Building a company from the ground up requires a tremendous amount of confidence, creativity, motivation, and focus. It’s the reason why not everyone can make it as an entrepreneur.
We took a look at the Quora thread “What are some of the habits entrepreneurs have that other people don’t?” and highlighted some of the best answers from those who have firsthand experience.
Here are some of the ways they see the world differently from the average person:
1. They see money as a way to make more money.
When most people come into money, whether it’s by winning the lottery or receiving a bonus, their first impulse is to spend it on something frivolous like a new car. When entrepreneurs receive an influx of money, they find a smart way to invest it in a business opportunity that can yield an even higher return. This self-restraint becomes a habit.
“Well after they have made a fortune, most self-made wealthy people remain comparatively frugal; their lifestyles may be lavish, but they’re almost always spending much less than they earn,” says Oliver Emberton, founder of British software company Silktide.
2. They have an ability to become intensely focused.
“Time and our attention are the only truly finite constraints — incalculably precious and easily squandered. Successful entrepreneurs are absurdly conscious of the fact, and tend to become highly organised, intolerant of inefficiency and laser focused,” Emberton says.
That intense focus is often given as the reason why there are plenty of anecdotes about legendary entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk occasionally being difficult to work with.
3. They manage to be positive realists.
“To make smart gambles — and that’s what becoming rich entails — you need an honest appreciation of odds that few possess,” Emberton says. Successful entrepreneurs tend not to be too pessimistic or too optimistic.
They’re able to understand that for a large number of reasons their venture can collapse entirely and can adequately prepare, but they also have enough idealism to take big risks in the first place.
4. They see obstacles as opportunities.
Average people see difficulty as a chance to give up, says San Francisco-based entrepreneur Andrei Kolodovski, but entrepreneurs see unexpected challenges as a way to make their companies even stronger.
Thomas Edison perfectly illustrated this when he used the accidental destruction of his production plant in 1914 as a way to rebuild his business in a streamlined way and get his team to work harder and more efficiently. Within a year, his company had not only recovered, but was bringing in more revenue than ever before.
5. They focus on opportunity cost.
Entrepreneurs make every decision by comparing options and seeing which one will yield the most value.
“Whatever they do, they make sure the value created is larger than the cost of resources used,” Kolodovski says. “Regular people tend to focus on expenses. Remember those driving around parking lots for 30 minutes just to save five minutes of walking?”
6. They think of ideas beyond their capabilities.
True entrepreneurs are always thinking about growth opportunities, Kolodovski says.
Rather than acting practically and working within their comfort zones, they push themselves into situations that will require them to stretch their skills and force them to recruit more talent to turn their aspirations into reality.
7. They have vision.
Entrepreneurs are driven by the idea that they have the solution to a certain problem, and that they need to lead the charge to implement it. And they do it without fear of being mocked or rejected for trying things differently.
“Entrepreneurs see something that needs to get done… a product that must be offered… a problem that must be solved… and they feel so deeply about these that they can face the opposition when starting a business,” says Finnish entrepreneur Gerard Danford.
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