The drive to start a business, build it, and work hard to make it successful is not an urge that everyone shares. It takes a particular kind of person, so it makes sense that entrepreneurs share a particular set of skills. Take a look at some of the personal and professional traits that entrepreneurs have in common.
1. They know how to hire the right people
Effective entrepreneurs know that they can’t do everything at their company. Instead, they know how important it is to hire talented people who have skills that they lack (or don’t have the bandwidth for) as well as an enthusiasm to make the company attractive to other potential employees. And, once these employees are on board, successful entrepreneurs know that they shouldn’t stifle them with micromanagement.
2. They strive for balance
Entrepreneurs running a startup aren’t going to show up to work at 9:00, leave at 6:00, and not think about the company again until the next day. (Not if they want to be successful, at least.) But that doesn’t mean they have to be single-minded about their company to the point that work is their only focus, while personal relationships fall to the wayside. In fact, research by Xero found that 58 percent of successful entrepreneurs said that spending time with their family in the evenings helped them perform better as business owners, and 55 percent said it was important to keep their weekends free for loved ones.
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3. They can motivate people
It’s important for all leaders to know how to inspire their employees, but it’s absolutely essential for entrepreneurs to have this skill. After all, if they can’t get their own people to believe in their startup, how can they ever convince potential customers? And motivating employees doesn’t just mean making rousing speeches about the company’s potential and how it’s going to change the industry. Motivation also comes in the form of great benefits, perks, and flexible work schedules. The first step is to start a business that employees are excited about, but offering incredible incentives makes it an opportunity they can’t turn down.
4. They know how to fail the right way
Many successful entrepreneurs have failed at some point, and that doesn’t take away from their accomplishments. In fact, it makes them stronger business people. “There’s a lot of hero worship in startup circles,” Amy Wilkinson, a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, said, “but they’ve all failed. Every single person I met with talked about failure.” Wilkinson, who interviewed 200 successful entrepreneurs, said the difference is that they failed wisely. Instead of making huge mistakes that ended up tanking their companies, they made errors on a smaller scale, so they learned from their failures and ultimately made their businesses stronger.
5. They know when to ask for help
Entrepreneurs aren’t born with some magical ability to launch successful businesses. Sure, they might have an inherent drive to create, but that doesn’t ensure that their endeavors will work out. The Xero survey found that one-third of successful entrepreneurs have asked a mentor or support group for advice about their company, compared to just 14 percent of respondents whose businesses failed. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. Instead, it shows that you’re savvy enough to seek input from people who have succeeded, and to learn from their mistakes instead of repeating them.