Starting your own business can provide you with unique opportunities in life, but it can also provide many headaches. A privately owned business can give you the ability to make your own schedule and take days off when you don’t feel like working -it can also drive you mad with inconsistency of income or workload. A very specific personality is required to be an entrepreneur; a personality rich in things like unwavering self-confidence, a burning passion to prove yourself, and a bitter distaste for the mundane finality of a typical “nine-to-five” job. In short, you must be multi-talented and driven to succeed (as can be seen in the image at left).
According to Greg Watson’s blog, DNA of an Entrepreneur, there are many characteristics that comprise the “genetic make up” of an entrepreneur, “one characteristic… is that of seeing or identifying an opportunity.” Without the ability to actively see opportunity in the marketplace, there is little hope of becoming successful in your own business.
There are many people who wonder and ask themselves “do I have what it takes?” Most successful entrepreneurs don’t have to ask themselves this question; they are simply ingrained with the drive to make sure they have what it takes. They usually spend their time questioning things like whether or not they should undertake a venture -if it will be worth the risk and the time investment they put into it.
Once you as an entrepreneur make a decision however, there’s no turning back. You cannot brood on negativity. You must always be confident and optimistic –and at times be overly optimistic. You must “train your mind” turn on your “success thinking” as Romanus Wolter says in his article Proof Positive. This internal locus of control and ability to filter through negativity is the difference between success and failure.
Patience is another key attribute of any successful entrepreneur. You need to be able to fight past problems, barriers and failure. You must be like Thomas Edison (right) when he said; “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
Smart entrepreneurs will always surround themselves with people who know more than they do about specific topics. It is much more efficient to organize teams of specialists than it is to try and master every nuance of your business. Nancy Michaels of BusinessWeek wrote that many small businesses are held back because “they are not hiring people who are smarter than they are in certain areas and not surrounding themselves with a good team… Nobody can do it alone.”
This does not preclude, however, the necessity for you to have a working knowledge and understanding of every aspect of your company. Nothing is more important than for you to be completely aware of why and how everything is taking place. According to Colette Georgii, a successful entrepreneur “knows enough about accounting to do his own accounting or supervise an accountant he has hired… because he must be able to look at the work of his accountant and know that his accountant is doing the job right and the very best job possible for his company.” In most cases, it is simply more expedient to have specialists accomplishing specific tasks, allowing you to focus your efforts on the larger picture.
When you take these things into account and you deem yourself capable and desiring of such a life, there are few things more rewarding than the sense of accomplishment afforded to those who push their way through all adversity and create a successful business. It takes hard work and dedication, but most importantly a burning desire for success and a willingness to go the extra mile to accomplish your dreams.