How do successful entrepreneurs develop? Are they born, or made? That’s a question we’re unlikely to find a single answer for. There are arguments on both sides. Some people point to successes like Rockefeller, or Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, as proof that entrepreneurs are born with a special combination of traits like ambition, independence, and keen business acumen. They are just somehow different than the rest of us and it is obvious from the outset.
The other take on entrepreneurship is that it isn’t always obvious from the beginning. Sure, there are the Bill Gateses of the world, but alongside these entrepreneurial giants there are also many successful business people who had other careers in the corporate world at one time.
All people who are entrepreneurs, regardless of how they started out, share certain qualities. These qualities seem to be required for someone to have success in this field.
A strong sense of independence is the first requirement. Many entrepreneurs leave jobs at which they are already successful, or set aside promising careers, to start their own businesses. Because they have a fierce sense of independence, and want to control their own workday, they find the risk worth it. Without this drive, an entrepreneur won’t be successful.
The ability to maintain focus is also crucial. To start a new business, it is important to be able to focus on the goal of turning your business into a success. There are many little tasks involved that you have to keep track of. Everything from finances to inventory to marketing and employee issues fall to the person in charge – you.
Being focused on the goal means keeping your business and its success at the forefront of your concerns. If you don’t do this, you end up with your attentions wandering and your profits falling off. It requires sustained, disciplined, focused effort to succeed in business. This is something that is required for any entrepreneur.
A strong drive to succeed is key. You have to be very motivated about your business. If you are not, you can end up astray and lose your heart. If you do this it is all too easy to decide that it just isn’t worth it.
It’s hard to run a startup. In the early stages, it can be very difficult to find clients and to generate business. Plus, then there’s the added burden of having to focus on all of the many tasks involved in the practical running of things.
There are other qualities that are of course helpful in an entrepreneur. Creativity, for instance, is quite useful, as is business acumen. Even luck is helpful. But the three I have outlined above are what really make the difference between a successful entrepreneur and one that fails.