From start-ups to solopreneurs, entrepreneurship is having a moment.
As the digital world evolves and a pandemic shakes up traditional jobs, becoming an entrepreneur seems like a desirable option. In fact, 27% more people wanted to start their own business in 2020 compared to the year before due to dissatisfaction with their current work.
But the truth is that not everyone has what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
If you’re thinking of quitting the corporate world and starting your own business, these are the characteristics you must have.
You’re a Risk Taker
Starting a business is a risk, so in order to be a successful entrepreneur, you must be comfortable with the unknown.
This requires staying open to surprises, as well as failures. And when things don’t go according to plan, you’re able to forge a new path, rather than sticking to the one already walked on by others.
However, this doesn’t mean that, as an entrepreneur, you should take every risk you face. Instead, you should have the discernment to judge which risks are worthwhile and which to avoid.
You Know Your Strengths
To be a successful business owner, you must know your strengths. Then, you can use those strengths to hone your skills and already-existing talents.
Entrepreneurs know that they can’t be everything to everyone. But they have a clear understanding of what their customer needs and why they’re the right person to provide it.
This means matching your skillset and knowledge to the entrepreneurial opportunity you’re chasing.
Different skills are needed for different types of businesses. For example, opening an insurance agency calls for sales experience, administrative know-how, and technical skills.
You’re Disciplined and Committed
Successful companies need a strong, reliable leader. And to exemplify that, you must be able to stay committed and self-disciplined, even when business isn’t going well.
Many businesses can take years to turn a profit. During that time, you must be so motivated that you refuse to give up. You can manage and drive yourself, even if the finish line seems far.
If you decide to have a team or partners working with you, these qualities will be infectious. And the same can be said for lacking discipline and commitment; if you can’t work hard and stay optimistic, others won’t either.
You’re a Natural Networker
Successful entrepreneurs tend to thrive in social settings, enjoying networking and bouncing ideas off of others.
And being good at networking isn’t just fun for entrepreneurs—it’s essential. Entrepreneurs with strong people skills are more likely to attract clients and business partners, gain the trust of investors, and persuade people to believe in their vision. And they’ll be a natural at building a team of employees if needed.
As an entrepreneur, you must be able to connect with people in a way that always feels authentic, not sleazy.
Entrepreneurs and business owners must be flexible and adaptable.
Business, customer needs, and the economy are always changing. Those who can change and evolve with them are more likely to come out on top.
If you’re fearless in the face of change, and you’re always curious about new solutions and ideas, you might have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
To start a business, you should always have a vision for the future. This means dreaming big, and then breaking that dream into bite-sized goals.
And for entrepreneurs, being goal-oriented is something that often comes naturally. Successful entrepreneurs are the type of people who always pushed themselves to do well in class or get elected in their school’s government.
And in their first work experiences, they likely tried their best to increase sales and maybe even get a raise.
The same attitude is necessary in starting a business. And even when that business succeeds, new goals should always be set to continue scaling and growing.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the weak minded. This doesn’t mean you must be naturally confident or born with high self-esteem. But one way or another, you must develop the confidence and thick skin needed to be a successful entrepreneur.
Confidence is important when making decisions that could make or break your business. If you lack confidence in yourself, you may question your judgment and freeze when stressed.
And after making a bad decision, you’ll need enough confidence to bounce back, refusing to be crushed by mistakes or failure.
You Have Genuine Passion
Passion is often talked about as if it’s an elusive feeling or quality most people lack. But if you have what it takes to thrive as an entrepreneur, you likely have an innate understanding of passion.
Passion is at the heart of your motivation, commitment, and self-discipline. Without passion, it’ll be hard to stay focused on your goals.
And passion can’t be manufactured. You can’t force yourself to be passionate about a business endeavor. And if you have little passion for entrepreneurship, it might mean that you’re not yet ready to start a business.
While many entrepreneurs have their own ways of defining passion, one way to think of it is as the reason why you want to pursue entrepreneurship. There should be a solid motivator behind your interest, not just money or recognition.
Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Successful Entrepreneur?
Though entrepreneurship is often glamorized, not everyone has what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
If you have a passion for trying new things, setting goals, and networking with other like-minded people, you may be an entrepreneur in the making. And if you’re lacking some of the qualities needed to thrive as an entrepreneur, that might just mean you need more time to cultivate the right skills and strengths before starting your own business.
For more advice on starting a business and earning your own money, read our latest business articles!