What makes a successful entrepreneur?

Becoming an entrepreneur can be hard work. Whether you’re currently in an office job and you are ready to take a new path, or you’ve been on your journey for years and you’re struggling to get your big break, there are lots of things that you need to think about. Indeed, not only do you have to have the very best product or service, but you need to deliver excellent customer care, spend all of your free time finding customers, and working hard to maintain your relationships.

Whilst we’re not saying that there’s a one-size-fits-all solution to becoming a successful entrepreneur overnight, there are some things that all good businesspeople have in common, and so below, we’ve put together some of the most important.

Strong discipline

One of the hardest parts about running your own business is finding the time to fit everything into your day and do so without distraction from friends, family, TV shows and the internet. If you are working from home, then it can be even tougher to remain focused at all times, but you must get into the habit if you want your business to be successful. Indeed, eliminating hindrances and distractions will allow you to achieve your goals much faster, so become a disciplined person.

It may be that you decide to get up at 5 AM every morning so that you have time to answer all of your emails and get your work done, or you may decide to work on Saturdays so that you can be more productive and get more done in the early stages of running your business. All good entrepreneurs have had to make sacrifices; if you’re not willing to work, you won’t get where you want to be, so don’t sit around waiting for your success to come to you — go after it on your own!

A confident personality

It’s natural to doubt your own ability and suffer from imposter’s syndrome from time to time, but if you want to be successful at what you do, then you have to grow a backbone and be confident — perhaps arrogant from time to time — to achieve success. Be confident in your ability, try to eliminate your insecurities, and surround yourself with people who believe in what you do.

On the flipside, however, it’s important that you remain grounded. Don’t surround yourself with yes men, and make sure you have people who challenge your opinions and ideas to allow you to make the right decisions. The last thing you want to do is think that you’re on to a winning idea, only to walk into a pitch and have your product thrown back in your face. Own your idea and your business, and be confident, but understand that you’re not invincible and you must be humble in order for potential customers and your business contacts to warm to you personally.

A competitive nature

All good businesspeople have a competitive side, and so if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you must also have that inside of you. Take a look at your competitors, whether they are local or international, and find ways to compete. It may be that you try to convert their customers to join your business, or that you want to improve your SEO and get to the first spot on Google for keywords and phrases in your niche to drive more organic traffic to your website.

Highlight your success, and set goals and target points so that you can stay on track. Monitor what your competition is doing, but remember that you’re on your own entrepreneurial journey, and just because something is working for another business, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you.

A strategic eye

Strategy is so important in business, and knowing what to look for is critical. It may be that you have the most exciting opportunity staring right in front of you, but if you’re not on the ball, you can overlook it. Craig Dempsey, the founder of company back-office service provider Biz Latin Hub, says that: “it can be so easy to overlook fresh opportunities in business, so always be on the lookout for something new. Finding a way to get ahead of a competitor by entering a new market, for example, can set you apart. We have seen a huge increase in entrepreneurship in Latin America, with more Western entrepreneurs understanding the benefits of such markets. It is opportunities like these that may look alien from the offset, but can really help you get ahead.”

A creative mindset

It would be hard to be successful in business without having a creative mindset and being able to come up with fresh ideas and solutions to problems at a drop of a hat. Entrepreneurs don’t have to be good at art or be inventive, but they do need to know how to repurpose the best ideas and bring together their knowledge in new ways. This all stems back to understanding your audience and accepting that you can always learn something new when you’re in business. Even if you went to university and have a degree in your niche, you must remember that the industry is always changing, and so being on the ball by reading news articles, blogs and seeing what your competitors are doing will allow you to be at the top of your game and stay creative.

A strong work ethic

Perhaps the most obvious point on this list, but one that is important to mention nonetheless. If you want to be successful in anything that you do, you must be the first person to arrive at the office in the morning at the last one to leave in the evening. Being constantly on your work, and thinking about your business in every aspect of life, will allow you to get ahead. Having said that, you should understand the value of time off and taking a break from your business — if you are always on and working all hours, then you’ll naturally burn out and won’t deliver your best work.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes time, but with the right strategy and some hard work, you can get there. Find a mentor, know your strengths, and don’t give up. Best of luck!