It’s impossible to know if your business will succeed; however, I believe there are indicators that predict whether or not you will be a successful business owner. I haven’t done formal research on the qualities of successful entrepreneurs, but I have learned from my own experiences. I’ve started several businesses and I’ve spoken to hundreds of small business owners throughout my career; I have found that my story and their stories are similar in so many ways.
Does your story match up? Do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?
Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
I’ve seen patterns in the characteristics of small business owners. If you have any of these characteristics, you might just be cut out to start and run a successful business.
1. Asking a lot of questions
Small business owners need to ask questions constantly. They need to ask questions when starting a business and when figuring out ways to improve their businesses. And they will never stop asking questions—when they come up with one question, it leads to 10 more.
The key is not to get overwhelmed by all the questions. The only way for your business to improve is by asking a lot of questions. You should never be satisfied.
2. Not afraid of mistakes
Nobody wants to make mistakes, and nobody intentionally makes them. But when you’re a business owner, you will make mistakes—and lots of them.
Many people won’t start businesses because they’re afraid of making mistakes. They’re not comfortable with making mistakes because it means that they were wrong.
I’m here to tell you that it’s OK for you to make mistakes in business. To be successful, I encourage you to make mistakes. If you start your own business, all you have to do is be right more times than you’re wrong.
3. Being academically average
You don’t have to be super smart, well educated, or even have formal training to be a small business owner. Being average is good enough.
There are tons of brilliant people in the world, but often those people are working for someone else. Studies show that people who become business owners were usually a part of the “C’s get degrees club” in school. They were just average! Don’t let being academically average stop you from becoming a small business owner.
Certainly, you can be an extremely smart person and start a business. But more often it’s the average people who are innovators and entrepreneurs.
4. Possessing key personality traits
There are several business personality traits entrepreneurs should have. You’ve probably heard that entrepreneurs have:
Having these character traits will help you become successful. Do you need every single one of them before you launch a startup? No, you don’t. You can learn many of these as you go. The more you master, the more successful you’ll become.
5. Willingness to work hard and learn
Entrepreneurs and business owners will tell you how hard it is to be in their shoes. Is it hard? Yes, but it’s very doable. They learned how to do payroll and manage accounting basics all while working on their budding companies. They were able to build their businesses, so you can build a business too.
You don’t need a bunch of skills to start; you can learn a lot of what you need over time. For example, if you’re not a natural-born risk taker, that skill can be developed as your business grows.
Or, if you have low self-confidence, your confidence will grow with each day you spend working on your business. In other words, there is not a list of prerequisites you must meet to start your business. You simply need to be willing to work hard and learn. The rest can be learned or acquired as you go.