Modern technology has made it easier than ever to start a business. With no more than a laptop and internet connection, you could potentially launch a new company and start selling to customers from different parts of the world.
But there’s more to it than being able to build an ecommerce website, or create an online course or digital product.
To succeed, you’re going to need certain key skills and the right state of mind.
#1. A Need To Learn
A couple of decades ago, entrepreneurs were considered mystical beings. They were the Richard Branson’s and Bill Gates’ of this world, individuals who seemed to have some hidden inner quality or magic the rest of us lacked. Most of this was largely apocryphal, however. We believed it to be true but it actually wasn’t.
The truth is that entrepreneurship can be learned. The fact that entrepreneur training programs are now widely available online pays testimony to this – Branson and Gates didn’t appear out of a vacuum, they learned their business and put plenty of effort in. Entrepreneurship is now beginning to be taught in schools because employers are looking for business acumen as well as good Maths and English.
Of course, it’s not just learning to be an entrepreneur that matters. Successful business people are hungry to learn all the time, about the world around them and how it works. They delight in picking up new things.
#2. Entrepreneurs Are Determined
Drive, ambition or determination often gets a bad rap but they’re key factors that keep successful entrepreneurs moving onwards and upwards. Success is not simply about getting out of bed in the morning and pounding out the miles. You need to have the determination to get over the hurdles you’re going to face and the grit to stick with it and find solutions that work. Key to this is not only being passionate about your work but also having the ability to set great goals and achieve them.
#3. They Have Vision
Successful entrepreneurs have a clear vision of the future and how to get there. This is what sets a Rosalia Mera or a Tory Burch from your average business owner. It’s not simply about selling or promoting a product or service – it’s about where you see the world going in the future. Neither is it all having that vision. You have to be able to implement it and bring everything together in a way that works.
#4. They’re Open-Minded
Successful entrepreneurs also know that there is always more than one way to skin a cat. They’re open to new ideas and are willing to change tack if they can find a better way of doing things. That means they tend to listen to others more than your average business owner. They feed off ideas and are quick to put their own egos on hold so that a goal can be achieved irrespective of who comes up with the solution.
#5. Entrepreneurs Are Confident
Confidence in business can be an elusive beast but it’s something that great entrepreneurs seem to have in abundance. That might be a result of becoming successful in the first place but it’s also a state of mind that comes with knowing yourself more deeply.
Confidence is the thing that gets you over hurdles and past seemingly insurmountable problems to the other side. It provides the rocket fuel to take on new and difficult projects and it engenders trust in those around you. With confidence, you have an innately optimistic outlook that carries you towards positive outcomes.
#6. They’re Risk Takers
At their heart, all successful and high profile entrepreneurs are risk takers. They see an opportunity and go for it, even if the current market is against them. They’re the individuals who buck the trend or introduce disruption into the market. One of the most well-known of these is Elon Musk, an entrepreneur who is always looking to change the world around him. But Musk didn’t get where he is today without taking risks. And that means he’s had to face failure on more than one occasion.
#7. Entrepreneurs Accept Failure
To succeed as an entrepreneur you have to be willing to fail, perhaps more than your average business man or woman in the street. It’s not only part and parcel of the learning curve that many faces but it’s also what, rather counterintuitively, fuels that confidence and ability to move forward and keep going.
Vacuum entrepreneur Sir James Dyson produced over 5,000 prototypes before he actually hit on the right idea after 15 years and became a success. Jeff Bezos came up with a number of ideas that ultimately failed before he hit the bullseye with Amazon. Failure isn’t the end, it’s part of the process.
#8. They Are Passionate
What keeps entrepreneurs going despite all the failures and obstacles in their way? They’re passionate about what they do. Any employee in a dead end job will tell you that it’s difficult to get motivated when you don’t enjoy what you’re doing.
Entrepreneurs seem to be passionate about a whole range of things though – not just the project that they’re working on. They have a glass half full, you only live once mentality. According to Richard Branson:
“You need to inspire your staff when you launch a company, and you need to help them believe in your vision for the future. When you believe in something the force of your convictions will spark other people’s interest and motivate them to help you achieve your goals. This is essential to success.”
#9. Entrepreneurs Adapt
Whatever industry or sector you operate in, things change. The key to any successful entrepreneur is their ability to adapt and change when necessary. It’s no longer accepted that once you’ve created a business you can sit back on your laurels and reap the benefits. We live in a world where disruptive change seems to be around the corner almost all the time. There’s vast competition in most sectors and stopping to take a breath and relax can often be detrimental to the success of a business.
It’s not just this that drives great entrepreneurs. It’s also their ability to adapt to a whole range of different circumstances while remaining focused on their eventual end goal.
#10. Entrepreneurs Are Great At Networking
Finally, entrepreneurs don’t live in a vacuum. They are great networkers, getting out and meeting other business leaders and entrepreneurs. It’s this that fuels ideas and helps create a platform to build beneficial relationships and develop exciting new ideas. Most successful entrepreneurs enjoy each other’s company and meet regularly to chew the fat, learn new things and keep up with their closest competitors. If you want to learn from the best, you have to sit down with them.