It seems that some people are born for the entrepreneurial life, but it's rarely the case that anyone is a complete natural when it comes to making a successful career in business. Even the most innately talented of people can improve, while almost anyone can learn to develop the necessary mindset to make an independent income. Here are six vital character traits to build up in yourself if you want to join the ranks of successful entrepreneurs.
Boost Your Creativity
The essence of entrepreneurship is to seek opportunities that others overlook, and find solutions where others see only problems. This requires a large amount of creativity, which is often assumed to be an inborn talent, but the good news is that anyone can learn to boost their levels of inventiveness and resourcefulness.
Get yourself into the habit of asking 'what if?' whenever you come across a new situation, and don't be afraid of daydreaming when faced with a problem - often, your subconscious mind will find a solution when you're least looking for one. Also, be sure to open yourself up to as many life experiences as you can, as this will broaden your outlook and ensure you don't get stuck in repetitive, closed patterns of thought.
An Open Mind
While your own creativity can be a great source of innovation, never simply dismiss ideas that others present to you. Always be ready to consider something new, even if it goes against your instincts, experience, or even common sense. There's no need to be reckless, but occasionally even the most surprising of ideas can result in success.
Although outright paranoia is unlikely to be helpful toward a successful business venture, a good entrepreneur will be naturally suspicious and unwilling to take anything at face value. This is especially the case when it comes to predictions of failure - if you always believe someone who tells you something can't be done, then it easily becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Learn to trust your own instincts, and while accumulating information is always helpful, it pays to view both data and opinions with a skeptical eye.
The other side of the skepticism coin is that sometimes, even often, failure predictions are correct. An entrepreneur needs to be comfortable with this, and while always working hard to achieve success, needs to accept that without risk little worthwhile will ever be achieved.
A Realistic Humility
An entrepreneur must also know when to call a halt if a project isn't working out as planned. There should be no fear of a bruised ego by accepting that it's time to quit and move on to the next big idea. Always remember that only around one in ten ventures last for the long term, so don't be discouraged by apparent failure - there's always something to learn and to press to your advantage in your next enterprise.
Productivity, Drive, and Ambition
Lastly, few people are blessed with enough genius to overcome a lack of work and effort. However, if you have a hankering to be an entrepreneur then you're already likely to have higher than average levels of ambition and drive. Productivity can become a habit just like anything else, so give your ambition some structure by setting goals and timetables, and trying your hardest to stick to them. Hard work will soon become second nature, especially when it starts to bear fruit.
It's estimated that around 15% of working people are making a successful living as an entrepreneur, but it's clear that this career choice isn't suitable for everyone. However, by developing these six characteristics in yourself, you vastly increase your chances of enjoying the freedoms and satisfactions that running your own profitable business brings.