Are You Entreprenur Material?

Not everyone is entrepreneurial material.  Anyone can start a business, but an entrepreneur is someone who can start a business and give it life. A series of personality traits seem to be the common thread among entrepreneurs, both great and small. Here are my top five traits:

1. Optimism
It’s a cold, scary world out there and not everyone is going to believe in your idea, your business or even you. Why? Because they don’t have to. It’s your job to convince prospects otherwise.

If you’re building a business and feel it won’t succeed, why continue moving forward with the idea? If you believe every negative comment you hear, why would you believe in yourself?

Knowing in your hear that you can and will succeed, believing in your idea and, with laser like focus, moving forward at all costs, the characteristics of an optimist are truly the center of any entrepreneur.

2. Perseverance/Confidence
No matter how tough the task becomes, as an entrepreneur, you must persevere. This is where your optimism and unbridled confidence comes into play. Survival of the fittest. Sure anyone can start a business, but how many keep that business moving and growing years after its creation?

3. Knowledge
So you’re optimistic and confident … that’s great. But are you knowledgeable? Will potential customers feel your experience and expertise translate into a successful foundation for your business? Will your knowledge convince them to invest in your business?

Build your knowledge before launching your business. Think about your bio through the eyes of a prospective client and make sure you’re telling the full story. Find ways to continue gathering knowledge even after you’ve launched your business. Never stop improving yourself.

4. Experience
While knowledge and experience go hand in hand, they are certainly quite separate, too. Find ways to gain a variety of experiences that will ultimately contribute to your knowledge.

By creating a roadmap for your employed career, you can easily make a path through a series of experiences that will contribute to your entrepreneurial success. Think about the clients you ultimately want to gain and the type of person and experience they’ll be looking for … think about your competitors and what they’ve accomplished, then do it better.

Explore your professional bio and consider additional experiences that you need to tackle in order to make your personal brand more attractive to your prospects, then gather the experience.

If all else fails, dye your hair grey (that was a joke, by the way).

5. Focus
So you believe in your idea, you’re confident it’s going to succeed; you know your business concept inside and out … now all you have to do is make it happen. Sounds simple enough, but without focus, you’ll never get off the ground. While optimism, perseverance, experience and knowledge are all at the center of an entrepreneur’s strong foundation, nothing can happen without focus.

Time and time again I’ve seen people with great talent and ideas who declare they want to start their own business.  The net result of these well-meaning people is that, if they lack focus, it never gets off the ground.

So what exactly is entrepreneurial focus? At minimum for those of you launching a business from home:
–    Create a space that is specifically designated as a work zone. More often than not it will consist of a desk, chair and computer. This is your home base, the place you go to work. Your family understands that they are not to bother you if you’re in your workspace
–    Set your workday hours. A good starting place is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friends and family need to understand that these are your working hours and that you should not be bothered until the workday is over with.
–    Set daily, weekly, monthly goals for yourself
–    Craft to-do lists
–    Create a support system of other entrepreneurs. Considering setting a weekly or monthly co-working day which doubles as a support group.

In your opinion, what other qualities make for a successful entrepreneur? What contributes to entrepreneurial focus?