Originally published as part of All Business’s “Business Bootcamp” here.
What does it take to start a successful business? While there's no such thing as the perfect entrepreneur (even Bill Gates made mistakes), experts have identified a number of personal qualities typically found in successful business. Before starting a business, ask yourself if you pass muster on most of these 8 important traits:
You can delegate: No matter how smart and energetic you are, it's a fatal mistake to try to attend to every detail yourself. Unless you're a solo act, you're going to have to trust employees and contractors to do their jobs so you can run the business.
You know how to teach others: To delegate successfully, you need people with appropriate skills, and they may have to learn some of those skills from you.
You are self-motivated: As a business owner, you won't have a boss to tell you when to get to work. If that's a problem, keep your day job.
You can work with numbers: No matter what business you're in, you will spend a fair amount of time keeping track of money, expenses, revenue, taxes, and the like, at least in the beginning. A math phobia won't help.
You don't mind making mistakes: You will make mistakes; the trick is to learn from them and move on. Not everyone finds that easy to do.
You like to work: Contrary to myth, you don't need to be a workaholic to start a successful business. Many entrepreneurs find that it makes more sense to establish a reasonable working pace, one that lets them strike a balance between work and their personal lives. That said, don't start a business unless you enjoy work. There's going to be plenty of it.
You don't mind selling: You'll have to sell products to customers, of course. You may also need to sell lenders or other financial backers on the prospects of your company. And you'll need to persuade potential employees to accept jobs with your firm rather than going to work for the competition. It's simply not enough to be good at what your business does — selling is critical to success.
- You don't quit easily: You'll encounter obstacles that might stymie some individuals. You'll have more success if you are the type of person who relishes overcoming such challenges. A dash of optimism is also essential; it will help you handle the uncertainty that is part of every venture.
- You need to be self-motivated but also able to delegate and train people.You must like to work, and not be afraid of making mistakes and overcoming challenges.
- Selling is a key part of entrepreneurship. You can&#t shy away from it.