How often are you faced with challenges? Getting up on time can be a challenge. Maintain the family, house and dog can be just as challenging with all the other 20 things on the daily to do list. Let’s toss in running a business, are you really up for the challenge? Do you have what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur?
We all define success differently; oddly enough there is no right or wrong answer to your definition. Although we all set measureable goals in business, there are a few common characteristics of a successful entrepreneur. You may be able to check off on some and may need to work on others. Working in incremental steps, stages and keeping a positive attitude you can become a winner.
Common characteristics of a successful entrepreneur:
1. Do what you enjoy and what comes natural:
Can you wake up and produce the product or service if you never earned a dollar? Do you receive personal satisfaction and enjoyment out of your business and it doesn’t feel like work? If you do not enjoy what you are doing it will be reflected in the end product and the success of your business. If you are not doing what you enjoy then chances are you will not gain satisfaction, enjoyment, financial gains and success.
2. Believe in what you are doing and take it serious:
Take what you are doing seriously. If you do not believe in your brand, product or service; who will? Set up a schedule and follow it. Avoid distractions and keep a positive mindset to remain focused. Do not allow naysayers to get in your way; being in business is challenging enough.
3. Be effective and efficient with your time
Create systems and organize your time. Don’t waste your time doing things that are not important. Planning your time and sticking to it is important. Identify your daily time snatchers. What are you wasting most of your time on (email, Facebook, chatting on the phone)? Don’t waste time procrastinating, tackle the difficult tasks first.
4. Money matters
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Pay your account payables on time and you can expect accounts receivables on time. Manage your money wisely to keep the cash flow going to paying for goods and services are vital to keep your business operating. Understand your cash flow: what’s coming in and what’s going out. Spending is a cycle, don’t be afraid to spend with other entrepreneurs.
Value your customers
Your customers are more important than your product or service. Customers are the deciding factor whether or not your business will succeed or fail. Listen to your customers, acknowledge their concerns and fulfill their request with a smile. Get to know your customers. Give customers a personal touch.
Self- promotion is one of the most underutilized marketing tools that most entrepreneurs avoid taking advantage of. Draw attention each day by educating someone new about your services and products. How will your service or product benefit the customer? Communicate why owning your product will create excitement and fulfill a need.
6. Place yourself in the community
Get involved in your community with organizations that your business will compliment. Get involved with local charities, community events, and fundraisers. People will get to know you, like you and trust you. The philosophy works, use it. Find a movement that you can support.
7. Create me time
Setting aside me time is very important. Allow time to rejuvenate and enjoy the breeze. Avoid filling every possible hour with busy work. Allow yourself time for lunch, 15 minute breaks and time to reflect. Make time for family, hobbies and relaxation. There is no manager standing over you, take time to smell the roses.
8. Celebrate your achievements
Big or small give you a pat on the back. Being an entrepreneur can bring challenges emotionally, mentally and physically; when you obtain a new client acknowledge it, when you complete a task that feels overwhelming celebrate. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude to continue on the road to success.
9. Follow up
Create a follow up system. Staying in contact with clients, prospects and referral sources can increase your bottom line significantly. Following up will provide one more opportunity to educate clients and prospects about new products and discounts. Use newsletters, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest as easy avenues to reach out to your customer base. It’s easy to get the client; the work is keeping them in your buying cycle.
10. Invest in yourself
There is always something new to learn. Top industry leaders invest in building their skills in business and leadership skills. Investing in you as an entrepreneur will include buying and reading business books, magazines, and industry publications. Entrepreneurs may seek information to improve their skills by joining trade associations, attending seminars, business coaching and training courses. Education is an ongoing process.
Setbacks in business and life are inevitable and there is no good time for them to happen. Problems with customers, products, product, and technology are just a few crises that women entrepreneurs can face. We can’t control people or hiccups, but how we react to them is important. Surround yourself with like-minded entrepreneurs that will strengthen, teach and guide you.
The characteristics of a successful entrepreneur aren’t the easiest things to learn, but it’s not impossible. Listed above are not characteristics most people walk into business with. Some people may have more because of their entrepreneurial spirit – but they can be learned. They can’t be found in a book, or in training, but with practice and being diligent they can be learned.
What other characteristics can you suggest? List them in the comments below.