In today’s business world, being an entrepreneur is like being a rock star. Many try, but only a few succeed. Some people believe that being an entrepreneur is about being in the right place at the right time while other view entrepreneurship as the result hard work combined with a diehard dedication for success. To be completely honest, both answers are pretty close to the truth. Good entrepreneurs know the value of hard work but they also rely on occasional strokes of luck. However, exceptional entrepreneurs increase their chances of good fortune by being constantly on the lookout for new opportunities. Regardless of what people believe, there are the traits which, put together, give rise to the entrepreneurial mindset.
They know when to quit their day jobs
The transition from employee to entrepreneur is definitely not an easy one. You have to take in account the fact that once you quit your day job, financial stability in no longer a given. In addition, what happens if your dream business proves to be a crushing failure? How will you manage to pay the bills and put food on the table? Truth be told, we have to face the facts and admit that not every entrepreneurial endeavor is crowned with success.
Quitting your day job to become an entrepreneur must be a meticulously planned decision. First and foremost, you must set aside some money for rainy days. That way, you won’t have to worry about bills and other expenses, while your business is still in the making. Another important aspect is to not let yourself be guided by gut feelings and momentary impulses. Keep in mind that most unexperienced entrepreneurs fail because they’re overly optimistic. This leads to unrealistic expectations which can easily turn into disappointing failures.
Bottom line, if you’re on to something big, don’t rush to your boss’s office with a resignation letter in your hand. Instead, spend some time thinking and planning.
For them, preparation is everything
As mentioned earlier, preparation in the key to success, in every entrepreneurial endeavor. A rigorous business plan can significantly improve your chances of prosperity. Some of the greatest business ventures started from a simple thought or vision which was then expanded into a detailed plan.
A solid business plan gives meaning and direction to your dreams by transforming them into reality. In addition, it clears away the fog, making your idea more ‘visible’ and also easier to comprehend. From there, you can start thinking about ways to turn your idea into a buyable service or product.
Slowly but surely, as your business takes shape (on paper), you will feel increasingly motivated to continue. Soon enough, you can start thinking about funding and maybe how to attract other investors.
Always keep in mind that behind every successful business is an entrepreneur who didn’t underestimate the importance of planning.
They constantly keep an eye on the competition
No matter how great or original your business idea might be, there’s always the chance that someone else is already providing the same service as you do. If not, be sure that others will soon come up with similar (if not identical) services, once they get a glimpse of your success.
In war and business, it always pays to be prepared. Based on how others are running their business, you can easily make informed decisions that can ensure your own business’s future.
Keeping an eye on the competition is just as important as having a solid plan. In fact, part of making a good business plan is researching your market, customers and competition. This way, not only that you’ll get a clear understanding of your potential client’s needs, but you’ll also find out who else is providing similar products or services.
Good entrepreneurs are also good researchers. The more you know about your competition and market, the longer your business will survive. Based on what you know about your competition, you can then implement some changes that will allow your business to survive and grow. In short, it’s all about having a competitive edge over ‘rival’ companies.
They are incurable optimists
For decades, there has been a constant debate around the issue of how optimism can influence our daily lives. Some experts believe that optimism leads to unrealistic expectations while others state that having an optimistic perspective is of paramount importance to every successful entrepreneur.
Leaving aside this never ending debate, if we take a closer look at those around us, we’ll see that optimists always manage to exceed expectations by delivering exactly what they’ve promised and more. Somehow they adapt to reality in a truly harmonious way, changing their mindset on a regular basis so that it fits perfectly with the new trends.
Optimists have an innate tendency to focus on the bright side of things, while ignoring the least pleasant aspects of everyday life. By knowing that there’s a solution to every problem, they invariably improve their wellbeing and quality of life.
Take a look at our generation’s greatest entrepreneurs. Not one of them managed to ‘struck gold’ after the first attempt. Fortunately, optimism was the only thing that kept them from losing faith in their dreams.
Entrepreneurs who manage to cultivate an optimism-centered mindset will always find a way to success. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but some day soon. In fact, this is what makes the difference between winners and quitters. A winner keeps his hopes up even after 10, 20, 100 failed attempts, while a quitter gives up completely after his first defeat.
Like all things, optimism should be exercised with moderation. You don’t want to end up losing yourself in futile dreams and unrealistic expectations.
Before embarking on the journey towards your entrepreneurial success, make sure you stock up on a decent reserve of optimism.
They know the meaning of hard work
Now that you have your well-written business plan and a copious reserve of optimism, what’s next? Well, the next thing to do is to work your butt off.
Some people live under the impression that owning a business is the easiest thing in the world. In reality, being an entrepreneur and business owner is far more stressful than being employed. As for work, you’ll have to be more diligent than the rest, not only because you have a ton of responsibilities on your shoulders, but also because you want to set a good example for your team. It may sound scary or difficult, but that’s the honest truth about being an entrepreneur.
In order to cope with the endless tasks and overwhelming workloads, seasoned entrepreneurs have developed all kinds of routines to boost their productivity. In addition, they are constantly delegating tasks to their team members, so that everything goes as planned and without delays.
But all this work is not in vain, because in the end, that wonderful sense of fulfillment plus the generous financial rewards will make up for every drop of sweat.
They reframe failure
Failure is every entrepreneur’s nightmare. That initial disappointment coupled with an intense feeling of worthlessness can easily lead to depression or other emotional-related issues. Watching your dream crash and burn can be extremely painful which is why good entrepreneurs know how to reframe failure so that it no longer causes them bad feelings. In other words, it’s not about the failure itself but how we choose to interpret it. Our personal thoughts and beliefs dictate our actions which is why if we choose to see failure as proof of our incompetence, we will inevitably cultivate a negative mindset which can only result in more failed attempts.
What most successful entrepreneurs do is they reframe failure by choosing to see it as a valuable learning opportunity. As Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, once said: ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10.000 ways that don’t work’. Take a moment to let this insightful quote really sink into your consciousness.
Failure is about learning what does and doesn’t work. Just like in science, business should be conducted using a ‘trial and error’ model. In other words, keep trying until you find that one solution which ignites your company’s success.