Successful entrepreneurs have unique characteristics, which set them apart from ordinary people. They may develop it through experience; others grow through learning by doing and perhaps training.
And, the dominant characters can vary from one entrepreneur to another. It can be curiosity, commitment, decisiveness, learning, team building, risk tolerance, and long-term focus. And these characters stick together, shape and help them to commercialize ideas and generate profits.
How these characteristics are relevant in starting a business. I will try to break them down one by one.
Business is basically an entrepreneur’s attempt to fulfill the needs and desires of others. They launched businesses to provide solutions to meet the needs and wants of others. To get a solution requires curiosity about other people’s problems.
Having a high curiosity is the key to successful entrepreneurship. When entrepreneurs have it, they are never satisfied with what they already have or what they already know. They always ask what can be improved, the solution to a problem, how to make things easier?
Such questions challenge entrepreneurs to find something better to develop. Curiosity eventually drives them to keep looking for new opportunities and come up with new business ideas to commercialize.
A new business idea and market opportunity emerged. But, compared to ordinary people, entrepreneurs take it a step further. They run tests to determine whether it is worth running or not, for example, through market research. Structured experiments are an important step before they actually realize the business idea.
And, the long experience will make them easier, more responsive, and faster in drawing conclusions to validate new business ideas. First impressions can make them able to immediately judge and know whether an idea is worth commercializing or not. In other words, experience gives them more senses.
Entrepreneurs are constantly eager to finish what they started, what they decided, and what they were aiming for. Commitment provides motivation and inspiration for them to stay on and on the path they choose regardless of the difficulties or despair they may face.
Commitment makes them believe there is a solution. So, obstacles and risks do not discourage them. Likewise, with failure, they believe it is just delayed success.
Decisiveness means steadfastness in all the choices entrepreneurs make and all the decisions they make, even though they may be wrong later on. They have to make tough decisions and continue to support them.
Entrepreneurs are confident in taking challenging decisions and solving them. They are not afraid of being wrong. Or, if the results turn out to be unfavorable, they take a firm decision to correct it. Such decisiveness makes them more mature with experience and quick to learn.
Building a business requires an entrepreneur to keep learning. There are various ways they learn. For example, they learn from the successes and mistakes of others or from their own past successes and mistakes.
Entrepreneurship also requires an open mind. Mistakes are a good place for entrepreneurs to learn and improve. They don’t blame themselves. But, they find out what went wrong and how to fix it. By learning, they avoid making the same mistakes again in the future.
Likewise, entrepreneurs were not immediately satisfied with their current success. Instead, curiosity makes them ask what can be done to maintain success in their current business, what they need to improve, and how they can pass it on to other businesses they run.
Success as an entrepreneur does not only rely on themselves. Entrepreneurs are aware of their strengths and weaknesses. And, they need other people to realize their ideas.
Say an entrepreneur is a visionary. But, it was not enough to make their business successful. They need people to run the business and implement strategies to achieve their vision.
To build a team, entrepreneurs must also have a wide network. They know where they can find people with talents that complement each other and contribute to a common goal. They then build a complete team to achieve the goal.
Entrepreneurship requires having the courage to take risks to realize a business idea and enjoy profits. But, that does not mean entrepreneurs absorb all risks without any action or consideration. Their courage to take risks is also accompanied by taking steps to mitigate them.
When realizing a business idea, entrepreneurs identify possible risks. Then, they actively manage these risks by preparing mitigation plans.
In addition, entrepreneurs also consider the rewards obtained. Therefore, they ensure the risk they take will not exceed the potential reward they will receive.
Business failure does not discourage entrepreneurs from achieving success. They get up immediately when they fall. They don’t give up easily and are comfortable with failure. They prepare themselves if their business fails. They don’t let fear keep them back from gaining possible success in other businesses. It keeps them going and fighting.
Entrepreneurs see failure as an opportunity to improve themselves. They are eager to learn from mistakes and grow. It makes them more mature and persists until they actually achieve what they are aiming for.
Curiosity and not complacency encourage entrepreneurs to continue to innovate. They don’t just focus on what they have to offer (the product). But, they are also innovating in running their business more efficiently, changing the consumer paradigm, and presenting their business as different from other businesses. It requires original ideas and high curiosity.
Entrepreneurs are always open-minded to come up with ideas for innovation. They realize that ideas don’t just come from themselves. For example, they then use the network or team they form to help generate new innovations.
Long term focus
Starting a business is an entrepreneur’s way of growing and maturing to achieve the success they seek. Entrepreneurs believe their brilliant idea will succeed. In the beginning, they made it happen and launched a new business. So, say, it appears to be a success and lives up to their expectations. But, that shouldn’t be their main focus.
Entrepreneurs shouldn’t be complacent right away. They are constantly moving forward and striving to grow the business sustainably. They realize short-term success is likely to make competitors copy and envy them to beat their business. They are prepared and will fight to face them.
Long story short, successful entrepreneurs build a vision and translate it into short-term successes. So, just one success doesn’t make them confident to say their goal is achieved.