As an entrepreneur and someone who has worked with hundreds of other entrepreneurs over the past nine years or so, I’ve observed certain common characteristics of successful business owners. I’ve seen these traits in the people I have worked with and in ones I have studied. Of course, having these traits does not guarantee success in the business world. “Normal” people often share some of them, but thriving leaders often have many, if not all. So, what are the common characteristics these entrepreneurs have?
00:31 – Evaluate Yourself
01:47 – It takes a lot to get a Business off the ground
04:23 – Why do 9 out of 10 Businesses fail?
05:30 – Personality Traits of Entrepreneurs
11:42 – Entrepreneurial must-haves
18:26 – In Summary
Entrepreneurs must have passion. Most of us really like what we do, and money is not a primary motivator. Money is an added benefit, of course, but most of us genuinely like what we do.
I’m not talking tongue-in-cheek when I say this, but I really like my career. Actually, I LOVE it. I work with some of the best clients and business owners in the United States. I show them how to reach their retirement goals and how to make their companies more valuable. We work, learn, laugh, and cry together.
In fact, one event in particular forever marked my life. I’ll never forget when a dear client of mine called me when she found out her husband died unexpectedly. As we were crying together, I was able to tell her that we did it right. Even though they were young, we had planned for the best and the worst that could happen. This family with young children was going to be okay.
Friends, that moment created a passion in me to secure people’s financial positions in life and in business. Most entrepreneurs genuinely have a passion for their career, their business, and for what they do. That passion is a trait that is central to success. If you’re not passionate about what you’re trying to do, then there’s no driving reason to continue doing it when things get tough.
Another thing I’ve noticed about entrepreneurs is that we are motivated to reach very specific goals. In the early part of every year, I work with business owners on specific goals they want to accomplish that year. Many times, they’ll say things like, “I want to increase my business’s income.” Or they’ll say, “I want to increase my margin,” or any number of vague, business-related goals. However, a true entrepreneur has extremely specific goals.
At the beginning of this year, I was talking with one of my clients who had seventeen micro-goals that he needed to achieve one hierarchical goal! I didn’t tell this particular client to do that but in this case, he wanted to reach a very specific goal. So, what goals are you trying to reach? How will you reach them?
When I began listing key traits that are common amongst entrepreneurs, resilience stood out to me. We struggle and we fail, but we always get up and go again. There is no quitting when it comes to us. In the face of insurmountable odds, entrepreneurs stand fast saying, “I will make a way!” I once read a statement by Eleanor Roosevelt that I’ll never forget. She said, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”
Folks, this statement resonates with me so much because, at some point in our careers, we all get kicked in the teeth. It’s going to happen. There’s no way around it. But the thing is, entrepreneurs always get back up and come back stronger than ever before. I am speaking from experience, people. A mentor of mine once told me, “Justin, one day your little rubber ducky’s gonna get run over by a speedboat.” I’ve laughed about that many times because he was right… my “little rubber ducky” got sunk by a speedboat. But I’m resilient so I began again, taking with me the lessons I learned from my failures.
Obviously, if entrepreneurs keep getting back up again and again after being knocked down, we’re not only resilient but optimistic, too. We focus on the end goal. For the most part, entrepreneurs are a pretty positive bunch. We aren’t like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, walking around mumbling and grumbling. Instead, we’re getting up after taking our licks and moving on knowing we can’t be stopped.
Another one of the characteristics of successful business owners that comes to mind is creativity; we find multiple ways to reach our goal(s). You’ll laugh at this illustration, but I’m going to let you into my life a little bit.
One day, when my brother and I were around 14 or 15-years-old, we acquired a 10-foot long aluminum boat. Through the woods, a couple of hundred yards away from the house, we had a pond. On this particular day, my brother and I wanted to go fishing, so we took the boat to the pond, but we didn’t have a paddle. Mom thought we were crazy, but we put our brains together to come up with a solution. We didn’t have a pole long enough to push the boat around that deep water, so we ended up getting shovels. You know, we went out on that boat for the entire summer paddling around with shovels. We were creative when we didn’t have enough money to go out and buy a paddle. Not having a paddle or a trolling motor didn’t stop us. Our creativity made us productive.
Like my brother and me, most entrepreneurs I know are creative like that. We will figure out how to make things work. Even if we don’t have the money, we have vision, and we find a way to meet our goals.
Speaking of vision, many successful entrepreneurs have a kind of vision. We see roads where others do not. Entrepreneurs can see paths to various levels of success, and how to accomplish goals that we’ve laid out for ourselves and our teams. More importantly, though, we have the ability to communicate that vision to our team members, customers, and clients. In my opinion, that is admirable.
Lastly, I’ve noticed that as entrepreneurs, we’re willing to take risks. And we are brave doing it. Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, once tweeted, “Everyone can tell you the risk. An entrepreneur can see the reward.” I agree with him on that. Many people can tell us why something can’t be done, but the entrepreneur can tell you why it should be done and why it must be done.
As I said before, having many of the same characteristics as successful business owners is not a guarantee of success in your business. However, this list does give us an idea of WHO the successful are.
If you’ve got a BIG IDEA and aren’t sure how to make it a reality, the business experts at Financially Simple are here to help. Contact us to start your entrepreneurial journey, today!
NEXT STEP: Read about the 10 Essential Questions you need to ask yourself before starting your business.