Top 5 Critical Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur – Part 2
The journey of becoming an entrepreneur is an incredibly difficult yet fulfilling one. The process of starting a business from scratch and growing it until it eventually takes on a life of its own requires a wide range of skills that are tested at every turn. Due to the wide range of skills necessary, it’s common to wonder what types of people are cut out for entrepreneurship. In our last blog, we identified five characteristics associated with successful entrepreneurs and discussed three of them: (1) having a strong work ethic, (2) possessing excellent social skills, and (3) the importance of empathy. In the final installment of this two-part series, we will focus on the last two characteristics that an entrepreneur should possess to be successful.
4. Passion and dedication
Passion is the dedication to making your business plan work no matter how hard the road may be. It’s a driving force that helps you when the going gets tough. As an aspiring entrepreneur, you should be passionate about your ideas and vision, even if pursuing them robs you emotionally, mentally, and physically. After all, the reality is that being an entrepreneur is tough. Seventy-five percent of all start-ups fail for a variety of different reasons, and you have to go into it “eyes wide open” with grit, determination, and a strong sense of passion to survive the journey. The more passionate the entrepreneur, the more likely they are to succeed.
How does passion help an entrepreneur grow? Passion is a fundamental characteristic that makes you overcome the fear of failure. I’m sure you’ve encountered people loaded with fantastic business ideas. However, they don’t act on them as the fear of failure overpowers the thrill of success. Passion helps you stay optimistic and deal with obstacles with zeal and focus on producing successful results.
Passion also helps you gain the attention of investors and makes them believe in you. Always remember that people who believe, create. Passion is a key predictor of entrepreneurs’ creativity, persistence, and venture performance. You might have a great idea, but it won’t work out for you if you don’t believe in it completely. Investors are looking for entrepreneurs who are emotionally invested in the success of their vision.
Always embark on a business plan that gives you joy and fulfillment. Entrepreneurial passion allows you to weather the storms and never get discouraged from pursuing your goals. Remember, perseverance is key to entrepreneurship, and passion is a massive driving force behind it.
Entrepreneurs have to deal with different types of risks: competitive risks, credibility risks, financial risks, market risks, technology risks, and more. The very thought of leaving a full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship invites numerous risks. The following graphic is a good reminder of all the challenges that small businesses encounter.
Source: NFIB 2021
However, entrepreneurs are risk-takers and embrace uncertainty as a challenge. Risk-taking is a common characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. After all, it is a substantial learning experience that can propel business growth. Indeed, not every experiment works as expected, but the ones that do show how fruitful risk-taking can be. Most business owners love to experiment and come up with out-of-the-box solutions to customer problems.
Entrepreneurs love taking risks to keep themselves from the ‘what-ifs.’ In other words, they don’t want to have any regrets. Risk-taking gives them a competitive advantage and allows them to dominate the market. Most importantly, it helps entrepreneurs grow in confidence and develop a mindset to take calculated risks. They no longer fear the unknown and always find the right balance when taking risks.
Risk-taking won’t always bring you the result you expected. So, it would help if you always took calculated risks by getting your business partners and analysts on board. These risks shouldn’t compromise the financial safety of your company. So, figure out the worst-case scenarios and how you will pull your company out of them if things don’t turn out as expected.
As we indicated in our previous blog post, many other essential characteristics determine entrepreneurial success. Still, these skills and behaviors will help you build a solid foundation as an entrepreneur to continue building the company you envision.
We hope that you’ve found this article valuable for understanding the critical characteristics of a successful entrepreneur. If you are interested in learning more, please follow us on LinkedIn to get alerted of new articles as we write them or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Dr. Cristina Rosario DiPietropolo is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Leader Essentials Group, with extensive experience across multiple industries and highly skilled in the areas of strategic planning, organizational behavior, human resource management, change management, leadership, and digital marketing. Over ten years of teaching experience as a university professor of management, with a special focus on leadership in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and international management.
_________________________________________________________________________ Blank, S. (2013). Why the lean start-up changes everything. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2013/05/why-the-lean-start-up-changes-everything 06/14/21.  Mop, E., Cardon, M., & Khapova, S. N. (2020). When entrepreneurial passion backfires. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from When Entrepreneurial Passion Backfires (hbr.org) 07/03/2021.