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3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

These traits are embodied by every successful entrepreneur on earth; that said, let’s explore a quick guide on going from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur by incorporating the habits, traits, and talents of a successful Entrepreneur.

1. Resourcefulness

Resourcefulness is first on the list, as it should be. It’s the ability to find a way out of no way. It’s acknowledging that Murphy’s Law will have it’s toll on you and still pushing through the hurt of fighting a losing battle. This is the trait that nobody talks about; it fully encapsulates the knowledge each successful person had prior to their success. They made a way for themselves, without relying on the resources that are reserved for the wealthy.

2. Sales Ability

Your ability to sell yourself – not your product, and not your business, yourself. It’s the elevator pitch; your very own Unique Selling Proposition. Your ability to sell will be the only factor at play after you have created your product, so it’s best to be prepared for it. Do not give up hope if you do not have this ability from the get-go. It’s a learned trait that anyone can adopt; it simply takes practice.

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3. Communication

How well and how long you succeed in entrepreneurship will be directly reflected by your ability to communicate effectively, with tact, and while motivating yourself and your employees. It’s the ability to converse effectively with anyone, anytime, anywhere. A little secret that all successful entrepreneurs know is that positive reinforcement goes far beyond that of negative reinforcement.

Adding them Up

Now let us take a look at some icons who effectively embodied all these traits.

What might not seem obvious to some can prove to be inherently evident in the behavior of others. When Thomas Edison partnered with J.P. Morgan to form General Electric, he didn’t have any idea how business should be conducted, but he still had ideas – valuable ideas. Morgan had set out to appropriate most of the western world’s railroads, and succeeded in doing so.

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Do you know how? He had a horrendous face, riddled with scars, and an unearthly nose. He once said, “I can tell the difference in someone’s character by watching them respond to my appearance.” This man was a billionaire in a time when resources were nullified, and sales ability was measured by marketing techniques like placing people, often children on street corners handing out pamphlets. Yet Morgan succeeded, with only four years of schooling and a father that put him out on the street at the age of fourteen. Morgan succeeded because he knew who people wanted him to be, and then upon that realization became that person; he saw what had worked for so many others, and he simply implemented the existing strategies into his own ventures.

After Edison’s partnership concluded, and Morgan went on to other ventures, Edison believed he was now competent enough to operate on his own. He failed, over and over again. Though Edison went on to light the world with his incandescent light bulb, and some figured he’d go beyond that on his next venture, he didn’t. He bought a mine with the appropriated funds he had from the Morgan venture, and he kept inventing, but was soon faced with bankruptcy and looming debt that followed him until his death. He had not applied what Morgan taught him.

Abraham Lincoln is another great example of someone who could succeed in any environment. Lincoln’s mother was murdered in front of him at a young age, and his father, a dock worker, was a quiet man who kept to himself while slaving away day by day. Lincoln had to fight his own battles from a young age, and he had no one who would step in if he got in trouble. He learned how to fend for himself; he is an epitome example of a resourceful person.

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Some described listening to him at the polls before his successful election as the President as uplifting; he was by all definitions the most successful president the world has ever seen, igniting conflict that resulted in the prohibition of slavery, winning a civil war, giving all people equal rights, and drafting laws that still stand today.

Lincoln once appropriated his disappointment in a general in his army by writing a letter riddled with deconstructing criticism. He made it clear that this General had absolutely no grasp over how much he had cost the country. He signaled that this General had cost the country thousands, if not millions of lives. The General had Lee in his reach, his company was trapped, and they had to wait for the reservoir to drain before they could cross the river. I don’t believe anyone would have responded differently.

Do you know what he did with that letter? He never sent it; it was uncovered among his writings after his death. He knew that in order to communicate effectively, he had to have the ability to summon the perspective of the people whom he had led. Many people try to make others see their point of view without ever trying to understand others; they prefer to favor themselves as more competent, or even knowledgeable due to their successes, when the biggest factors at play regarding their success was perseverance and an indomitable spirit.

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There’s a lot that goes into becoming a successful entrepreneur, but if you master the traits set out above you’ll find it a lot easier to navigate the oceans that are the business world. One thing to keep in mind, however unpleasant it may appear, is to keep going, pivot when necessary, but keep on going. Every single entrepreneur who has ever “made it” will have a combination of these traits in common – imagine what you could accomplish by implementing them all.

Featured photo credit: FirmBee via pixabay.com

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Jane Smith

Blogger, Teacher

3 Traits That’ll Take You From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur

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Published on December 17, 2018

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

15 Important Interview Questions to Ask Employees During an Interview

The importance of asking great questions cannot be overstated. Great questions help you discover new things, diagnose existing problems, and explore how well solutions are working in your life or business. Whether you work with consultants, executives, or entry-level employees, you cannot skip questions.

Now imagine running a company where sustainability and profitability depends on your ability to determine the brightest minds and skills in the industry in a single conversation:

How do you know they’re the perfect fit for you? How do you assess their communication skills? How do you know they won’t cost your team in the long run?

You know it already; ask great questions!

The concept of asking questions isn’t new but there is a great chance that you’re not taking full advantage of it. A Harvard Business Review article refers to questioning as a powerful tool that unlocks value, fuels innovation and performance improvement.[1] As a hiring manager or recruiter, how to you get this information when you’re meeting a candidate for the first time?

Ask great questions, of course.

Without further ado, here are 15 interview questions to ask employees during an interview:

1. “What are your career goals?”

Another version of this question is “What types of problems do you see yourself solving in the future?”

This question is almost never asked and when it is asked, most questions are geared towards knowing how long the employees intends to stay in the company.

Instead of asking leading questions that would steer employees into declaring undying loyalty for the organization, ask what types of problems they hope to solve in the future.

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This does two things:

  1. It reveals the skills and interest in your employees.
  2. It lets you know what types of candidates you are attracting in the first place.

With this, you’re able to trend this data to improve how you market your job opening. And if employee retention is pertinent to you, you can use this information to improve the job function so that future employees can see their future selves in this role.

2. “Why do you think you’re a great fit?”

It is important to go beneath the surface to ask questions that make the candidates speak about themselves in their own words. However, a surprising benefit of asking this question is that you’re able to determine how well-versed a candidate really is with the company’s challenges and goals, in addition to their personal attributes.

Instead of listing off accomplishments, an exceptional employee is able to help you see how these previous accomplishment can translate into helping your organization solve its current business problems.

3. “What do you hope to learn from this role?”

The answers to this question can reveal if there is a job-skill match and if a linear career progression is expected.

As you listen carefully and mind these answers from candidates, you begin to see trends in responses that help you refine how you develop roles, responsibilities, how employees see themselves, and what they want their career to look like.

4. “How do you deal with conflict between colleagues?”

Almost every breakdown in relationship is caused by miscommunication or lack of effective interpersonal skills. But a solid indicator of how well a person communicates is how they manage interpersonal conflict.

Conflict management skills is no longer something required only for corporations who wish to settle million-dollar lawsuits. It’s an essential skill that every worker ought to possess and can make or break an organization.

Tip: Ask for a time when they didn’t get along with a co-worker and how they resolved the conflict.

5. “How did you learn about this position?”

Asking how they learned about the position reveals how the brand is perceived by the outside world. This way, you know if your current employees is your biggest source of referrals for qualified applicants.

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This also lets you know how effective your current staffing processes are and which channels are worth the effort.

6. “Why are you interested in this position?”

Again, another seemingly basic question. But when you field applications from candidates who are transferring their skills from a different department or industry, you want to know why the change was made.

What led to the aha moment? What was the internal struggle like for them? What stands out to them about this particular position? Very important.

7. “What excites you the MOST about this position?”

After establishing how passionate they are about this position, it’s not unusual that you would want to know what tasks and responsibilities excite them most. With this knowledge, not only are you aware of their sense of ownership, you help nurture these skills by encouraging and facilitating the discovery of hidden potential in your employees.

For example, a hospital nurse might detest inserting intravenous catheters in patients but jump at the task of motivating colleagues and initiating stress-reduction activities on hospital units. An office employee might cringe at the thought of public speaking but excel at creating world-class presentations.

While you can’t exempt your employee from every task in the role because they favor one thing over another, you are more aware of how rich your existing talent pool is in your organization and can utilize your talents effectively.

8. “What do you consider your weakness?”

Why should you ask a candidate what his or her weakness is when all you want is someone perfect?

Admitting a weakness shouldn’t automatically disqualify a candidate. Rather, it reveals to you how self-aware the candidate is.

Self-awareness is essential to personal and professional development, and this is sometimes a precursor to how self-directed a person is regarding their career goals.

There are arguments about the need to abolish the weakness question from interviews because it reduces candidates’ accomplishments. I disagree.

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Asking employees about weaknesses lets you understand your employees better so you can not only create a work environment that is smart, you’re able to design professional development programs that can strengthen these weaknesses.

9. “What will you find challenging about this position?”

Maybe you don’t want to ask the ”weakness question.” Maybe you’re more concerned about the capacity to perform in the current job rather than their job history.

Still, you want to know if you have a creative problem solver and how they feel about potential problems when they arise. You also want to anticipate how your employees will adjust to their roles once they are successfully hired. Self-awareness about one’s ability and limits can be observed by asking this question during an interview.

Note: This question should never be asked with a malicious intent. Exceptional employees come with flaws and this should be expected. They key is knowing whether the successful candidate is willing to be a problem solver.

10. “What additional support will you need during your transition?”

This is a very important question during the interview question because not only is the labor market diverse, the response to this question can be used to develop the orientation process and additional training materials.

As a mentor to newer nurses, this is a question I repeat more than 50 percent of the time during the orientation period. The responses I get provide me with insights into what employees really consider as constraints so that I can make their transition as smooth as possible.

11. “What qualities do you desire in a leader or manager?”

Not everyone desires a manager who provides direction while giving you free rein to make your job your own. At the same time, some employees might prefer a manager who is detail-oriented and provides all the answers.

Knowing this before a candidate is hired can prevent conflict arising from differences in communication or management styles.

12. “What do you do if you don’t agree with your manager’s decisions?”

Conflict not only happens between employees. According to a study of conflict in the Canadian workforce,[2] about 81 percent of people leave the organization as a result of conflict.

The purpose of this question is to determine how adaptable an employee is to different communication styles, what they consider deal breakers, and how they model desired behavior when conflict arises.

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The responses to this question allows you to manage expectations and an indication for leaders to continuously work on their communication and conflict management skills.

13. “What would make this company an amazing place to work?”

Maybe you can’t provide free lunches or paid hours of free time at work like bigger companies. But answers to this question can reveal a lot about what employees think is crucial to well-being.

In a study of nearly 17,000 employees,[3] it was noted that an increase in stress level is directly correlated to workplace injury. While this interview won’t eradicate organizational constraints or stressors, feedback from candidates and employees on what makes a company a great place to work is the perfect place to start.

14. “What other questions do you have for me?”

Although this is a conversation to determine the best fit for your team, company, or organization, the interview goes both ways. Yes, you are also being scrutinized by your interviewee.

The purpose of this question is to create space to answer the candidate’s questions about your organization. You also get to provide insight on processes, expectations, team culture, and information that isn’t readily available on the company website.

15. “Tell me about yourself”

If everything else seems too much, lead with this timeless question. You simply cannot go wrong here.

Sometimes, the best answers come from open-ended queries. This is your best chance to know the candidate’s history, career accomplishments, and get a feel for their career goals all at the same time.

It is less intrusive and leading with this question makes it easier to approach other questions––depending on how sensitive the position is.

The Bottom Line

Conversation is a two-way street. Good questions can give you great insights into the value an employee can bring to your company. But there is an art and science to asking questions.

While you won’t become an expert right off the bat, these questions provide a good foundation to start from if you want to attract and retain top talent in your organization.

More Resources About Job Interview

Featured photo credit: Drew Beamer via unsplash.com

Reference

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