Are you an aspiring entrepreneur? Or are you wondering how to get started on the road to being your own boss?
Anyone can become an entrepreneur, but the right mindset definitely makes the journey much easier. Here are five of many important qualities that any entrepreneur should have.
If you had to pick only one trait to ever learn in a lifetime, some would say adaptability is the most important. With great adaptability, one can easily navigate changing worlds, move to different settings, or shift their focus to a completely different field.
Adaptability is especially important for entrepreneurs, especially in modern times. New innovations are accelerating our modern world, where just a decade or two ago, we did not have the everyday items we have today. New technologies are springing up each day and even just in the next five years, we can expect to look at commodities such as driverless cars and home robots.
The changing world means that the jobs and services required today may not necessarily still be around in the next few decades. However, an adaptable entrepreneur does not have to suffer and stick only to what they are familiar with. Many skills today can be learned on the job if one is adaptable – and able to accept that no business today is permanent.
Willingness to Learn
This attribute complements adaptability, but is separate in that you can be adaptable, but not willing to learn – such as a business owner who changes their field of specialization to what is currently most popular, but being unwilling to actually learn the ropes of the new job scope.
Well, in today’s world, you probably do not need to know the ins and outs of everything, when it is usually much more effective to delegate work to others instead of doing everything yourself. You can just as easily hire people to perform a specialized job for you, but it is always best to have some knowledge of what they are doing, especially if you are just starting out on the road to entrepreneurship.
Early entrepreneurs may not have much capital to begin with, so it is usually good to learn on the job and get familiar with what needs to be done, just in case you are unable to hire someone to work with every aspect of your business.
For example, you can always get someone to write a business report for you. However, to check that they have done a good job, you should also read up on the recommended content for a business report and any regulations that it should adhere to, such as structure or presentation. Internalizing knowledge such as this can help you to be more discerning with your company, whether you are doing the task yourself or reviewing work that someone else has done.
As an entrepreneur, you will undoubtedly have to interact with other people, such as your clients and collaborators. You may also have to give presentations or pitches describing what you have to bring to the table. This is where you get to show off your interpersonal skills, including your ability to communicate effectively, make eye contact and engage your audience to listen to what you have to say.
An important thing to note is that this does not mean introverts are disadvantaged when it comes to the world of entrepreneurship. It is true that some people have natural interpersonal skills, and interacting with others does not come easily to a number of people, who may not necessarily be introverts. However, interpersonal skills can always be cultivated through practice. If interacting with others sounds like a daunting hurdle you may have to cross, the best thing to do is to start doing it! The more you get used to interpersonal interaction, the more natural it becomes and the more confidence you will have, even if it is still not your cup of tea.
You can try starting with small social gatherings, especially with people you are more familiar with. As you build up more confidence, you can gradually progress to larger groups of people until you feel that you can communicate naturally and effectively to them.
As you push your business in the direction you want it to go, it is important to have a good plan for your company’s future. If you have not already thought about it, where do you see your company in five years? Or in ten years? Most importantly, how do you plan to reach those goals within your desired timeframe?
The key to securing a good plan for your business is not to be too ambitious when planning for the future. Set realistic goals that you can think of ways to reach. If you have a goal but reaching it seems near impossible, you can probably afford to drop the bar a little further.
However, you also do not want to set too low a goal. Try to aim for the middle – somewhere that is a challenge to reach, yet not too daunting or impossible. If you have a huge end goal, it may help to set milestones along the way so that you can track your progress and celebrate minor victories which can boost your team’s morale.
Planning ahead helps you to steer your business along the way you choose to get there. If you are working with other people, having a plan also helps to motivate them towards your goal, rather than just showing up to work for work’s sake.
Nobody is perfect, and entrepreneurs are no exception. If you feel that your business model is failing, you are definitely not the only one.
Some people may feel the need to pile up more resources on their project in a last-ditch attempt to get it back off the ground. However, don’t get into this pitfall – if your project is clearly not working, it is probably safer and costs you less if you leave it, rather than try to revive it.
Even large businesses sometimes make mistakes when they introduce new schemes or try to change things around. While it can be painful to leave something in failure, it is up to you to see it as a mistake – or a learning experience. You could revisit the project and try to determine why it did not work out as planned, and perhaps improve on it for the future.
It may be tough, but the important thing is to accept the fact that sometimes a business does not work out, and it may be time to learn from the mistake and try something different.
While this list is definitely not exhaustive of all the qualities an entrepreneur should have, it can be a stepping stone for a starting entrepreneur.
Do you think you possess these traits? What are some instances in which you displayed these qualities? Which do you think you could work on to improve even further?