than the things that will hinder progress.
Optimism continues to be a primary factor in whether or not an individual will stay focused on goals rather than being thwarted by the negative events that would impede progress. It is the absolute ideal that leads to achievement as nothing can be done without hope. Therefore, it is the very essence of success.
An Entrepreneur with optimism is always looking for ways to make things better. Rather than focusing on what hasn't worked, they will diligently search for an answer that will work. It is closely tied to self-esteem and one's sense of well being. It is well known that people are attracted to others who seem happy and successful. Optimism gives off the aura of success to clients, friends and family, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of positivity. President Reagan was an example of a true optimist. He was able to bring a sense of positivity to his office even when our country was faced with pessimist predictions. The bottom line is that it is an essential quality for achievement and a principle foundation to courage.
Can you think outside the box? Can you try what has never been done?
So many people get caught up in statistics. They fail because they are told they will fail or they do what they have always done expecting a different result. Dare to be different! Sometimes, even as a business owner, imagination trumps knowledge! While it is true, there is risk with being creative; it is also true that doing the same thing expecting a different outcome is a certainty to failure.
If creativity is something you are not used to utilizing, know that it can be learned to a large extent. Brainstorm a list of possibilities no matter how wild. Then, go back over the list looking for the unusual but plausible. Enhanced creativity when looking at possible business solutions increases the flow of ideas within the framework of a set of desired goals. Dare to be different enough to lead the way and break through the stereotyped ceilings that are set by those who fear jumping a little higher.
Having the courage to step out into the unknown and pursue a personal dream!
When opportunity knocks, it does not come with a crystal ball. Many look back and wish they had bought into Microsoft and Yahoo when it was an unknown entity but fearing failure, made cautious investments. It is the entrepreneurial, risk taking spirit that ventured into uncharted waters. Had these risk taking individuals listened to investors seeking to avoid failure, we might be years behind in our current progress. Face it, it takes people who are genuinely creative and willing to risk, to break in to new markets and race out ahead of those who will realize a new path has been blazed and follows suit.
Having the drive to reach the finish line no matter what it takes!
Read the want ads of any major paper and you will see ad after ad for "experienced and energetic." So what are they really saying they are looking for? Truth, they are looking for someone to pick up an idea once it has been approved or accepted and then run with it. Such individuals are valuable to companies because they save both time and money. So imagine how invaluable such a trait is to the entrepreneur.
Those who can project high energy are often seen as more reliable and more self-confident. These traits inspire confidence in clients and customers and will keep them coming back for repeat business. High energy also keeps the small businessman trudging through road blocks because their eyes are on the long term goals. They do not get caught up in the mental and emotional blocks that often halt the lesser inclined. They have a passion for performance that is always brought into everything they do. Tie that to creativity and an ability to take a risk and it is no wonder that those with all three traits delve ahead of the pack.
That certain magic glistening in the eyes and the ability to convey enchanting words that hold a convincing power no one can resist.
It is amazing but charisma will often take one farther than knowledge. To the business owner that combines both, there is nothing to stop them. They have that kind of attraction that draws the listener and the knowledge to back up the words to inspire confidence. These individuals appear competent, powerful and determined. We can all close our eyes and think of someone we would love to be in business with or that we wish we could harvest that seemingly secret quality they carry about them with ease. Charisma is such an important quality, and yes, it can be developed.
There are ways to increase charisma. First, be as aware of what you are not saying as what you are. What is your body posture saying? Are you smiling? Do you communicate clearly? These are all things that can be practiced. But ultimately, those who have the most charisma are those that truly embody the idea that Zig Ziglar said so often, "you can get what you want by helping other people get what they want." Those who live this ideal often are surrounded by others who see them as a mentor and one they would like to be like. Bottom line, charisma in terms of a business asset has to do with how well one can influence others by connecting with them.
Now draw all these attributes together: Optimism, Creativity, Risk-taking, Energy and Charisma. Pictures of top businessmen probably stream to mind. Men such as Martin Luther King, Donald Trump or even the Mother Theresa can be identified as powerful people with such attributes. The uplifting point is that each of these can be developed and learned. Choose the weakest one and begin to strengthen it. By living today, just a little better then yesterday, each of us can strive towards the goal of leaving our mark on the world and being someone that left it just a little better then we entered it.