In a nutshell: Motivated? Creative? Visionary? You might have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.
Becoming a successful entrepreneur doesn’t come with a defined roadmap but there are some personality traits that are helpful along the journey of starting (and running) your own business, according to Monster.com’s “Nine Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs.” Among them are motivation, creativity and vision.
New entrepreneurs have a spectrum of motivations for taking the plunge, but aligning strengths with intrinsic motivations may be the key to making a rise to the top. Money and power only go far. Forbes’ “6 Top Motivations That Drive the Best Entrepreneurs” lists the following examples:
- Bill Gates of Microsoft wanted to make a difference in the world by putting a computer in every home across the globe.
- Guy Kawasaki, former chief evangelist of Apple and an accomplished author, investor and speaker, said in his book, “The Art of The Start 2.0,” that companies with a vision of becoming a cash cow are “doomed.”
- Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has said his motivation is creating an open information flow for people; in other words, your business should empower your beliefs to come to fruition.
- Steve Jobs of Apple said that since work fills a large part of your life, you will only be satisfied by doing great work.
- Elon Musk of Tesla is helping others achieve their goals by opening Tesla car battery patents up for anyone to use.
Creativity will provide you with a competitive advantage – through new products or services, innovative marketing concepts and operational efficiencies, for example. If you’re an entrepreneur (or aspiring entrepreneur), you likely possess some creativity, as entrepreneurship is about exploration and inventiveness. But you may be asking how you can harness this characteristic.
Business News Daily’s “Why Creativity Matters Most for Entrepreneurs” says there are some tips you should consider for letting your creativity flow. Creativity needs a little structure to flourish, but not to the point it is stifled. Set time aside to focus on creative problem-solving and you’ll have more breakthroughs. Unrelated to the daily running of your business, learning a new art form helps train the mind to develop creative problem-solving skills. So, step away from your work every now and then, and learn how to paint or dance. Lastly, explore other disciplines. Often, the biggest innovations happen when two or more sectors meet. If your business is in the finance industry, for example, look at the consumer goods space for inspiration on dealing with new customer demands. Don’t be afraid to peer outside the box for ideas.
You had a purpose when you first started your business. And that probably drove your enthusiasm for a while. But, successful entrepreneurs may go further if they have a vision for continued growth, according to FastTrack’s “Define (and Achieve) Your Company’s Three-Year Vision.” By visualizing goals over the next year, three years and even five years, you’re able to imagine what’s possible without getting bogged down by the everyday details. Creating a vision also helps you identify gaps between your present state and desired future state, allowing you to more easily make the connections of how to bridge those gaps.
It’s beneficial for entrepreneurs, especially as you grow your business and hire new employees, to write down what you envision for your business in the form of a vision statement. Start by thinking about what your business does best and how you do it. The Balance’s “How to Write a Vision Statement” suggests using this formula: “Five years from now, (my company name) will __________ by __________.” This forces you to select what your biggest accomplishment will be and provides a timeline for achieving it. From there, you can wordsmith it if you’d like. This will give you and your employees a reminder of what you’re working toward every day.