The life of an entrepreneur can have varying degrees of success, but at the very core is ultimately a way of viewing ones work and life. Here, business consultant Alexandra Tselios offers eight necessities for entrepreneurial success.
The word ‘entrepreneur’ often carries this connotation of a manic and impressive character flying jets and docking yachts. In reality, entrepreneurs are creating ideas, products and hopefully jobs that impact their industry. I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of entrepreneurs, and having been called one myself at times, I believe there are eight traits contribute towards an entrepreneur’s success. Here they are below.
- Entrepreneurs are able to block out noise: Feedback is important, and collating data to ensure you make quality decisions is everything – but sometimes you need to go with your gut about what might work. It is that old balance of making calculated risks and giving yourself a framework to revisit, and then seeing what’s working and what isn’t. One thing I know for sure is that worrying about what everyone will think, or how they react to your ideas and your business, is a sure way to remain inactive.
- Entrepreneurs know there are many paths: It’s unreasonable to suggest that there is only one way of doing things that directly impact an entrepreneur’s success. Some people are nocturnal and will do their best work in the middle of the night and others, like myself, will awake at ridiculously early hours and set about their day. Trying to copy a formula won’t work, so the best thing to do is to look at how best you can get results out of yourself.
- Entrepreneurs take the time to understand market needs: Regardless of industry, a successful entrepreneur is sure to assess and react to market needs. Only then can they be sure that their product, service and business is evolving in the most competitive way that meets market and consumer demands.
- Entrepreneurs don’t give up: It totally sucks when an idea fails, a business deal falls through, or a partner bails on you. What is worse, though, is if you let that affect your business’ ability to move forward. Even those at the top of their game have splatterings of failures and successes behind them, but you would know this already.
- Entrepreneurs don’t really strive for balance: This may not be the most agreeable point, but one thing I have found is that many entrepreneurs don’t switch off at 1700, and don’t rule out returning emails on the weekend. In a global, 24/7 connected world, it’s unrealistic to think you should only have to work at certain times and still achieve measurable results. It doesn’t mean you don’t prioritise time for outside interests – your husband, wife, kids, friends and hobbies – it just means you don’t have an inflexible need to draw the line.
- Entrepreneurs handle the hectic as well as the devastatingly calm times: The ebb and flow of managing your own business can destroy you if you’re only looking for hyper-successful frantic, productive times. There will be periods when no-one is returning your calls, clients seem to be disinterested and traction is at its lowest. There will also be moments that will require a ridiculous amount of your time and energy – whatever the ‘season’ is, a successful entrepreneur can ride it out.
- Entrepreneurs accept that others won’t get it: It takes a particular type of character to be an entrepreneur, and a lot of people won’t get it. Why would you invest $30,000 into a business idea instead of just passively saving for a sweet retirement? For entrepreneurs, it is often far scarier to never risk anything – they would much rather put everything on the line, work incredibly hard and drive activity to see a sweet ROI. This way of thinking isn’t for everyone.
- Entrepreneurs' own body is also a business: There is something to be said for effectively managing yourself just like a business, because if you aren’t watching for warning signs, things can turn bad, quickly. If you’re burnt out, unhealthy and incapable of maintaining a certain level of activity, it’s time to turn inward and work on what needs fixing. Personally, I need to prioritise sleep in a structured way; otherwise I can quite easily go two or three days without any. I have to manage this like I would any other business activity, otherwise I will not be able to sustainably lead, create and perform.
Alexandra Tselios is an entrepreneur and business consultant with a diverse background in corporate, public and creative fields.
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