Some characteristics are easy to spot, others are not
Defining entrepreneurial characteristics requires practice
Some people think of entrepreneurs as people who are willing to take risks that other people won’t. Others define them as people who start and build successful businesses. Whatever your definition you will find some, but most entrepreneurial characteristics are in every person to a more or lesser degree.
Entrepreneurship doesn’t necessarily involve starting your own business or social enterprise. Many people are recognised as entrepreneurs within their organisations and community.
Regardless of how you define an entrepreneur, one thing is certain: becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t easy.
Many of the characteristics aren’t the easiest things to learn, but they’re not impossible and they are well worth the effort.
“I have yet to find the man, however, exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism”. Charles Schwab
Academics, practitioners, and policy-makers share a common interest in understanding entrepreneurship. However, while research on entrepreneurial characteristics has grown rapidly in recent years, the understanding of how people identify problems and opportunities is still a mystery to many.
A critical element that is usually missing is the ability to join up the dots. The ability to take two or more disparate things and come up with a solution is still a stumbling block.
All your characteristics may not be on the list below
In order to know if you are a true entrepreneur, or somebody else is, first, do an assessment of the characteristics.
The characteristics that a successful entrepreneur possesses are many and varied? While it certainly helps to have strong technical skills or expertise in a key area, these are not defining characteristics of the entrepreneur.
Use this checklist to identify the characteristics you already have and the ones you would like to have. Refer to the article on ‘Characteristics of an Entrepreneur’, if you need clarification.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”. Vince Lombardi
As you work through your analysis, you may feel that you’re ready to take the plunge into your own enterprise, or at least take an aggressive move towards it so be ready. Or, you may decide to wait and further develop your skills. You may even decide that entrepreneurship isn’t for you.
Whatever your choice, make sure that it feels right. Running any enterprise isn’t for everyone, particularly if you feel uncomfortable about it and you won’t be doing what you love doing.
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When you have an understanding of entrepreneurial characteristics or attributes, the harder you work to build your skills, the more successful you’re likely to be.
While there is no one particular set of characteristics for being a successful entrepreneur, certain general traits and practical skills will help you succeed.
I find that if you start to examine your own personal strengths and weaknesses and comparing them with those of a typical entrepreneur you admire, you can get a sense of how well entrepreneurial characteristic fit with your personality and what you want to do.
Yes, you can succeed without some of the entrepreneurial characteristics, however, the more you’re missing, the more likely you are to struggle. This is why I always recommend that there be an entrepreneur in your organisation or at least associated with you and your value chain.