What Makes A Great Entrepreneur?

Listen up–let’s not beat around the bush here–not everyone is cut out to be their own boss. There, I said it.

I’m approached all the time by people telling me, “I’d love to be my own boss! That’d be awesome!” And I can’t help but chuckle, because yes–it’s awesome, but it’s also exhausting, and really hard, and totally completely terrifying.

If we’re honest, entrepreneurship is meant for a small proportion of the population.

Why? Because it takes a certain recipe of skills, habits, and traits to run the show–the entire show. You won’t have someone handing you projects with really tidy to-do lists and explanations of how to handle problems. You are the CEO, manager, supervisor, HR, client-relationship specialist, marketer, sales team, and everything in between.

You are everything and everyone.

So what does it take to be a successful entrepreneur? Let’s learn from the best.

The Guts to Go

Did I mention that jumping out on your own is terrifying? Because it is. The biggest step you’ll take is the first one–because it leads to all the others. Entrepreneurs are willing to jump and have faith that the net will appear.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

Goals That Scare You

If your dreams and goals feel completely reachable and not scary at all–they’re probably not big enough. Reach for the stars baby.

“If you don’t have big dreams and goals, you’ll end up working for someone that does.” – Unknown

Authenticity

To create a good idea, you first have to identify a problem or an area of improvement. The easiest way to do this is by evaluating your own life and creating something authentic–that solves a problem you know a lot about. From there, successful people think, speak, and act authentically–and it pays off.

“If we tried to think of a good idea, we wouldn’t have been able to think of a good idea. You just have to find the solution for a problem in your own life.” -Brian Chesky, Co-founder of Airbnb

The Right Network

You’ve got to know the right people and have the right mentors. Your circle should be full of inspired and energized individuals who expect you to show up every day.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

A Strong “Why”

Your reason for pursuing entrepreneurship needs to be stronger than, “because I want the freedom to do what I please.” It should be focused on how you can best serve others–not yourself. If your focus is YOU, YOU will fail.

“There is nothing more beautiful than someone who goes out of their way to make life beautiful for others.” – Mandy Hale

Persistent Persistence

You will fail. People won’t want to buy your product or use your service. You’ll hear, “no” more times than you can count. You’ll want to quit. You’ll consider crawling into bed and never getting out. But a true entrepreneur knows the key lies in never giving up.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred with dust and sweat; who strives valiantly, who errs and may fall again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming.” – Theodore Roosevelt

A “YES” Mentality

To be crazy successful, you have to believe you deserve it. Successful people say, “yes!” even when they have no clue how they’ll pull it off. Then, they figure it out. It’s that simple.

“An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.” – Roy Ash

Determined Resiliency

Successful entrepreneurs look at failure differently. They see opportunity where others see the end. To really kill it in the business game, you need to bounce back and be resilient. You also need to continuously ask yourself, “How can I make this work for me?”

“Because, you know, resilience – if you think of it in terms of the Gold Rush, then you’d be pretty depressed right now because the last nugget of gold would be gone. But the good thing is, with innovation, there isn’t a last nugget. Every new thing creates two new questions and two new opportunities.” – Jeff Bezos

An Understanding of What’s Important

At the end of the day, your business can’t be your #1 love. Family always comes first. Success isn’t just about the money, fame, extravagant trips and cars–it’s about balancing it all and still making time for those that matter. Happiness can’t be bought and neither can love, make sure you’re giving energy to what matters most.

“Dear entrepreneurs, you can start a thousand businesses, launch 100 projects, and take dozens of companies public, but you only have one shot at being part of your kid’s childhood. Your kid doesn’t care about your platform, they care about your presence.” – Jon Acuff

Of course, there’s lots more that goes into being a successful entrepreneur, but these are a great start. Think you have what it takes to be your own boss?

Take this free quiz to find out!

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