You are finally ready to go out and launch the business of your dreams. Congratulations! That is so exciting that you are on the course to be your own boss. Now, just like how certain traits (such as self-driven, goal-oriented, and accountable) help employees thrive while working for companies, there are a number of traits that will help new and veteran entrepreneurs succeed in their ventures. Are you wondering what these traits might be and if you possess them?
In my experience as the co-founder and Operating Partner of CiteMed and through my discussions with other business owners in my network, I have pinpointed some traits that are essential for entrepreneurial success. Here are five personality traits that will help business founders thrive and ways to cultivate them in your own life:
High Risk Tolerance
The only thing guaranteed in entrepreneurship is uncertainty — you will never know for sure if a new marketing initiative, sales tactic, or your entire business idea will flourish or flop. The entrepreneurs who succeed in the long run are the ones that take this uncertainty about the future in stride and understand that high risk can mean high rewards. They are willing to risk investing capital and effort into new sales and operational strategies because they know that staying comfortable and “safe” will not equal long-term prosperity.
That all said, if you want to thrive as an entrepreneur and see your startup reach new heights, forge ahead with the confidence that you can always pivot your business’s operations to adapt to any changing circumstances you face. Our society and the world as a whole are always shifting, and your business can shift and change as well. One way you can build your risk tolerance and confidence is by reading inspirational books written by other successful entrepreneurs who were once in the same shoes that you are currently in.
If you want your business to take off, it is vital to be sales-savvy. So many entrepreneurs overlook the need to be able to successfully promote and sell what they bring to market — they are much more laser-focused on building their business, optimizing their website’s design, their products’ packaging, and then they think the sales will start pouring in. However, how will that happen if no one even knows about the business and its offerings? So sales savviness is absolutely key for business longevity.
If you’re wondering how you can cultivate this trait, it’s all about educating yourself. Check out local or online sales seminars, ask other business leaders in your network about their top sales strategies, or take an online course. There are also so many books available that are centered on sales tactics — check out top-rated sales books on Amazon and start reading!
Coinciding with the last point, in order to be savvy in sales, you must have empathy. If you don’t have a true, authentic interest in how your customers feel and the challenges they face, you won’t be able to level with them and gain their trust in you and your business. Being empathetic is pivotal for delving into the “whys” of your target buyers, which in turn will help you sell more of your business’s offerings and boost brand loyalty. People are more inclined to give their business to companies or people that they feel really understand them as human beings and want to help them solve the problems they face.
So how can you cultivate empathy in your entrepreneurial journey? It all boils down to striving to be of service to others and getting to know your customers as real human beings, not just consumers who can boost your bottom line. You can do this by volunteering in your local community, mentoring, or simply calling your clients to see if there are any challenges they are facing that you or your business can help them with.
Resilience to Rejection
Trust me when I say this — there will be many times that you hear “no” when you are growing your business. Potential customers will decide at the last minute to hold off on making a major purchase, investors or suppliers may reject your business proposals, other business leaders you want to partner with may say “no” to your ideas, and the list goes on. The entrepreneurs who are resilient to rejection will be the ones who thrive in the long run. They don’t let rejection bring them down, but rather, they see it as an opportunity to shift gears and take their enterprise in an exciting new direction. This is the kind of mindset that brings success.
One way you can become much more resilient to rejection is by reciting daily affirmations that help boost your overall confidence. You can also swap stories with other entrepreneurs in your network, which will help you understand that you are not the only one whose ideas are shut down sometimes — having that support group can be very helpful for staying driven, inspired, and motivated when faced with adversity.
A Still, Calm Mindset
In order to make the best decisions possible for your business, it is pertinent to have stillness of mind amidst the daily hustle and bustle of entrepreneurship. There will be crazy, hectic weeks, incredibly stressful deadline days, and moments where you feel completely overwhelmed with the workload — being able to maintain stillness of mind during these times will be critical for making clear and calculated decisions that bring the business closer to its goals. It is so important to do this rather than be reactive to the stresses of the day and make a hasty decision without considering how it coincides with the business’s long-term objectives.
You can cultivate stillness of mind by implementing a meditation practice into your everyday routine. Scheduling just 10 minutes of meditation every morning can help you start the day with a calm mindset. Another way to practice stillness of mind is by taking five minutes to write down three hopes for the day and three things that you are thankful for in a journal. Taking this “me time” can help clear your mind and start the day on a positive note. Also, I advise making a rule to not check your personal social media channels until your lunch break — starting your day off with a bombardment of messages can really distract your focus and raise stress levels.
To Wrap it All Up
Many traits are paramount to maximize your potential as an entrepreneur, but I have found that business founders truly thrive when they have a high risk tolerance, sales-savviness, and empathy. Other traits that are crucial for entrepreneurial success are a resilience to rejection and stillness of mind. Business leaders who cultivate these traits are the ones who will have great longevity in their ventures.
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