An entrepreneur organizes and manages an enterprise such as a business, normally taking on a large amount of risk in the process. In essence, an entrepreneur creates a company or other type of organization that directly employs other people and organizes them toward the achievement of a common goal.
Since there is so much risk in becoming an entrepreneur, there are key traits and habits that are common among entrepreneurs. Cultivate these habits for success in your enterprise.
A Strong Work Ethic
It can also be referred to as grit, perseverance or conviction, but a strong work ethic is the number one habit that every entrepreneur needs – and that every successful entrepreneur already has.
While there are successful businesses that have been built to reduce an entrepreneur's work time, any business that a person starts is likely to require long hours on the front end. Only after the entrepreneur has invested sweat equity in a business is it possible to reduce work time. It takes a focused and dedicated work ethic to make any entrepreneurial venture possible.
Every successful entrepreneur is constantly seeking opportunities to expand his skill set. No matter what your background is, you will need to employ every skill imaginable to make your company successful.
As an entrepreneur, you must be a salesperson, an operational expert, an effective manager, a product manager, a financial analyst – and maybe even an engineer.
Work towards consistent self-improvement in physical, spiritual, mental, social and emotional areas. Practicing new skills in each of these areas and attempting to implement them in the real world can help you achieve success in your business.
Setting Realistic but Challenging Goals
When you are starting a business, there will inevitably be a multitude of things to improve upon or fix. While it's important to try to improve or fix each one of these flaws, in an attempt to strengthen the business and to instigate your self-improvement, it's impossible to focus on every possible area.
This lack of focus will result in a failed business. To mitigate this potential for failure, cultivate a habit of setting consistent and realistic goals. The goals should be of the highest priority. Limit your goals to the key drivers of the business. Follow the SMART acronym to set your goals; the goals you set as an entrepreneur should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and trackable.
Understand the Responsibility: Control Your Emotions
Steven R. Covey outlines this habit in his book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People." However, Covey doesn't mean that you need to cultivate a habit of responsibility (which entrepreneurs do), but that you control your ability to respond in all situations.
The path to entrepreneurship is an up-and-down roller-coaster ride, and it is emotionally draining. It's easy to let your emotions control you, rather than the other way around. Due to this fact, it's important to control all of your emotional responses to stressful situations.
Focus on Adding Value
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to have an ultimate focus on adding value. It doesn't matter if the company that you are starting manufactures a product or provides a service. It doesn't matter if it's a business-to-business company or a business-to-consumer company. The bottom line is that your company has to add value to its clients or customers.
While this is habit number five, it might be closer to habit number one in terms of importance. Gone are the days where an entrepreneur can make a gimmicky business that doesn't add any value but still manages to earn a lot of money.