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15 Completely Vital Entrepreneurial Qualities

15 Completely Vital Entrepreneurial Qualities

Many, if not all, of us would much rather work for ourselves than someone else. However, being your own boss and sustaining your own business or products, is a challenge not all of us are ready to face. So, what does it take to truly stand out and be successful? Many current entrepreneurs have plenty to say on the topic, and others simply live by the habits one needs. To get an idea for the qualities you could cultivate, we gathered 15 absolutely indispensable entrepreneurial qualities.

You Have Passion

Passion is easily the most common of the entrepreneurial qualities. Whether you start off rich or poor, educated or not, every business leader must be passionate. Even if you’re starting off in an area you feel is not your calling, it is crucial you follow through with your goals with passion. Take Cameron Johnson for example, a multimillionaire entrepreneur who made his money creating websites.

“I realized after the printing business, as I moved on to other businesses, that it was a real passion of mine and I knew it’d guide me in life”, he says. Embarking on being an entrepreneur in any business will involve incredible levels of competition, and passion is often a deciding factor in pulling ahead. 

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    You Work Hard. Very Hard.

    Plain and simple, hard work is another completely pivotal ingredient to true success. While some breakthroughs might require timing or well informed decisions, nearly every challenge you face as an entrepreneur will require hard work. Don’t be afraid to truly immerse yourself in your goals, and get your hands dirty.

    You Are Confident

    Along the way to success, you are undoubtedly going to run into naysayers. Regardless of how intellectual or persistent your detractors are, an entrepreneur keeps going. Even if there are bumps along the road, confidence in an idea is among the crucial entrepreneurial qualities.

    You Persevere

    Hand in hand with confidence is perseverance. Another indispensable entrepreneurial quality, an entrepreneur must persevere under all conditions. Challenges are sure to arise on your way to success, but the ability to overcome them will set you apart from the rest. Entrepreneur Jan Koum, for example, is best known as the creator of WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion. Jan created the app at age 33, but first had to overcome a childhood of scarcity in the Ukraine. Additionally, after going to university, Jan was rejected from working for Facebook, shortly before creating WhatsApp. This is proof that working through difficult circumstances often comes immediately before success.

    You Keep Your Mind Open

    If you are looking to cultivate entrepreneurial qualities, another necessary one is open-mindedness. Often times, entrepreneurs’ most successful ventures come from unexpected sources. As an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to look outside the box.

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      You Have Courage

      Sometime the challenges entrepreneurs face are downright terrifying. In order to succeed in an uneven, ever-changing atmosphere, entrepreneurs must be able to pursue good ideas and decisions, even when their gut screams no. Being able to overcome fear is a sometimes daily skill an entrepreneur must use.

      You Are A Forward Thinker

      Much like keeping your mind open, another crucial entrepreneurial quality is forward thinking. To be successful as a leader, one must pursue ideas that bring them into the future. Once a need is obvious, other businesses will be eager to fill it. By thinking into the future, entrepreneurs identify opportunities before others. Self-made mogul Jessica Huie, for example, felt typical card companies ignored racial diversity. She created a card company to fill the gap, and quickly found success. By identifying a need others didn’t see, Jessica moved forward. In pursuing opportunities first, an entrepreneur can start a step ahead of competitors.

      You Ask For What You Want

      Whether it’s an improved contract or a start up investment, entrepreneurs eagerly go after what they want. Don’t wait around for others to show interest in your ventures, entrepreneurs go after what they need. An entrepreneur must know what will drive their business forward, and actively pursue it. As an entrepreneur, by simply asking for what you want, you will be more likely to find it.

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        Vision

        Along with being forward thinking, entrepreneurs tend to have a strong vision. By knowing what you want, from beginning to end, you will be better able to break your venture down into achievable steps. Having a strong vision will also help inspire the people who partner with you and work for you. Just as crucial to a business’s success as a leader who knows where they’re going, are employees who eagerly pursue the dream too. Vision, and committing to your vision, are important entrepreneurial qualities.

        You Are Flexible

        Flexibility is another crucial entrepreneurial quality. As anyone knows, things don’t always go as planned. This is especially true in business, as leaders and entrepreneurs must be able to adapt. When something unexpected throws a wrench in your venture, an entrepreneur is responsible for getting things back on track. If you are willing to compromise and quickly adapt to new situations, you will be more likely to keep small bumps in the road small, instead of growing them into failures.

        You Can Throw Out the Rule Book

        While learning the rules is often the first step in becoming an expert, a successful entrepreneur knows when to break them too. A healthy disregard for the rules can sometimes make the difference between success and failure. Colin Thornton, a South African entrepreneur, started his successful company after dropping out of post-secondary school. Colin didn’t let leaving school hold him down however, and is now worth around $10 million. By ignoring the right rules when the time comes, you may be in a more advantageous position.

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        You Are An Expert At Money Management

        No business or venture can be successful if more money is spent than earned. It’s absolutely necessary then, that an entrepreneur can manage money well. Especially if an entrepreneur is starting out with little funding, it’s likely a professional accountant will be too expensive. If you’re trying to improve your entrepreneurial skills, money management is a necessary key.

        You Study 

        It doesn’t matter if you are formally educated or not, an entrepreneur never stops learning. The better a person is informed, the better their ability to make strategic decisions. Whether you feel knowledgeable about your venture or not, new developments happen every day. Keeping utterly up-to-date on new techniques and competition is often the difference between moving forward and falling behind. Studying is another one of the crucial entrepreneurial qualities.

        You Immerse Yourself in New Technology

        Oftentimes, the best entrepreneurial opportunities lie in emerging markets, where there is less competition. Pulling ahead of the pack is often best achieved by concerning yourself with new technology. No matter the industry an entrepreneur pursues, there is undoubtedly new ways of doing things. Experiment with new technologies to deliver your business to your customers if you want to gain an edge. 

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          You Are Ambitious

          Ambition is another essential entrepreneurial quality. Not only will ambition bring you new opportunities, ambition is crucial for overcoming challenges. If you don’t have established goals as an entrepreneur, you are more likely to grow comfortable and settle for surviving, instead of thriving. Ambition is an entrepreneurial quality that provides momentum to your ideas and passion. Let your drive move you forward, and there’s no telling what you can achieve.

          Featured photo credit: Philippe Put via flickr.com

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          Published on September 16, 2020

          12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

          12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

          Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

          Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

          Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

          Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

          Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

          Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

          1. Organization

          When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

          When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

          Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

          To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

          To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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          2. Flexibility

          You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

          Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

          For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

          To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

          To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

          3. Collaboration

          As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

          Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

          To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

          To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

          4. Poise

          Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

          When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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          What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

          To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

          To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

          5. Communication

          Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

          When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

          To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

          To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

          6. Good Computer Hygiene

          Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

          Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

          To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

          To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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          7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

          Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

          Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

          To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

          To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

          8. Respecting Feedback

          In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

          Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

          To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

          To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

          9. Project Management

          Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

          To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

          To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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          10. Staying up to Speed

          Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

          To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

          To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

          11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

          “Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

          To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

          To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

          12. Teamwork

          Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

          Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

          To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

          To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

          Final Thoughts

          Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

          More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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