5 Most Important Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is tough business. In almost every industry, becoming an entrepreneur means that you take on a ton of risk without being able to have a clear path of where you are going. In the internet startup and internet marketing space, it is not nearly as romantic as it sounds. You often hear about garage entrepreneurs who start businesses in their house, eat nothing but ramen for 6 months, and become full fledged successes. What people don’t know is that a lot of those over night successes were 5-10 years in the making. It take a special individual to succeed as an entrepreneur:

Tenacity. You have to be able to feel and the fear and do it anyways. Whether it is making that cross country trip to meet with top tier investors, Cutting your staff by 50% because you didn’t make your numbers, or closing a sales account, you have to be able to move in the face of rejection. Entrepreneurs have to constantly be able to pivot. Truth is, most businesses don’t end up how they first envision it. Microsoft started out selling a programming language and only after landing the DOS contract with IBM were they on the path to where they are today.

Persistence. This relates to tenacity. Entrepreneurs are often met with significant challenges that require them to push through by pivoting and finding creative solutions to difficult problems. First time entrepreneurs who seeking venture capital know that it takes persistence to find people who are willing to listen to them. They sell the vision.

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Ability to Sell. You must be able to sell your idea to get funding. You must be able to sell your company vision to attract top tier talent. You must be able to sell your product in order to get revenue. Everything in the business world is a value exchange. If the value I give you in my product has a perceived value equal to the money you give up for it, a transaction is made.

Leadership. You must be able to communicate your vision to the people who work with you. More and more corporations are realizing the importance of leadership especially in the middle manager ranks and are looking to the army reserve to fill that void.

Hustle. This is another name for street smarts. You have to be informed and be able to take limited resource to create miracles. The majority of the time you will be underfunded, understaffed, and undervalued; the mark of a great entrepreneur is to make value out of something that wasn’t there before.

When you look at the great entrepreneurs of our time; Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos, you will see that they have most of these qualities. The thing that makes them great is that they had these qualities and were also involved in great markets. They were also able to recruit the team to make it happen.