Characteristics of an Entrepreneur: 5 Things to Know (2024)
Let’s look at the characteristics of an entrepreneur today. The dictionary explains “Entrepreneur” as a person who takes risks and starts a business venture in expectation of a profit in the future, but in reality, it is no money for jam. This one-liner is just the tip of the iceberg.
To be an entrepreneur requires much more than just a willingness to take the risk. It requires some unique and amazing qualities and skills to become an entrepreneur.
Do you know what are some characteristics of an entrepreneur? Well, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon musk are some of the early achievers who showed the world why it needs 20more entrepreneurs. They possess some unique and similar characteristics which if acquired by anyone can help them to be successful entrepreneurs.
Startups have become the new norm and in today’s COVID crisis, building your own platform can surely help an individual get independent when jobs are scarce and the future uncertain. Entrepreneurs have the ability to sail smoothly through rough water and have some important qualities which set them apart from others.
Characteristics of an Entrepreneur: 5 Things to Know
1. Follow the rules:
Surprised? Sounds uncool? boring? Ever wondered why every army in the world follows the rules. Easy said than done. Discipline may sound unchallenging to inculcate but a majority of us struggle with it daily. Good news! It can be acquired and does not require any special talent.
Ideas come to action only when we follow the discipline to achieve the goals. You cannot just be successful in going with the flow. Some of the attributes which define a disciplined individual are given below:
Development of attitude
Attitude, the right frame of mind is most important to lead a disciplined life. A healthy frame of mind, a positive collaborative attitude can help a person achieve his startup goals. Positive people do not take failures as a life judgment and are open to new ideas and experiences. Positivity can be achieved by practicing various techniques such as journaling, yoga meditation, and positive self-talk.
The ability to divert all your attention to your startup is an important characteristic of an entrepreneur. Ideas alone do not lead to the achievement of an entrepreneurial goal. To get your startup ready and moving, willpower plays a major role. Hiccups and disruptions on your way to building the business you have always wanted to can lead to disappointments and discouragement if things do not go as planned.
Prioritizing and planning can help to keep you motivated and sustain your willpower in the long run. Friends and family can also help in this task by reminding you of your dreams and aspirations.
Bollywood fans will surely remember Shahrukh Khan in Om Shanti Om saying:
“If you love something from the bottom of your heart, the whole universe gets together to make it happen for you”
Bollywood might not be a place to take lessons from, but this one dialogue surely has something more to say. If you love something, you focus all your energy on it and things automatically start to work in your favor. What is the secret? It is a focus. To build focus on a task you can start by breaking it into small and manageable sections and achievable goals.
For example, my dream is to be a content writer and a public speaker. I set small goals every day and reward myself for their achievement. This way I can consistently focus on the task and not worry about the result. Sometimes focusing itself becomes a daunting task if we are too scared of the result. This may lead to procrastination and ultimately, we may lose track.
Therefore, meditation is a useful exercise that helps us to stay in the present and focus on our task at hand. Relaxation is key to more focus on your routine tasks. It is easier to lose motivation and focus if there are no clearly defined goals. As Mohammad Ali once said:
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see“
Confidence is not just a feeling; it is a personality trait for all promoters who run and manage a business. Many times a person is judged as less confident by others based on some external factors which might create a bad impression overall. It is one of the top characteristics of an entrepreneur.
This can lead to lesser opportunities for the growth and success of the business. Below are some of the traits possessed by all confident business leaders:
Maintaining composure in the face of adversity and being self-assured is of paramount importance when managing and running an enterprise. Cool–headedness is a recognized skill to be a good leader and manager.
An entrepreneur is not just a promoter of the business he/she is the manager, a leader who is responsible for all the good and the bad that happens to the business. Therefore, poise is a sure shot characteristic of an entrepreneur.
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”
The age-old saying may be true but appearance does play a major role in building a strong and long-lasting impression on others.
Being handsome. tall, smart, beautiful may not be in our hands but maintaining proper hygiene and grooming are essential to feeling and looking confident. Smart leaders and businessmen/women make sure they understand the dress code required on every occasion; this helps them gel easily in unfamiliar environments.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook mostly dresses in jeans and tees but still manages to look debonair. He is the epitome of being comfortable in your skin, which is a major factor for any person to feel and appear confident.
The tone of your voice can greatly determine how people feel around you. A voice that is shivering or is at a higher pitch may feel like the person is nervous, excited, or scared.
Whereas, a confident voice will have a softer tone and a lower pitch even in adverse circumstances. Startup owners are required to often present their ideas to different audiences, for example, to present in front of various stalwarts if they require funding for their business ideas.
The tone of a person’s voice is a big giveaway to how confident or relaxed he/she is feeling. With practice, a person can learn to remain calm and relax when the situation gets overwhelming. Deep breathing exercises are of great help when nervous or scared.
Strong communication is an important characteristic of an entrepreneur. Communication consists of verbal as well as non-verbal. Ability to communicate your ideas so that others in your organization share your vision is important for the long-term growth and sustainability of your business.
While poise, tone, and good appearance may play a role in building your confidence, communication is the most important. Communication does not only involve speaking or communicating your views, but it also involves active listening. Listening involves trying to understand and grasp the ideas or viewpoints of the other person.
This may sound like an effortless activity, but sadly most people listen to answer which makes communication difficult. This can be a great barrier to communication. Staying quiet and listening to the views of others is a personality trait of a confident individual.
Out of the box, thinking helped many startup owners get ideas that gave them a competitive edge over their contemporaries. Innovation has always been and will always be an indispensable part of any business’s sustainability and growth. Creativity and innovation are the foremost characteristics of an entrepreneur
The COVID crisis has once again reminded us that uncertainty is the only certainty. Therefore, for entrepreneurs creativity is a must, to keep up with the changing times.
In the past, we have seen a lot of business giants like Nokia, Blackberry, Kodak succumb to changing customer needs. Budding startup owners can use the following techniques to boost creativity:
This is the most effective characteristics of an entrepreneur that they should possess to get new and fresh ideas. A person can brainstorm alone as well as in a group. To brainstorm alone, reading a lot of content relating to your idea can help in finding arguments for and against it.
When in groups, various team activities can be performed to help every member express their viewpoints. Brainstorming is a chief characteristic of an entrepreneur.
Various diagrams depicting the interconnectivity of various processes can help you find gaps in quality and thereby drive innovation. While these business processes may already be mapped in your brain, putting them on the whiteboard helps to prevent confusion and think clearly.
Have you ever wondered why young children are taught art and craft at an early age, even before they start to write? Arts and crafts greatly help to get one’s creative juices flowing as the patterns and colors help to develop thought, complex thinking, and imagination.
4. Strong People Skills:
Differentiating characteristics of an entrepreneur is good people skills. Good leaders possess empathy, an ability to understand others. They are easy to collaborate with and work for greater people well being. Promoters are also leaders in their own right.
They set up a business and play a major role in making a business successful. Successful promoters help people in their organizations achieve their personal goals while working for the organization.
This helps them retain and build a good network of people. They possess empathy and a good understanding of other person’s needs, wants, likes, and dislikes.
Strong People skills are displayed by the following attributes:
Good Business Ethics
Entrepreneurs display good business ethics through integrity in their business processes, promise-keeping with their dealers, loyalty towards their customers, and a strong understanding of what is just and fair. Good business ethics are the most important attribute of possessing good people skills.
Genuine Appreciation and Feedback
The capability to appreciate and provide constructive feedback is found in anyone with strong people skills. While flattery sounds superfluous and fake, a genuine appreciation can do wonders in building strong relationships with others and portrays good people skills.
While most people seem to take this for granted. To get the respect you must first learn to give respect. Leaders with strong people skills do not augment their self-esteem at the cost of others. They are polite in their behavior and express gratitude towards others.
Could Jack Ma build and grow a successful e-commerce group such as Alibaba without passion? A distinguishing characteristic of an entrepreneur is a strong desire to work towards something he/she truly and genuinely believes in.
Without passion, all the qualities mentioned above are of no use. It is their passion to provide the world with better quality service and products which makes these entrepreneurs different from others.
AIR Bnb and Oyo are perfect examples of passion driving innovation in the hospitality industry. AIR BnB was founded when its owners started an affordable bed and breakfast lodging by placing an air mattress in their apartment in San Francisco. This was done to accommodate attendees of a conference when all hotels were booked. It was called “Air Bed and Breakfast”, which was later named Air BnB.
Ritesh Aggarwal started Oyo at the age of 17. It was his vision to provide Indians with affordable and good-quality hotels that led him to launch Oyo in May 2013. The business has grown rapidly since then, changing the face of the hospitality industry.
Steve Jobs was passionate about providing the world with compact and sleek-looking products. This led him to create Apple which changed the face of the electronics industry. This also helped Apple differentiate itself from its competitors back then.
Therefore, a passion and willingness to follow his/her dream is a prime characteristic of an entrepreneur.
Following techniques can help you convert your passion into a successful startup:
Find your Strengths
To find your passion try to look at what are your strengths or what are you good at. For example: If you want to open your own eatery someday, analyze what are you best at, savories or desserts.
This will help you focus your attention on doing what is required without wasting any time. Working on strengths and improving them is easier than working on weaknesses.
By working on what you are best at, you can not only improve but generate new ideas to differentiate your offering. This will help you create a niche for yourself in the industry. A salient characteristic of an entrepreneur is the ability to identify strengths and work on them.
Lack of experience might be a big hindrance to you reaching your startup goal. Internships can help a person gain some experience in the industry before taking the big leap.
The duration of an internship is 2 to 3 months and depending on your mentor, it can help to provide good knowledge of how the industry works.
Some internships are paid while some are unpaid internships. The stipend does not matter much as the main aim is to learn on the job.
Professional training can greatly help to polish skills and improve competence. Training helps a budding business owner understand the nuances of doing business in an industry.
In India, many online platforms like Edx, Coursera, Udemy, IIM skills provide various online courses that can help a person turn their passion into a profession.
Most people fear to experiment and assume they might be judged as dumb if they make a mistake. Experimenting with new ideas is one of the best and most vital characteristics of an entrepreneur.
If the promoters of Indian startup “Chumbak” would have scrapped the idea of selling fridge magnets with quirky designs fearing it might fail, Chumbak would have never been where it is today, setting up stores in prime locations in cities like Pune, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Mumbai with a wide range of products from stationery to apparel.
They have been successful in creating a niche of their own. However, experimenting should be done with caution as it can also sometimes lead to huge losses to the business which can diminish the overall morale of a person looking to start a venture.
Meet people who share similar interests
This can be extremely helpful for anyone looking to turn their passion into a profession. While one person may not be able to kick start a venture, two people sharing the same passion can be of great help to each other. Every person gets with them some unique ideas and knowledge which helps in the successful running of a startup.
Meeting and interacting with people with who they share similar interests is one of the strong characteristics of an entrepreneur.
However, conflicts can arise which can lead to worse than good and therefore a proper agreement should be set in place to avoid confusion relating to profit sharing.
The above-given points highlight some attributes common to the majority of entrepreneurs. This might not be an exhaustive list but covers most of the personality traits which set these business wizards apart from others.
Most people are scared to start a business on their own and may never know how successful they could have been only if had believed in themselves.
The above characteristics of an entrepreneur can be a good starter pack for all those who wish to become one in the future. The habits listed are easy to inculcate and can become a part of your personality in no time.
They obviously do not guarantee you a successful venture but surely would not do any harm to your wellbeing. I hope this article provided you with insights on the vital characteristics of an entrepreneur you needed. All the best for your entrepreneurial journey!