Over the last few weeks I’ve had several consulting meetings with budding entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who have some pretty stellar ideas on the table. Most of them still have full-time jobs, but are self-motivated enough to push forward on their journey no matter the hill or valley –crossing their “t’s” and dotting their “i’s” along the way so they can hurry and join the club.
As any business owner or solopreneur will tell you success doesn’t happen overnight. However it can happen and it takes certain characteristics, or traits, to get there. Some of these traits may already be built into your personality or they may need to be developed.
In the January/February 2011 issue of NSIDE Magazine, a greater-Austin business publication, I came across a story by Professional Business Coach and Trainer Alicia Marie Fruin of PeopleBizInc who gave a birds-eye view of some common traits that make a successful entrepreneur. It made me think of the people I recently met with, you (our audience), and us (the founders of The PR Channel) who are passionately living, breathing, and running our successful businesses everyday.
Veering off the beaten PR path for just a second, I thought I’d share the excerpt from the NSIDE article so you can read it the way I did. Now, let’s not limit these traits to just entrepreneurs—solopreneurs are accounted for just as much. As a solorpreneur I related to most, if not all, of the traits and found myself grinning and nodding in validation.
According to Fruin, successful entrepreneurs:
- Are available. In small businesses where there is no depth of management, the owners must be present to win. The owners can’t afford a support staff to cover all business roles and, therefore, need to work long hours, have very talented people or both.
- Are self-motivated. Entrepreneurs do not function well in structured organizations and do not like someone having authority over them. Rules, bureaucracy and politics frustrate them. This is often what leads them to start their own businesses. They enjoy creating business strategies and thrive on the process of achieving their goals. Once they obtain a goal, they quickly move to a greater goal. They constantly look to the future vision of the business. They value freedom over money.
- Value their own well-being. Successful entrepreneurs are physically sound and in good health. They can work for extended periods of time as needed. They understand the relationship between a healthy body and a sharp mind.
- Are practical and pragmatic. Entrepreneurs can accept what is and what is not, and deal with issues accordingly. They may or may not be idealistic, but they are rarely unrealistic. They want to know the facts and conditions of a given situation at all times.
- Embrace ambiguity. Entrepreneurs identify problems and begin working on their solution faster than other people. Uncertainty does not bother them because their healthy ego feels challenged and likes to solve problems.
- Have intelligence. Successful entrepreneurs think fast on their feet. They can comprehend complex problems and circumstances that may require planning, strategy or working on multiple business ideas at once. They are open-minded and will consider different perspectives, and are flexible and not afraid to change direction when failing.
- Have a healthy ego. Entrepreneurs are confident when they feel in control of what they’re doing and often like to work alone. They tackle problems head-on with confidence. They are persistent in problem-solving and aren’t afraid of smart risks.
- Have a sense of urgency. Entrepreneurs have drive and high energy levels, they are achievement-oriented and are tireless in the pursuit of their goals. Idleness makes them impatient, on edge and anxious. They are more likely to be found getting things done instead of taking care of the other “to-dos.”
- Are emotionally stable. Successful entrepreneurs can handle stress and even enjoy it. They are challenged rather than discouraged by setbacks and failures. They are surprisingly uncomfortable when things are going well.
So there you go! Did you find yourself relating? Validating? Pondering? Nonetheless, if you have the passion, self-motivation and ideas you’ve already taken the first step.