Episode #14: 9 Essential Traits of Entrepreneurs

run the business Jun 04, 2020

It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur. It’s a lot of work and requires a strong commitment to the business. But what exactly do you need to be a successful entrepreneur? On this week’s episode, Oie interviews Darren about what traits entrepreneurs need—and how you can develop them within yourself if you don’t already have them. 

Below, we’ve listed these nine traits and why they’re important. Listen to the episode to hear Darren talk about each one and give real-life examples of how they contribute to entrepreneurial success. 

  1. Self-Starter

One of the best parts of being an entrepreneur is that you are your own boss—but sometimes, bossing ourselves around can be difficult! Since no one else is going to tell you what to do, as an entrepreneur, you need to decide what must be done and motivate yourself to do it, without anyone else holding you accountable. 

  1. Determined, Patient, & Flexible

While these are three separate traits, they are all closely interconnected. Businesses don’t become successful overnight, so you need the determination to stick to what you started, the patience to wait for things to happen, and the flexibility to adjust in the face of unexpected roadblocks or changes of plan. 

Your business will be built slow and steady, so patience is essential. And as you get to know your customers, you’ll want to adapt to what they truly need, so flexibility is a must!

  1. Customer-Focused & Sales-Focused

We know we mention this a lot, but we really want to emphasize how important it is for entrepreneurs to be laser-focused on these two things. If you don’t have sales, there is no business! And of course, you need customers to generate sales. 

The best way to be customer-focused is to really get to know your customers. Understand them and listen to them so you can offer them products they really need and want. We covered this more in depth on last week’s episode about knowing your customers

  1. Risk-Taker & Decision-Maker

Being an entrepreneur requires a lot of risk and a lot of decisions. You will never be able to know with absolute certainty that something is going to work out for your business, so you need to be comfortable with some amount of risk and making decisions based on what you do know. 

To best do this, you can trust in the advice and success of other entrepreneurs. Test what you do so you can have more data to validate your decisions and adjust your course going forward. 

Lastly, don’t take all day to make a decision. Time is money, so don’t waste it dilly-dallying. Most decisions aren’t as monumental as they feel in the long run—you’ll be able to readjust if your decision wasn’t quite right the first time. 

  1. Able to Delegate

Delegation means you don’t do all the work yourself: you assign work to others so more can be done faster, and certain tasks are completed by those with the knowledge and expertise to complete it best. 

This is difficult for many entrepreneurs. In the episode, Darren shares some of his particular struggles with delegating, as well as some examples of tasks that are easy to delegate. 

As the entrepreneur, you should be laser-focused on knowing your customers and developing products that serve them. When you’re sorting through the work that needs to be done, determine what is related to knowing your customers and developing products, and what isn’t. Anything that’s not related to those two core functions can typically be outsourced. 

Delegating work is the core of enabling a 20 hour work week. It’s not that there are only 20 hours of work to be done, but that we use automation and delegation smartly to keep our own workload down. 

  1. Self-Reflective

As you’re building your business, take the time to understand your own thoughts and behaviors. Know what is easy for you and what is hard for you so you can adjust what’s not working well and ask for help when you need it. 

Part of this is unpacking your limiting beliefs about yourself and your abilities. In the episode, Darren shares one of his own limiting beliefs and how he worked to overcome it. (Hint: it’s about perfectionism, which we know is something a lot of entrepreneurs struggle with!)

  1. Curious & Always Learning

Being curious means you’re asking questions. Learning is the follow-through to really find and understand the answer to that question. This is so important in understanding your customers so you can better help them! It is the oxygen that keeps the fire going for your business. 

Remember that your customers are on a journey. Their needs and desires will change along the way. In order to serve them, be curious about their journey and learn what they need and want. 

Curiosity and learning also applies to efficiently running your business operations. An example - Ask questions about how you can grow your reach through Facebook ads or make the most out of your other marketing tactics!

  1. Relationship Builder

Are you sensing a theme with getting to know your customers? Building relationships with them is super important because people want to like and trust the people they do business with. This also makes your business more fulfilling and enjoyable to work on!

  1. Organized

Finally, entrepreneurs must be organized! There are so many moving parts to running a business, and whether you like it or not, you need to be able to track and manage each of these parts efficiently. If you’re not naturally organized, that’s okay! There are several paths you can use to help you get (and stay!) organized:  

  • People: If you have a business partner who is more organized, they can help you stay on track. If you don’t, hiring a project manager or assistant can be a good move. 
  • Tools: There are many to-do list and task management tools, like Asana, that can help you track tasks and even create templates for recurring ones. 
  • Processes: Productivity tricks like task batching, or focusing on one particular task at a time, can really improve efficiency and organization. For example – organizing your work so you do all the social media posts for the month in one session totally helps you be more efficient.

Keep in mind, organization isn’t just adding tasks to a list—tasks need to actually get done too. Bosses set expectations and deadlines, but as an entrepreneur, you have to set those for yourself and resist the temptation to move the deadlines just because you can. Promising your customers certain resources or events by certain dates can be a useful motivation to hold yourself accountable and meet your deadlines. 

Listen to Episode #14 Now!

To run your own online business and be a successful entrepreneur, you need to foster these nine traits: 

  1. Self-starter
  2. Determined, patient, & flexible
  3. Customer-focused & sales-focused
  4. Risk-taker & decision maker
  5. Able to delegate
  6. Self-reflective
  7. Curious & willing to learn
  8. Relationship builder
  9. Organized

Remember, it’s okay if you are not naturally inclined to some of these traits! You can foster and develop them by practicing and using some of the tips we shared in this week’s episode. As your business gets going, you’ll see how these may develop naturally. What matters is your commitment to running your business and learning as you grow!

Are you ready to learn about the reason behind the original 40 hour work week and why using technology, experts, and the internet to leverage your productivity to work less hours is so important?

Great! Go ahead and listen. Then leave a comment on our private 20 Hour Work Week Movement Facebook Group to help support everyone in this movement.

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