Everyone knows it takes a special person to make a successful entrepreneur. But special in what ways?
A big idea, a lot of hard work, a little luck, some good timing. It could all add up to a successful business. But what traits make up the entrepreneur at the heart of it? It depends on who you ask. Here are six traits that entrepreneurs and experts believe are the key strengths of a great entrepreneur.
No less an authority than Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban puts salesmanship at the top of his must-have list of traits for successful entrepreneurs. The ability to convince others is an obvious requirement when you consider the diverse groups an entrepreneur will need to sell on the value of a big idea.
Selling family should come first, according to Inc. Next will come investors, potential partners, suppliers, employees and customers. Some of this selling will be ongoing for the life of your business and Cuban warns against believing otherwise.
Successful entrepreneurs demonstrate flexibility in any number of ways. A willingness to collaborate, for example, shows an ability to accept the ideas of other team members. Pivoting is another way to exhibit flexibility.
By any other name—curiosity, ingenuity, imagination or vision—creativity is key to the success of an entrepreneur. Just ask Simon Sinek, who believes that, ultimately, entrepreneurs are problem solvers.
Business consultant Ande Aditya, a, has creativity at the very top of his entrepreneurial attributes list. He believes the more you use your creativity—specifically to make useful connections—the more creative and productive you will become.
Both Monster and Indeed top their lists of entrepreneurial personality traits with self-motivation, and it’s hard to argue with that placement. The ability to jump into the fray and remain there day after day without prodding from another person is what we think of when we picture an entrepreneurial spirit.
Whether you call it persistence, determination or doggedness, successful entrepreneurs push forward in spite of obstacles and setbacks. To paraphrase Theodore Roosevelt, nothing is worth doing unless it comes with difficulties.
What necessity is to the inventor, passion must be to the entrepreneur, and it should be on every list of entrepreneurial attributes. If you’re not passionate about your idea, how can you envision it solving a problem, or sell it to an investor? How can you pivot on a dime without losing your focus? Without passion, how could you motivate yourself over the long haul?
According to a psychological study of entrepreneurship within organizations, passion isn’t simply another personality trait. It’s the fuel that powers all of the others. The same is true for individuals. Passion fuels creativity, tenacity, and salesmanship. Show me a successful entrepreneur and I’ll show you a person with a passion for business.