Are you born with the right mix of genes to be a successful entrepreneur, or can you learn everything you need to know? According to the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, genetic factors predispose individuals to entrepreneurship, but that doesn’t guarantee success.
A study by Gallup assessed 2,500 entrepreneurs and found that highly talented entrepreneurs are three times more likely to build a large business. But what does it take to be considered highly talented? Below is a list of the most important nine characteristics that every entrepreneur should display. Find out which ones you’re born with and which ones you can learn.
What You’re Born With
Passion: Although you can develop or deepen your understanding of your industry, you have to love what you do. Jeff Bezos is the perfect example. He left his successful career as a vice president on Wall Street to start a little company called Amazon in his garage.
Resilience: A successful entrepreneur is willing to fail and able to get back up and try again. You have to compete with yourself and others to never give up. Apple forced out Steve Jobs in 1985, but he returned in 1997 to change the face and direction of Apple, giving it new life.
Self-motivation: You are either the type of person who waits for everyone else to tell you what to do, or you’re the type of person that does whatever needs to be done. Entrepreneurs see the problem and offer a solution.
Creativity: Some individuals can look at a product and creatively see how to improve it; others accept the world as it is. While at Harvard, Mark Zuckerberg saw a need for an online directory to connect college students. Thus, Facebook was born.
What You Can Learn
Future focus: You must learn to be a forward thinker. Richard Branson constantly expanded Virgin from a recording label to an airline, and even a nonprofit company. Look at your company’s potential growth and figure out how you can take it in new and better directions.
Strong leadership: Entrepreneurs can’t live in a bubble and complete every task on their own. Delegate work and shift responsibilities to employees who specialize in areas where you might not be particularly strong.
Expertise: Know what you know and know what you don’t know. Read research, perform case studies, and constantly learn from your competitors so that you become the most knowledgeable about your industry.
Adaptability: You need to be able to go with the flow, accept change as it happens, work around obstacles, and adopt new technologies and ideas immediately.
Promotion: You have to be the best salesman in your company. Elon Musk and Tesla Motors are synonymous. There is nobody more passionate about electric cars and how they can change the world than Musk.
Now what? If you embody the nine characteristics of an entrepreneur, you’re well on your way to running a successful company. It’s just a matter of constantly reevaluating yourself and your company because you are never done improving.
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