Entrepreneurs across all different industries tend to have certain traits in common. Often, it is these common traits of an entrepreneur that set them on the path to entrepreneurship and help them succeed on this path.
In this post, we will explore the six recommended traits of an entrepreneur to help them achieve success, whatever that means to them.
This article is based on my book, “According to Wolfgang, My Business,” a comprehensive small business reference guide based on my father’s successful equestrian business that spanned over 40 years.
The following traits are qualities my father, Wolfgang, believes contributed to his success. Traits are specific to an individual’s beliefs and characteristics so that the list could be endless, as well as different, for everyone.
The Recommended Traits of an Entrepreneur
Take a read through these six recommended traits of an entrepreneur. Then, ask yourself if any of the traits surprised you. Did any of them stand out as areas you want to work on? Share with us in the comments once you have read the post!
According to my father, Wolfgang, no one fulfills their dreams by accident.
If you really want something badly enough…
- Do the research.
- Read books.
- Get to know people who can help, network, and make personal connections.
- Find a mentor or a coach who can help give you direction and feedback, and you can share ideas with.
- Learn as much as you can before you begin so you can create a detailed plan.
- Keep good records so you can refer back and make changes, as required.
- Make decisions from your future customer’s perspective, not your own.
- Be sure to realize you will have to work long hours and not punch a time clock.
In the end, however, the rewards are worth it. Before starting your business, be sure to adopt a philosophy of looking outside your comfort zone for new ideas. Learn from the old, as they say.
Wolfgang goes on to say, “I looked at the most successful facilities in my industry and made contact with as many successful people within the industry as I could to get ideas. I found it was a good way to build bridges and found most professionals were receptive.”
As the quote goes, “A dream written with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action becomes reality.” – unknown.
A plan that is thought about, dreamed about, talked about, and researched becomes a passion. A passion becomes an emotion, and intense emotion can be compared to a fever. This might become an obsession that creates a sense of urgency to get the plan underway.
Wolfgang dreamt about owning an equestrian establishment since he was a young boy. Many years later, he got started, and it took several years for the business to materialize. All the while, he did not lose sight of his dream.
Not all successful entrepreneurs are pursuing their passions. But it is likely their business has become a passion. And this passion is one of the most beneficial traits of an entrepreneur.
I started my book with advice from my entrepreneurial father, who says, “Start with a plan; without a plan you have nothing. A plan might be a dream, a goal, or a vision, but it is something you would like to achieve in the future.” He goes on to say, “before you finalize your plan be sure to decide where you want to go, what you want to achieve, why you want to achieve it, and when you want to get started.”
Of course, “how” is the biggest question, but you can’t answer that until a plan is decided. To make it a reality, share the plan with as many others as possible.
This can help with the business planning process; pride is a good motivator. When others know about the plan, there is a good possibility they can offer suggestions and even make financial contributions. Wolfgang recruited a partner when he realized his plan was too time-consuming and expensive to pursue alone.
If planning is an entrepreneur’s trait, you want to work on, check out this post next: Five Simple Tips on Strategic Planning.
Being a successful entrepreneur means more than starting a new venture every other day. It means the right attitude towards a business and the determination and grit to achieve success.
A successful entrepreneur has a strong inner drive that helps them succeed.
An entrepreneur is excited by the prospect of work. They have a strong will and overcome obstacles without becoming discouraged. They set big goals for themselves, but it is also safe to say they are committed to achieving them regardless of countless setbacks. A successful entrepreneur has a strong sense of self-confidence and a healthy opinion of their skills and abilities. Their personality is assertive and strong. They are focused and decisive with the issues at hand.
This is what makes them different from the rest.
Resourcefulness, willingness to improvise, and a strong determination to succeed, are what make an entrepreneur successful.
Wolfgang worked full time at another job for the first eight years after starting his equestrian business. He knew he could eventually quit his day job but not before his new company was well established. All his spare time, including vacation time, was invested in his business, but he loved it and never tired!
An entrepreneur is always on the lookout for innovations and ideas to emerge as a winner. They constantly reinvent themselves and think of better ways to run a business, and improvise on products and services offered.
Another essential quality of a successful entrepreneur is openness in adopting change. Being headstrong and stubborn when it comes to choosing other options can have negative consequences. Change is the only thing that is constant in business, and it is difficult to make profits on old methods that may not be working anymore.
Although Wolfgang started his business as a children’s summer equestrian camp, it didn’t take long to realize keeping horses all year round was costly. He became innovative to expand the business by offering spring and fall weekend camp and adult riding during the winter. Eventually, he provided over twelve horse-related services to equestrians of all ages.
This type of innovation is one of the most useful traits of an entrepreneur in running their business.
Competition should not scare an entrepreneur. Instead, a successful entrepreneur should thrive on it by staying highly motivated and engaged. When a person is motivated, they can do justice to their line of work.
Accepting rejection or constructive criticism can also help with success by pointing out where change might be needed. Asking for, and accepting feedback, is a good way of improving. Know your competitors inside out but do not copy or compare, instead find your competitive advantage.
Wolfgang’s motivation came from doing what he loved and wanting to be recognized for owning a well-known equestrian facility renowned internationally, and he did accomplish that!
Whether you want to develop these traits of an entrepreneur in yourself or work on any other leadership skills, we are here to help. X5 Management offers several training solutions to improve communication, teamwork, customer service, sales, and leadership development. These can be tailored to meet your specific business needs. Click here to learn more about our training solutions.
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Kris is a past vice-president and in the private sector and past president in the non-profit sector. Her experience involves business, coaching, public speaking, and the love of anything equestrian. She currently works with X5 Management as an executive and leadership coach.
Kris holds an MBA from Athabasca University and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. She is currently pursuing her Everything DiSC Workplace Certification. She attributes her entrepreneurial mindset to her dad, Wolfgang.