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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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          Alicia Prince

          A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on January 13, 2020

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Is It Time for a Career Change? (And How to Make the Change)

          Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

          Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

          Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance.

          Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to choose a career for a more fulfilling life.

          How to Know if You Need a Career Change?

          The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

          You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

          Physical Signs

          Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

          It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

          In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

          Mental Signs

          One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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          I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

          Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

          • The tension in your neck
          • Difficulties with sleeping
          • Unable to concentrate
          • High anxiety
          • Depression

          If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

          Are You Sure You’re Not Changing for the Wrong Reason?

          Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. Do you really understand your current situation at work?

          The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization.

          Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

          Desire for an Increase of Salary

          The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time.

          At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.

          Overnight Decision

          Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.

          Rejected for a Promotion

          I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.

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          Bored at Work

          Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

          A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

          • How long have you worked in your career?
          • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
          • Do you receive recognition?
          • Can you consider working in a new department?

          If after reviewing your work situation and none of the above recommendations can help, then it’s time to make a career change.

          How a Career Change Will Change Your Life

          I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

          One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

          It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

          A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

          You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

          • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
          • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
          • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

          How to Make a Career Change Successfully

          The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

          1. Write a Career Plan

          A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

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          You can learn how to set your career plan here.

          2. Weigh Your Options

          If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

          You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job. In the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

          3. Be Real About the Pros and Cons

          It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the job market that are impacting the current situation.

          A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:[3]

          • Economic factors
          • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
          • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
          • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
          • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

            A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

            4. Find a Mentor or Career Coach

            A mentor or a career coach that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

            • What is required to be successful in the role?
            • What certification or educational development is needed?
            • What are the challenges of the role?
            • Is there potential for career advancement?

            A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

            Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed

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            5. Research Salary

            Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

            It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

            6. Be Realistic

            If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

            For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

            Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

            7. Volunteer First

            A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

            Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

            Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

            8. Prepare Your Career Tools

            I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

            • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
            • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
            • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.
            • Cover letter: A good cover writer will always impress your potential employers. Here’s how to write a killer cover letter that stands out from others.

            Bottom Line

            It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will find a job and discover the role in a career field that is the best fit with your skillsets.

            Master these action steps and changing career paths will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

            More About Career Change

            Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

            Reference

            [1] Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
            [2] MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan
            [3] Creately: Personal SWOT Analysis to Assess and Improve Yourself

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