Entrepreneurs are a special breed of people. They think, talk, and subsequently act inversely to the normal public. They often don’t fit in and are looked at as being peculiar. They are at times considered the odd man out or the “black sheep” of the family. Yet, they are the shakers and shapers of our country. It has been, and always will be, the entrepreneurs that introduce innovation and change into our marketplace. They strive to make a difference and usually leave the world a better place than it was before they contributed to it.
Steve Jobs, one of the foremost “shakers” in the world said it this way:
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
Now, you’ll note, at the beginning of this section I used the term “breed,” as if all this had to do with genetics. As if there is a special entrepreneurial gene that allows people to prosper at their own business, or as their own boss. To some extent, I do believe some people seem to come by this gift naturally and they instinctively gravitate to profitable business opportunities. However, I also believe this can be learned. It’s more of a mindset. Even people who have this naturally must continue to tune into it.
4 Characteristics of an Entrepreneurial Brain
In this climate, there is a lot of negativity. The naysayers constantly state that the market cannot support new business or innovation. And they actually believe that there is simply not enough money to go around. They declare that the risk is too steep, the stakes are too high, and the outcome is too uncertain. It’s a gamble they are personally not willing to undertake, and therefore they don’t want to participate in or encourage it.
Overcoming the internal and external negative reactions to your entrepreneurial dreams is at the root of your success. You have to tune out the naysayers and tune into like-minded, successful people–even if that means you have to eliminate current relationships and make new friends, do it.
Here are four non-negotiable characteristics every entrepreneur has to have.
1. You Must Be Up for a Little (or A Lot) of Uncertainty
If you want to be an entrepreneur and start your own business, you have to be okay with the notion of uncertainty. When you embark on a new business, you can plan, but you will never really know where you’ll be in a year, who will still be on board with you, and what kinds of challenges you’ll meet a long the way.
For some, the uncertainty of it all is a hard pill to swallow. For others, it’s simply part of the game. If you can keep your chin up, be the obnoxiously over-optimistic person in the room, and stay fired up even when the future is bleak, you have the #1 characteristic of an entrepreneur.
2. You Have to Be Patient
I have to be honest, this is the one trait that I struggle with the most. I’m of the mindset that things should be done “yesterday,” even if I came up with the idea today (much to the disdain of my staff)!
Success and fame (for the most part) do not happen overnight. Now, I’m sure you’ve read sales letter after sales letter touting “get-rich-quick” techniques and programs, but those are more the exception to the rule than the norm. It takes hard work and perseverance to realize enduring success. The companies that are the most synonymous with success took time to become what they are today. Amazon took 9 years to turn a profit. Starbucks started in 1971 and eight years later still only had a handful of coffee shops. In both instances, the visionaries behind the brand and idea persevered. And most likely their initial idea for the company evolved with their growth.
3. You Have to Understand that “Good is Good Enough”
This is my favorite saying. It doesn’t mean I don’t believe in trying, or doing your best, but when you get hung up on perfection, you stop progressing. You can’t spend all your time and effort on one challenge. You have to sometimes slap a band-aid on it, and move on to the next thing. As an entrepreneur, you can’t wait to get all the data in before figuring out the solution. You don’t get the luxury of sitting back and waiting for all the results before you make decisions on the next step.
My advice is to “embrace the chaos.” Being an entrepreneur comes with a its fair share of messiness. Yet, the chaos often shines a light on what is really important and allows you to strategically change your plan as you go along.
4. You Have to Be Your Best Salesperson
You have to be able, and willing, to drink the Kool-Aid long before anyone else will. You have to believe wholeheartedly in the vision, the direction, and the plan for your company before you can pitch it to partners, investors, employees, and eventual customers. Your passion will be the heart of your company.
Also, you need to not only have the benefits wrapped up in a pretty bow, but also be able to answer any questions or objections. Never leave any stone unturned when it comes to possible concerns with your product or service. If you can counter these worries with clear and succinct answers, you’ve hooked them.
To Your Success;
Lee A. Arnold
The Lee Arnold System of Real Estate Investing
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