What does it take to be an entrepreneur?
Moreover, what does it take to be the truly visionary kind of entrepreneur who has an idea that really shifts paradigms and changes the world for the better?
The answer will depend on who you ask. But here are a few things that most people will agree are fairly important…
There is always an element of risk involved when launching a new idea. Even if that idea doesn’t involve financial risk, you’re still putting yourself on the line and there’s still a chance that your idea won’t sell or that it will be laughed out of the room. You need a thick skin and you need to be willing to fail.
More important than the willingness to fail even, is the willingness to get back up again when you do. Almost every successful entrepreneur will fail multiple times before they eventually succeed but it’s because they keep on trying that they eventually get their win. You only need to succeed once.
Of course, it goes without saying that an entrepreneur needs to be inventive. They need to be able to spot opportunities and come up with new ideas that others miss. This is something that you will be born with (or not) to some extent, but there are certainly things you can do to encourage yourself to get more creative in your thinking.
Okay, you don’t have to be old to be a successful trait. But I wanted to include this just to make a point – which is that you don’t need to be ‘hip and young’ to have a successful startup. In fact, most successful businesses are started by people in their 40s or older. So, don’t count yourself out of the race just because you’re not in your twenties!
Another myth is that the entrepreneur is not a team player – that they act solo. In reality, entrepreneurs almost always surround themselves with strong teams and credit this with some of their success.
Perhaps the most important trait of all is that an entrepreneur be passionate. If you don’t believe in your product or service, if you don’t feel incredibly excited about it, then you won’t have enough drive to see it through to completion. Moreover, you won’t be able to win over other people and get them excited for it.
Excitement is contagious – so don’t follow through with something that you find dull or uninteresting.