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8 Traits Of Successful Entrepreneurs

Today’s post is a guest post from Sanjana Vig about the 8 traits of successful entrepreneurs. Sanjana is a physician anesthesiologist, avid traveler, and entrepreneur. She founded The Female Professional in order to give women a voice, a community, and provide resources to help them overcome hurdles and achieve success. With her experiences as a physician, as a CEO of a startup, and as a writer, she understands the struggles and frustrations that women face. She also understands what it takes to move past those things and come out on top. Through this platform, Sanjana aims to empower women to be their best, authentic, selves, achieve work/life balance, and live life to the fullest.

I really love this post from Sanjana as I continue to learn to be anentrepreneur, which I honestly never though I would be. However, I find that I really love it. So, whether you are anentrepreneur right now or not, there is a lot to learn from this post!

To learn more about cultivating a successful growth mindset, try this post!
Top 5 Limiting Beliefs to Overcome on the Way to Wealth

There are a lot of factors that determine if a business will fail or succeed, but one thing that cannot be substituted is the variety of qualities and skills possessed by the founder or entrepreneur. Regardless of the field of work you’re in, as an entrepreneur there are certain traits and characteristics that can and will determine whether or not you succeed in your endeavors.  

This is about more than “trying your best”. It takes determination and grit to run your own business successfully.

8 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

So what are the other traits of successful entrepreneurs? What does it take to make your business grow and succeed?

1. Passion

Your passion can be defined as things that get you emotionally caught up in your actions and/or reactions to certain things or issues. Passion is one of the key attributes budding entrepreneurs need to succeed.

How passionate you are about your business determines how far and fast you go. You need to really love the product or services your business is selling, and to learn as much as you possibly can about it. You need to spend vast amounts of time thinking about it and really caring about getting it right for customers

Mike Murdock said,

 “Your passion is a pointer to the problem you are created to solve.” 

I have seen many entrepreneurs trying to convince investors to invest in their ideas. The high percentages of those that get the funding required are those that are passionate about their business idea. When you are passionate about your business or idea, it resonates within your voice and radiates through your face and body language.

successful entrepreneurs
A good first step…

2. Street Smarts 

In the real world of business you not only need smarts, but street smarts as well. For every concept you know, there is a practical application that requires knowledge and instincts as well. This is imperative for successfulentrepreneurs.

There are four different ways you can get the knowledge you need and hone your instincts. We’ll call them “schools” for the sake of discussion. 

  • Traditional Business School – these schools provide you with the knowledge you need and  are run by universities, or accredited colleges. 
  • The Family Business School. If you belong to a family that runs a business or two you will likely be able to learn from their knowledge and experiences.
  • The Corporate Business School. This is run by big businesses in the form of internship programs for young students or new graduates. This also includes training for employees and rotation within the various departments of the company to get practical experience.
  • The Business School of the Streets. This is the school every entrepreneur attends when they leave the security blanket of school, family, or the corporate world. This is the toughest business school. It does not grade you in As and Bs, your grades are measured in dollars earned or dollars lost. Your report sheet is your bank statement.

So what exactly are some of the street smarts you need to have, or hone?

  • You need to be able to do quick math and crunch numbers in your head 
  • Be able to pick up on and understand trends, and gaps, in a market
  • Know how to gauge people’s reaction to your products if you want to make money, and use the information productively
  • You need to be able to pivot/change gears for your company when it’s called for
  • You should be comfortable selling your products, skills, and knowledge to attract investors
  • And, you need to know what you don’t know and surround yourself with the types of people who can help you grow.

As you can see, a lot of this street smart know-how involves managing people, understanding the market around your company, and decision-making capacity. Essentially, you need to build your knowledge base and experience. You need to build it to a point where your instincts are developed to help you with your decisions.

 3. Ability To Take Risks

All entrepreneurial endeavors require some risk tolerance. You have to be willing to take a chance and jump into the unknown.

A good entrepreneur will take all precautions and hedge all of their bets. But, they will still take the leap needed to accomplish their goals. 

Establishing a risk tolerance involves developing a mindset where you are ok losing, you are ok crashing, and you are ok with having to start over. 

4. Resilience 

On your path to success, you will face a lot of rejection, setbacks and criticism every now and then. It is your ability to be resilient, otherwise known as bounce-back-ability, that will help you to cope with all the challenges of running your own business.

The ability to stay positive and continue on can be a huge differentiator between a successful entrepreneur and one who fails. 

6. Self Motivation

medical surveys

When you are your own boss, you run the show, you are the employer and an employee. You have to not only be focused and have energy. You need to find the motivation to work hard everyday, even if it means you make little progress.  

When I did my short time as the CEO of a startup, I found myself waking up early, going to bed late, and working without breaks in between. It can be exhausting, and extremely difficult to keep up the pace when you don’t immediately see the fruits of your labor.

This I’m saying not to scare you but to prepare your mind towards the task ahead. In his book, “Starting Your Own Business” – David Lester had this to say;

 “forget any ideas about taking extra holidays or time off during the day – your life will be more 9am – 9pm (if you ’re lucky) than 9am – 5pm.

Many people fizzle out or start to give up when they don’t see progress; but keep in mind that’s part of the journey. Being able to continue on can make all the difference in the outcome!

7. Ability to Multi-Task

When you’re first starting out, you may not have any employees, or may just one or two. This means that each person will have multiple roles to fill, and will need to have some multi-tasking capabilities.

That is the picture of what most entrepreneurs encounter. When you’re running your own business, initially you, and any partners, will have to do everything. You will need to keep lots of different issues in your mind, and work out your priorities to ensure that everything gets done on time to make the business happen.

8. Active Learners

It doesn’t matter how smart you are, how strong your instincts are, or how good your idea is. You have to be open to the idea that you don’t know everything, or that you won’t think of everything. 

Entrepreneurship, and the process of building a company, can open you up to a lot of questions, doubt, and resistance. People will question you, pull you down, and try to tell you it won’t work. 

As a physician, I know quite a bit about clinical work. However, even though the startup I was a part of was a medical device, I had a lot to learn about the logistics of using a new product and bringing it to market. Only by being open to the information was I able to make some of the hard decisions I needed to make for the company.

An important trait of a successful entrepreneur is to be open to feedback, to understand any concerns, and to be an active learner. You and your business will be better off for it. 

Final Thoughts

Entrepreneurship is not an easy road to take. There are risks, it can take years of hard work to see any kind of payout, and you will likely lose a lot of sleep and a lot of friends along the way. 

However, the upside potential is high. You can become wildly successful, you have the ability to be your own boss, and you can potentially create a level of financial freedom for yourself that few people attain.  

There are a lot of intelligent people out there with great ideas. But executing well, building the right team, and growing the business take a special kind of motivation, strength and determination that many successful entrepreneurs share. The good thing is that by knowing what you need to do, you can develop these traits, or at minimum surround yourself with people who can help.

For anyone on the fence about starting something, don’t be afraid to at least talk to people. Networking and getting feedback on your business idea can help you refine it and take the next step, while also mitigating your risk. 

At the end of the day, the best thing anyone can do in life is to try. 

the prudent plastic surgeon graduating to success

What do you think? What makes successful entrepreneurs? Are you one? Should physicians work to become successful entrepreneurs? How could you be more successful? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Jordan Frey MD, a plastic surgeon in Buffalo, NY, is one of the fastest-growing physician finance bloggers in the world. See how he went from financially clueless to increasing his net worth by $1M in 1 year and how you can do the same! Feel free to send Jordan a message at [email protected].

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