Key traits for successful Entrepreneurs

blog Mar 14, 2023

Entrepreneurs and small business owners have a vision, focus and determination that will take them anywhere they want to go. 

They also have strong leadership skills and know how to motivate others around them.

The entrepreneurial mindset is unique in that one must be creative, communicative and highly motivated to succeed.

But, open to risk and failure.

There is no magical formula to succeed in business, however, there are certain characteristics which all aspiring entrepreneurs should cultivate to dramatically boost their success.

1.    Effective management skills

Good entrepreneurs must have effective management skills. 

They need to be able to lead their team and coordinate resources in order to achieve the goals of the business.

Good managers have the ability to motivate their team, create a clear vision and goals, organise resources efficiently, communicate effectively with all stakeholders, provide feedback as needed and make difficult decisions when necessary.

Effective management also involves developing strategies to increase productivity, reduce costs and maximise profits. 

They know how to delegate tasks appropriately and do not micro manage.

2.    Problem-solving Skills

There are many benefits to problem solving in a small business.

It creates an environment that is hostile free and encourages everyone to speak their mind when a problem occurs. 

Team building is way better when you resolve problems together as a team.

Ultimately, problem solving increases confidence and empowerment within your team. 

If an entire business can solve problems efficiently, they can spend their time more wisely.

We recommend the following five steps to improve your problem solving.

Step 1: Identify the problem

The first step in the problem solving process is to identify the root of the issue. 

Unfortunately, the problem isn’t always easily identifiable and requires extra analysis to get to the source.

In the event of a problem, ask yourself the five whys: Who, What, When, Why, and Where

And sometimes you need to ask WHY more than once.

By asking yourself these questions in association with the problem, you will discover exactly where the problem is coming from.

Step 2: Generate potential solutions

The next step is to create a list of possible solutions to the problem you’ve discovered. 

Brainstorming is the first way to think of a potential answer, and ideally in a group setting, as different perspectives can lead to different solutions. 

Step 3: Choose one solution

Once a list of possible solutions has been made, it’s time to put your decision making skills to the test. 

In order to find the best solution for the problem, analyse every possible resolution and decide which is best for the situation you are in. 

The process of elimination is a good way to narrow your choices down.

Step 4: Implement the solution you’ve chosen

Implementation is the culmination of all your work in solving a problem and requires focus and accountability. 

Timing is everything, and when you implement a new strategy, it can take a fair amount of time to implement.

Ensure you have clarity around your goals, address any issues or possible obstacles, and create a plan. 

Who's going to do what and by when?

Communication is critical, and I find the best way is to include an agenda item as part of your weekly meeting.

If you don’t have a weekly meeting.

Step 5: Evaluate results

Finally, analyse the results. 

This can be done after a few weeks, months, or years, depending on what you are trying to change or achieve.  

Ask yourself the following questions to better evaluate results:

  • Are any of your processes being interrupted by the previous problem?
  • Did any new problems arise, since this process has begun?
  • Is there a possibility the issue can return?
  • Do you need to change any policy, procedure or personnel to avoid this from happening again?

Sometimes it’s necessary to start the process from the beginning. 

Try to focus on the solution rather than the problem. 

3.   A positive mental attitude

A positive attitude is critical for successful entrepreneurs, as it sets the tone for the rest of the business and influences culture.

Negative thoughts undermine forward motion and the progress of the business, not to mention the management’s ability to lead and motivate the team. 

Part of what gives entrepreneurs the motivation to succeed in their small business is positivity, and ideally is never compromised.

When you’re the boss, a positive attitude influences others in a similarly positive way. 

Psychological research has made a correlation between higher productivity and positive work environments. 

Moreover, positive work environments have been linked to higher business profits, fewer sick days and higher staff retention rates.

4.    Persuasive communication ability

The power of persuasion can help you negotiate, sell and lead people, to name a few outcomes.

How can you cultivate persuasiveness for your small business?

While some people are more naturally persuasive than others, persuasive communication skills can be learned and practised. 

Learning to communicate and present your ideas will make you a better entrepreneur - no matter what your industry is.

Aristotle determined that persuasion comprises a combination of three appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos

Anyone seeking to persuade an audience should craft his / her message with facts (logos), tapping an argument's emotional aspect (pathos) and presenting his / her apparent moral standing (ethos).

  • Logos – Appealing to Logic

In the case of logos, a persuader uses facts, statistics, quotations from reputable sources / experts, as well as existing knowledge. 

This is the side of the argument that can prove how solid it is based on facts alone.

  • Pathos – Appealing to emotions

Pathos involves delivering the argument in a way that appeals to the audience’s emotions. 

Logos alone have facts that are cold, flat and ‘dead’. 

For example, a scientist speaking at a world convention can talk about global warming and bring up facts and figures about how many tons of ice melt into the sea every year. 

However, by arguing about the impact of global warming on living things, for instance, how many polar bears will die if the current trend continues, she’ll tap the emotions of the audience. 

Pathos is the emotional vehicle that carries the logos to the audience. 

  • Ethos – Appealing to ethics, moral and character

Ethos has to do with who the persuader is. 

His / her identity will have a great impact on how the audience takes the message. 

People listen to them because they are:

  • They are specialists in their field and have practical intelligence
  • They have a a virtuous nature – honest, hardworking and have proven themselves, and
  • They’re genuine and have good intentions.

Creating persuasive designs is only one side of the coin. 

Unless you are casting them to the right audience, taking on board cultural / lifestyle considerations, you will fail.

Knowing who your audience is vital. 

Moreover, we can only start persuading people once we have earned their trust by presenting our ethos. 

From there, we can bring out the solid facts and get users interested with well-placed emotional hooks.

5.    Tenacity and an ability to learn from failure

When you’re starting a small business, you hope that your business will be a wild success. 

It’s true that success is wonderful, but failure is where growth and change happen, as well as resilience.

The key to learning from failure is to embrace your mistakes so they make you better, not break you.

How can you cultivate tenacity and embrace growth from failure in business?

Failure is inevitable, but your reaction to your failure is what you make of it. 

Here are a few ways to use your failure to become even more successful in the long-term.

  • Step 1: Find the Lesson

Failure can cause you to question your self-worth, efforts, and sadly, even the value of your life. 

Failure can also teach empathy. 

It can teach thoughtfulness for those less fortunate and promotes tolerance and acceptance. 

All of those qualities are essential to personal and business success, and you learn with failure.

It is paramount to accept failure with humility, to embrace it for the lessons it teaches you. 

  • Step 2: Crush mediocrity

Setting mediocre goals to avoid failure will not lead you to greatness. 

Mediocrity will always yield being stuck in the middle. 

Dream big and push yourself towards your end goal, no matter how scary it may seem.

Your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), as Jim Collins coined in the awesome book “Built to Last

  • Step 3 – Don’t be ashamed of your setbacks

Don’t attach judgement or blame when you fail. 

Business failure should not make you feel ashamed or embarrassed. 

Do your best to remove the emotion from mistakes you make as an entrepreneur, so you can logically explore how to better yourself and your business. 

6.    Intrinsic motivation and drive

One of the top entrepreneurial characteristics is intrinsic motivation, meaning you are self-motivated as opposed to looking to others to push you to do things or hold you accountable.

So, how can you cultivate intrinsic motivation for your business?

  • Keep the focus on the end game, the big picture

Where is your business headed? 

What plans do you have in the future to grow and expand? 

How will your business fit into its respective industry in the future? 

From our experience, having longer range goals and plans keeps the motivational fires burning.

We like to use a three year period.

  • Goal setting

The key to using goals for motivation is to set high-quality goals, which are clear, achievable and manageable. 

They provide a sense of motivation when you accomplish your intended objective.

You also need to remember, you’re not only responsible for your own intrinsic motivation, but you’re also responsible for cultivating that for your employees.

If you want to be successful, you need:

  • To be able to motivate and inspire your team
  • To make decisions, even when they’re not popular
  • To have a clear vision and communicate it effectively to your team
  • To be adaptable and willing to change course when necessary, and
  • To be persistent in the face of adversity.

But most importantly, you need to be honest and ethical in all your dealings.

Our podcast with Chris Morsley of CMC Global is a great listen to compliment the above.

Do you want to build your skills in this area to help you succeed in your business? 

Join our Business Transformation Program waitlist now.