There are certain defining traits successful business leaders possess. Any venture capitalist will tell you that investing in a team is often more important than the idea itself. VCs see qualities in founders that make them believe their money will be in good hands.
Do you have what it takes to convince the world you’re an entrepreneur? We’ve compiled a list of key personality traits from across the web. Check out each of the following statements and record your number of Yes/No responses. With each “yes,” your chances of becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin increase.
If you don’t do well, we’re not going to dash your dreams and tell you there’s no hope. But you may want to do some self-reflecting and ask yourself if you’re really that miserable at your day job.
Get out of the 'If you build it, they will come' mentality. If your idea is a solution looking for a problem, you should probably go back to the drawing board.
Angel investor and startup mentor Martin Zwilling writes, 'The right approach is to start by solving a problem causing real pain to a large number of customers willing to pay real money for a solution. Develop the solution with your technology, and develop a strategy to maximise your impact in the marketplace.'
According to Zwilling, the ability to envision a company in the future and be a visionary leader is a must-have entrepreneur characteristic.
'What makes most success stories in business is not totally reinventing the wheel, but leading the charge to make the current wheel better,' he says.
Michael Arrington of TechCrunch writes that if you have not put it all on the line, including nearly ruining your marriage, you're not really a risk taker, and you're certainly not an entrepreneur.
Zwilling agrees: 'To really enjoy the ride in the world of entrepreneurship, you need to be able to sustain yourself outside of your comfort zone and have a sense of adventure.'
No matter how awesome your product is, everyone will not like or understand it.
Still, it's important to seek outside opinions and not take feedback personally. Rejection is a main component of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurs should be eager and motivated. They also need to remember that good things come to those who wait.
Results usually don't come immediately. Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone has said, 'Timing, perseverance, and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success.'
Founders should stick to what they're good at and hire help for everything else. Even still, it's inevitable that the role of an entrepreneur is broad. You need to be able to juggle a lot of balls in the air.
Entrepreneurs needn't be experts at everything, just good enough to get by. Be flexible and let go of your pride. Ask for help when you need it.
If you're not a micro-manager, that's a good thing. According to a study by the Guardian, the single most important trait of a small business owner is collaboration.
Entrepreneurs need to be able to delegate, motivate, and build relationships.
Are you always asking questions and scouring the internet?
Great leaders always want to learn and find ways to improve. The Guardian's study listed curiosity as another leading entrepreneurial trait.
The Guardian's study showed that subjects who planned things like cash flow and leader succession in advance held an advantage over more short-sighted colleagues.
Entrepreneurship is not about immediate rewards, so you have to be dedicated to achieving future success.
Are you tweeting, checking in and blogging? If so, you have a better chance at doing well in business.
By staying up-to-date and managing conversations with users, you'll have a leg up on competition.
Ideas are great, but you can't run a business without executing. The Guardian study showed that top performers were motivated to be better than their peers.
People who worked hard, even during trying times, made the best small business leaders.
And you're not afraid to ask for help. Entrepreneurs who stick to what they know do best.
Of course anytime you start a company you're going to have to multitask. But if you know where your strengths lie and hire people to handle the rest, you'll be more productive.
When you're running a company, there will inevitably be problems. Are you the type of person that gets intimidated by grey issues, or do you run at them full-force? Entrepreneurs can't let hard decisions stump them. They need to find ways to work around seemingly impossible problems.
Having the intuition to solve problems helps entrepreneurs when they're creating business ideas, and when they're running companies.
In other words, you're frugal. People who have a tendency to blow money should not try to start companies. Until they hit it big, startups need to count pennies and spend only on necessities.
If you enjoy the finer things in life and aren't willing to feast on microwavable noodles, maybe you should think again before trying your hand at entrepreneurship.
There's a famous saying, 'Entrepreneurship is about living a few years of your life like most won't, so that you can live the rest of your life like most can't.'
People sell themselves everyday, but are you good at it? If so, then you may be cut out for entrepreneurship. Remember, ABS: Always Be Selling.
This also ties into being obsessed with the product. You need to create a brand, and that comes with selling your product to anyone who will listen, and making them believe that it has as much promise as you think it does.
Generating buzz for a company has a lot to do with who you know. Having friends in your city's entrepreneurship scene or at media outlets will make your job as a business owner a lot easier.
It also makes hiring and retaining great people an easier task.
A lot of entrepreneurship is about trusting your gut. It's about making decisions not everyone agrees with and believing in your vision for the company.
People who like to be in control and don't need other people to hold their hands will do best under the pressure of a startup.
Starting a company involves a lot of risk. The rest of the world will doubt your efforts, so you at least need to be behind your idea 100%, rain or shine.
This means having an unusual amount of confidence in your abilities and your concept. As a leader, you need to ooze confidence to convince other people that you're worth getting behind.
The world of entrepreneurship is not all rainbows and butterflies. A founder needs to question everything, but not let it inhibit their ability to execute.
Be sceptical, but have the confidence to find solutions.
Not every entrepreneur can be Mark Zuckerberg or Sergey Brin. Lightning doesn't often strike twice.
While some entrepreneurs are successful enough to retire early, you need to be in it for the experience, the challenge, and the dream. Otherwise you simply won't care enough and it will show.
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