I do! It’s the cry of more and more people regardless of their age – entrepreneurship is a growing trend – yet there is more to being a successful entrepreneur than being self-employed as anyone who has ever tried to build a business will know only too well. Becoming an entrepreneur is not the “easy option” and most certainly is not for the faint-hearted.
Business success stories are never without challenges – and regardless of your motives that set you off on your business journey – the vision of success and the excitement of the BIG IDEA – have to be underpinned by some rock-solid talent for business planning, the rigour of self-discipline and reliability, and the tenacity of a Rottweiler to keep you on track when the going gets tough.
At the heart of every successful outcome is a cluster of personal traits that put the BOOM! into entrepreneurship.
Absolute Passion – for life, work, people, products, for planning ahead and goal-setting, and for getting the best possible results. Driven enthusiasm lies at the heart of your motivation to be in business. Passion and leadership are natural partners. Others follow where passion leads.
A can-do attitude – positive in approach, full of self-belief, realistic in appraisal, brave in taking action. You will see and seek opportunities for success more readily than other people.
Total honesty – with yourself, with others and with the ability to see the reality of every situation. You will know your weaknesses as well as your strengths and will recognise when you need to ask for help.
Rather like a three-legged stool, these three qualities work together and support one another. Take one away and the other qualities will start to lose their strength and stability.
You can run a business without these traits, you have some entrepreneurial success too; but if you are passionate in approach, can maintain a “can-do” attitude no matter what the circumstance; and have the capacity to see the absolute truth in matters, then you are more likely to have the drive and ambition required to be exceptionally successful.
The Passion Factor
Passion goes hand in hand with energy. One fuels the other. Together they are the motivators that if focussed, with a clear purpose, can deliver exceptional results. Why do you need a passion in business? It’s the driving force which pushes you to go the “extra-mile” – for your customers, for your team – to work hard to get things right…. When it is directed in a positive way, it becomes an alchemic force that can turn a group of individuals into a focused team and transform a vague idea into something of brilliance. It is “different”, it has an “edge”, it raises the bar for the competition; and it is excellent either in quality or delivery. People with a passion for their business are exciting to be around, they bring people together and they can be a force for change.
It is vitally important to keep the passion alive and psychologists describe two kinds of motivation – internal motivation and external motivation. Internal describes you innate desire to do something for the sheer enjoyment of the task. External describes the promise of a reward – such as money or status. I believe that you can only feel passionate about what you do if the internal and external motivators are balanced. This is all very well but you may be thinking – if you haven’t got it, how can you get it? If you have misplaced it, how can you get it back? My experience has shown me that people tend to lose their drive when they lose their sense of purpose, when they are not getting the results they envisioned; when company growth has stalled or gone backwards. Business passion needs to be directed towards a point of focus in order to deliver. Effective organisation, clear objectives and measured outcomes will result in:
Belief – in yourself, your product, your purpose and your potential
Validation – from the market, from mentors and from your colleagues
Results – driven by planning ahead, setting goals, hard work and monitoring results
So to be an entrepreneur – with the WOW factor – requires huge amounts of dedication and hard work and I suggest that at the start of your “entrepreneurial” journey, you consider exactly what “success” means to you along with all of your expectations. Add in a time factor against each of the expectations and of course be realistic! You will need to refer to these “success criteria” throughout your journey – particularly when the going gets tough, which it inevitably will!