We all remember the 7 habits of highly effective people, and that made me wonder what would be the 7 characteristics of an entrepreneur, as some people are just born entrepreneurs and some are more suited to spend their working life working for a boss. Sometimes it makes you wonder how come some people can be successful as an entrepreneur while others with a similar great idea never outgrow the drawing table phase. The characteristics you find in most entrepreneurs are;

  1. Passion - as an entrepreneur you will spend all your time and energy, and more often than not spending money to make it work. If you do not have the passion for whatever you are doing then stop, and take the advice of the popular kids BBC TV show ‘Why Don’t You?’, and switch off the television set and go out and do something less boring instead.
  2. Opportunistic - you need to believe your idea was the best idea since sliced bread. Otherwise, why put any effort into from the start? You need to believe that the world is waiting for your ideas to come to the market and are prepared to stand in line to be the first to buy it.
  3. Self-belief - along the way there will be a lot of people saying your idea is crazy, that there is a lot of competition on the market, that there is nothing unique about what you do. So you need to belief in yourself and occasionally be pigheaded in order to pursue your dreams and be successful.
  4. Flexible - flexibility is key when it comes to starting a business. What if your initial idea does not work as well as you hoped? Or what if the customer demands have changed? How flexible are you? Will you throw in the towel? True entrepreneurs regroup and refocus.
  5. Money Management - you won’t make money straight from the start, but money is crucial for the survival of your business. Proper cash flow management will give you the insight and the courage to continue your endeavour.
  6. Networking - nobody can build a successful business alone, you will need the expertise of many different people, whether this is your accountant, a marketer or a lawyer. True entrepreneurs are not afraid to involve their network in order to get the desired result.
  7. Planning - your company starts with a great idea and then the next step... a business plan.  In order to be truly successful you need to take a step back and look at the possibilities of your company as if you were an outsider and decide whether you would still believe in the idea.  Once you have decided you have got the green light the next phase in planning starts. Create a financial plan, a marketing plan, a logistics plan, a personnel plan… it never stops.

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