At one time, entrepreneurship was looked upon as more of a life choice than a career path. As the people of America and all over the world look for ways to become successful while dealing with unemployment, a sinking economy and many other issues, entrepreneurship has become a household word, even mentioned in many political debates and speeches. Although President Barack Obama promised to help entrepreneurs in his State of the Union Address for 2012, his administration’s policy’s have left Americans looking for jobs, and made things even more difficult for struggling small businesses. ObamaCare alone could cause the demise of many of those businesses who simply cannot afford to meet the demands. In the Vice Presidential debate, Paul Ryan pointed out, “There aren’t enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending.” With the economy slipping, and entrepreneurship on the rise, what does it take to be a success? Here are some surprising characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
Successful Entrepreneurs are Grounded
Although most people see successful entrepreneurs as being a bit eccentric and strange, they are actually very grounded people. Often, the successful entrepreneur will quickly begin to make more money than he or she is used to, and yet they continue to be down to earth, so to speak. Although most people would completely change if they were suddenly to inherit a large sum of money, the successful entrepreneur is more likely to remain themselves. Perhaps it is because they have to work for everything they have? Perhaps they simply remember where they came from. Or it could be the knowledge that great businesses can fall just as quickly as they rise. The successful entrepreneur is grounded enough to realize that he or she must continue to work hard to ensure the success of his or her enterprise.
Successful Entrepreneurs are Very Self-Disciplined
Many times we may think that entrepreneurship would be the fairytale career path. “You get to work for yourself, set your own hours..you can even lounge around in your pajamas all day if you want to. How is that hard work?” many may ask. It would seem that working for yourself would require little self-discipline. Unless one has actually walked a mile in an entrepreneur’s shoes, so to speak, he or she cannot understand just how much self- discipline is needed to become a success.
While working for yourself, especially from home may sound easy to many people, it is actually much more difficult to be successful at it. When working for someone else, you have rules that you must follow or be fired. If you have an “off” day, you can often cover it, or have someone cover for you. Working for yourself, there is no one to “force” you to work when you just don’t feel like it. Your schedule is yours. No one knows if you don’t start working at a certain time every day…no one but you. And your success directly depends on your ability to consistently work, no matter how bad you feel.
Family and friends can also inadvertently cause that self-discipline to be even more needed. Because you work for yourself, they may not understand why you don’t have time to pick up the dry cleaning, get the groceries, or just “spend time with them.” Being able to set your own schedule can be both rewarding and detrimental to your success. One one hand, you can take off to attend that very important function for your child..on the other, you may be expected or tempted to take off for everything. Only an extremely self-disciplined person can find the balance which leads to success.
The Successful Entrepreneur is a “Jack of All Trades”
Because of the success that an entrepreneur may have, it could seem to most that they are the Master of their field. One may think that a successful entrepreneur would be focused solely on their area of expertise; Steve Jobs…on computers, Dave Thomas and Truett Cathy…on food, or an owner of a Writing and Web Content providing service…on writing. But entrepreneurs start out on their own, often with little money. They cannot afford to hire others to do the work for them. Truett Cathy not only had to know how to cook Chic Fil A sandwiches, he and his brother also had to help with the construction of some of their first locations. The Writing and Web Content provider would also need to know how to market themselves, typing skills, networking skills, and much more.
The successful entrepreneur can do usually do any job that is needed in their company or business, and all too often, he or she will do them all for the first few months or even years. This is a big contribution to the success of the business. Not having to hire anyone else, but being to handle all of the work yourself can cut costs tremendously. Knowing how to market oneself can save in advertising costs, as can knowing how to network. The successful entrepreneur is not just focused on one task, but on the most efficient way to run the entire business.
Successful Entrepreneurs Revel in Being Different
Unlike many business men and women, the successful entrepreneur does not need to “fit in.” One of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, Steve Jobs, brought a new slogan with him when he took over as the CEO of Apple Inc in 1997. “Think Different” was his motto. A successful entrepreneur must be able to think for himself, and to dedicate his time and energy into the business that he hopes to build. He will not follow the crowd or conform to the “rules” of society. He will think, act, feel, and respond differently than many people expect, and his decisions will reflect that difference. If you continue to do the same thing you have always done, you will continue to get the same things you have always gotten. And if you follow the same path as everyone else, you will end up at the same place. Be different. Blaze your own path and let others follow you!