Entrepreneurship is an attractive path for many people. Running your own business comes with many benefits, such as the freedom of being your own boss and the pride of knowing that you built your career and livelihood from the ground up.
But it's important to recognize this can also be a highly challenging journey to embark upon, with many potential obstacles on the long road to success.
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to have a number of core traits and qualities that will help you seize every opportunity and overcome your biggest challenges. Here are six of the most valuable attributes any entrepreneur can have:
One of the universal truths in the business world is that there’s no straightforward path to success. It's inevitable that you’ll come across challenges, suffer setbacks and have to find answers to difficult questions during your time as an entrepreneur, so it's important to have the fundamental strength and resilience to continue working through adversity.
Some people will be naturally resilient, while others will have to work at it and gradually refine this characteristic as they gain more business experience. However you acquire it, this is a hugely valuable attribute to have on your side as an entrepreneur.
The rapid evolution of digital technology since the turn of the 21st century has meant many industries and business models have experienced a lot of change in a relatively short space of time.
New start-ups must be ready to keep up with the fast, tech-driven developments that are shaping so many sectors today, from financial services to ecommerce.
When the time comes to take key steps such as revising your budget, launching a new marketing strategy or redesigning your product offering, make sure your plans are flexible enough to adapt to changes in your industry and the wider competitive landscape.
3. Tech savvy
You don't necessarily have to be a tech expert to succeed as an entrepreneur - unless the nature of your business specifically demands it - but in today's digital-first era it's important to have a basic understanding of the various technologies, solutions and systems that can help you succeed.
Consider social media, for example. It's not essential to understand every single detail about how Facebook, Twitter and Instagram work, but it helps to have a firm grasp of the social concepts that really matter to you. These might include:
- The features that define each network, and which ones are most relevant and valuable to you
- What your target audience expects and appreciates in the social media experience
- How to use social listening to gauge opinions and better understand your audience
- The best times to post content on your chosen channels
- How to design and implement a social media strategy
4. Relationship building
Success in business often comes down to relationships, from the strength of your connections with customers and suppliers, to the level of trust and respect you're able to earn from your employees.
Having the essential qualities required to forge strong connections with partners, colleagues, customers, service providers and fellow entrepreneurs can unlock many advantages for the business.
One of the best things about healthy business relationships is their potential to be mutually beneficial. After investing the time and energy required to maintain strong relationships, you can look forward to seeing the advantages further down the line, such as customer brand loyalty or confidence your suppliers will stick to the terms of their contract.
Being an entrepreneur means taking responsibility for critical decisions that could dictate the future of the business. Some calls will feel easy and deliver instant, positive results, but others will be much harder and could require you to be ruthless and to leave your personal feelings at the door.
When the business is navigating difficult conditions or facing a crossroads in its ongoing development, the burden of making swift, sound decisions will rest on your shoulders. Being able to act with confidence and make sound judgements in these conditions is the mark of a natural entrepreneur.
Relentless motivation and ambition to achieve your goals will help you to keep working towards success, even when everything seems to be going against you.
These qualities will help you stay positive and keep striving during the most difficult times, but will also ensure you grab every opportunity and make the most of exciting growth prospects when business is good.
One of the realities of entrepreneurship is that you must have the core attributes to always do your best for the business, regardless of external challenges and conditions.