How to Become a Successful Entrepreneur
All entrepreneurs hope to achieve great success with their companies. Besides a viable business idea, an entrepreneur should possess certain skills and characteristics to turn their ideas into reality.
Entrepreneurs should ask themselves if they have what it takes to succeed and thrive, as well as how they can prepare for the challenges ahead. Here are some characteristics and qualities successful entrepreneurs have in common.
Attuned to opportunities and adaptability
Successful entrepreneurs can focus on the task at hand while continuously seeking new business and growth opportunities. They are curious, ask hard questions, challenge the status quo and explore new avenues. They are also passionate about learning from other experts to acquire new knowledge. Successful entrepreneurs are adept at evaluating situations and adapting to keep moving their businesses forward even in the face of unexpected changes.
As new opportunities arise, entrepreneurs must do market research and run tests to determine whether there is a market for their product or service. Smart entrepreneurs do their homework. They test novel business models through business experimentation and emphasise execution and “getting out of the building” to evaluate ideas with real customers.
Decisiveness and confidence
Entrepreneurs are responsible for every aspect of their business from funding and strategy to resource allocation. Successful entrepreneurs are decisive and have the confidence to make difficult decisions and see them through. If the outcome turns out to be less desirable, they take corrective action.
Risk tolerance and comfort with failure
A new business venture invariably entails unknowns. Entrepreneurs will need to step out of their comfort zones to truly succeed. Experienced entrepreneurs know that success only comes when taking a leap of faith. Effective entrepreneurs are calculated risk takers who know how to manage risk. They are comfortable with setbacks and allow the prospect of success to drive them forward.
Savvy entrepreneurs remain steadfast despite the roadblocks they face. They are willing to learn from mistakes, ask questions and persist until they achieve their goals. An entrepreneur must possess a fighting spirit and the confidence necessary to achieve professional success.
Many entrepreneurs focus on seizing short-term opportunities and rewards without thinking about a long-term strategy. The entrepreneurial process does not end after the early stages of launching a venture. In fact, it is harder to grow a sustainable and substantial business. Entrepreneurship is a long-term undertaking and entrepreneurs must focus on the process from start to end to achieve long-term success.
Entrepreneurs should periodically put their strategies to the test and ask themselves: Do I have the right strategy? Can I execute the strategy? Can the strategy generate sufficient profits and growth? Is the strategy sustainable? Are my goals for growth too conservative or too aggressive? Do I have the right resources and organisational infrastructure to drive long-term success? Adjusting their course as they go will ensure that they are on track for success.
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Bocken, Nancy, and Snihur, Yuliya. “Lean Startup and the Business Model: Experimenting for Novelty and Impact”. Long Range Planning, 53, 4 (August 2020). Accessed 18 August 2022, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024630119303887
Haddad, Lahcen. (2018, February 15). “Seeing Failure as an Opportunity to Learn From (And Leapfrog Into Success)”. Entrepreneur. Published 15 February 2018, https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/308943
Miller, Kelsey. “10 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs”. Harvard Business School Online. Published 7 Jul 2020, https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/characteristics-of-successful-entrepreneurs