Who is a successful entrepreneur?
A successful entrepreneur isn’t that one who is rich and runs a big business. successful entrepreneurs are not only wealthy, but they make a difference in the lives of their employees, customers and communities. Without doubt, you must have heard of great entrepreneurs like Richard Branson (Virgin), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Aliko Dangote (Dangote), Mike Adenuga (Globacom) to mention but a few.
Besides being wealthy, there’s something these great entrepreneurs have in common and those are the focus of this writing. I want you to see how many of these qualities you can adopt to improve your personality and boost your business.
Here are 15 qualities of highly successful entrepreneurs:
This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. Smart entrepreneurs are always confident in themselves and their ideas. This is how they get people to believe in their ideas, products or services.
Simply put, if you do not have confidence in yourself and what you do, others may find it difficult to believe in you. You need to show that you are capable before they give you their trust.
2. Positive Thinking
Highly successful entrepreneurs are positive thinkers. They never conclude that something will not work out and they give no room for doubt. They first conjure up the result they want in their heart and it happens for them. Remember, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7)
It all starts with a positive attitude, doesn’t it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking should not be allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.
Seeing opportunity in everything is a mindset not a personality trait. Successful people recognize that destructive thought patterns like self-doubt and hesitation prevent them from taking the winning step, so they rather choose to remain positive.
Being positive is what you need because negative thoughts has its own ugly consequences which include (1) creation of doubt and (2) not allowing you make major decisions and take follow-up actions.
You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don’t give up. If you can do that, you’re already half way there!
3. They start before they are ready
Why? Because when we wait for the perfect time, we are waiting for an impossible thing. Nothing is ever perfect. In life, when you act fast, you avert obstacles.
4. Time management
Successful entrepreneurs are good managers of time. For them, every second counts. They do not waste their time on social media, TV or activities that make no contribution to the attainment of their set goals. Instead, they use communication methods to their advantage; it doesn’t zap their valuable time.
It has been noticed that most great entrepreneurs are great starters. They begin their day while most people are still asleep. Since they have the same 24 hours as the rest of the planet, why are they able to achieve more? The answer to this question is simple, they make every second count and the difference is in how we use our time.
Remember that time lost can never be regained, so resolve to start putting your time to profitable use by recognizing the time-wasters in your routines and shedding them away.
5. Achievement Oriented
Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks.
6. Risk taking
Highly successful people in business are risk-takers. Those who are dreamers may never take the calculated risks necessary to be successful entrepreneurs. Now you may want to ask; do you mean dreamers are not carved out for business? And my answer is ‘no’ dreaming is key if you want to do business, but taking the follow-up action is what is most important. Just as faith without work is dead, dreams without action amounts to nothing.
They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve them.
These entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies. They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck.
Being a successful entrepreneur demands a kind of courage. You must be able rise above fear and take the risk necessary to usher you into your success. Actually, the greatest risk in life is not taking risk.
7. Don’t take no for an answer
It has been reported that 90% of startups fail and without complete confidence in an idea and the determination to do whatever it takes to succeed, an entrepreneur won’t make it.
Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be enough. Keep at it one step at a time. If you can’t get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it.
Being determined is one of the major attributes of great entrepreneurs. They never give up and they do not take ‘no’ for an answer. Their response to criticism and rejection isn’t cowering back in defeat. They respond by doubling their effort behind the course to prove defeat wrong. They always bounce back.
You can survive and sure flourish in business if you don’t give up after the first failure. Remember, there is never a smooth way to success. Those who made it in business had their own humble beginnings. They failed and sometimes lost all they had but they didn’t give up; they kept going. Some people never knew how close they were to success before they gave up.
Henry Ford went bankrupt three times but he continued pushing until he attained success. Coca-Cola only made $200 in their first year in business, but they continued and didn’t give.
The greatness waiting tomorrow may be yours if you don’t give up today.
8. Take one step further than everyone else
One thing is common about successful entrepreneurs; they always want to be the leader of a trend in their industry sector. Sometime ago in Nigeria, when every network charged customers per minute, Mike Otedola’s Globacomm was the first to introduce per second billing and this changed the face of telecommunication in Nigeria. Till today, Glo is still highly placed for being the game changer.
They always think ahead. In the world today, the most successful billionaires have the same 24 hours and the same access to information as the rest of the planet. The difference lies in the fact that they set themselves apart by thinking differently from everyone else.
Every great entrepreneur is never comfortable with following trend orchestrated by others, but rather they want to lead that industry sector by making others follow the trends that they have created.
The lesson that can be learnt from this is that in your business, you should always look where others are not looking and see what others do not see. You have to be smart and you need to plan ahead.
9. Find happiness in the success of others
Successful entrepreneurs flourish because they are not only in pursuit of their own gains but are also concerned about how their actions and inactions improve the lives of their employees, customers and communities.
Again, great business teams win because their most talented members are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure that everybody wins. Every truly successful entrepreneur feels a major chunk of their happiness comes from enjoying the success of their employees and their customers.
10. Putting customers first
It is the habit of successful entrepreneurs to put their customers first. Customers’ patronage, to large extent, determines whether a company will be successful or not. No matter how good your product or service is, the growth will be stalled if there are no customers to patronize you.
They never think they have enough customers, and they always want more. Even where there is so much rush of customers, successful entrepreneurs will always find a way to accommodate everyone. This is when you will see them strategize to expand on structure, employee or line of products and services just to keep their customers happy.
One lesson to be learnt from here is that every customer counts, regardless of their worth to you. Someone who does not buy from you today, if treated well, may refer people who can buy from you in the future.
One of your goals in business should be to keep your old customers satisfied while at the same time attracting new ones. More customers mean more sales and more sales mean more money.
One mistake some startups make in business is being choosy about who their customer will be and it affects them then and on the long run.
Though you and I both know that there are some trouble-giving customers that should be done away with and that it is never possible to keep all customers satisfied. Yes, that is true, but you have to try or even pretend that all you care about is only to make everyone happy.
11. Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with a great team
They know their strengths and surround themselves with a team whose complementary strengths make for a balanced workplace.
Successful entrepreneurs work to build a team of complementary experts as quickly as possible, because they know a good team will always beat a great individual. One man can only be one man and he may never achieve more than the capacity of a man, but having a great team amounts to greater achievements. With a great team, results are achieved effortlessly and with the speed of gods.
The type of people you surround yourself with will, to a great extent, rub off on you. Move with people who have similar dream and passion as you and they will help you achieve yours. No wonder the popular saying, ‘show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are.’
12. Constant networking
Highly successful entrepreneurs are always in the habit of networking. They always look forward to forming alliances that will move their businesses forward. This is part of what they do at every wedding, school ceremony and business meeting.
You never know where the next fabulous partnership will be formed. There is never a wrong time to make the right connection.
13. Stable self-worth
They do not allow their self-worth to be affected, no matter the condition. They will always maintain their self-worth even when their bank account is fluctuating.
Many successful entrepreneurs at one time or other, have had their businesses going up and down like an elevator but their confidence and self-worth stay constant.
14. New experiences
Highly effective entrepreneurs are like trees, they always love to branch out. They become uncomfortable if they have stayed in a particular position for too long. They are adventurous and they always love to seek new experiences. If they are not including new line of products and services, they are initiating a move to acquire an already existing company. They are always in the habit of searching for new territories and conquering them.
15. My conclusion
Wow! Congratulations! You have just read over 2000 words and this is how I know you are not a quitter and you always dig it out till the end. This is a trait I have now come to admire so much about you, keep it up. Here are a few more words to wrap it up.
Being great in business may not be such an impossible feat to achieve, but all it requires is Ideas, plans and unrelenting action.
Make these qualities (of highly successful entrepreneurs) an integral part of you. It will not only help you be like them but will also help you surmount their towering accomplishments. Most importantly, be confident in yourself, do not quit and never take your eyes off the ultimate goal.
I promise to respond to every feedback you give about being a successful entrepreneur.
Now go live the life of a successful entrepreneur.
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