What Makes a 'Good' Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is a businessperson; someone who starts up and operates a business and assumes financial risks in order to do so. You may think of entrepreneurs as innovators in the tech sector, but the woman who opens a lumberyard and the man who starts up a neighborhood Cuban restaurant fit the profile just as well as Steve Jobs. So what does it take to be a good entrepreneur? Here are a few key qualities common to many of the best innovators.

 

Leadership Qualities Are Essential

You either have leadership qualities or you don't — they're hard to fake, but possible to learn. You can determine whether you're a leader from a review of your past experiences with others. Are you the go-to person in your group? Do friends frequently ask your opinion and take your advice? Do you inspire others to make things happen?

 

Can you talk to almost anyone and explain things in a way that makes people see things your way? Self-confidence, positivity, self-motivation and excellent communication skills — these are all signs of a leader who has what it takes to motivate a team and make a common goal happen.

 

Passionate About Their Work

You've probably heard the adage, "Follow your bliss." It has merit — you won't get far as an entrepreneur if you start a business that bores you. An entrepreneur is risking time and money, so he or she usually gets involved in work that he or she feels passionate about. Hector Tuesta is an entrepreneur and has been for the last decade.

 

He has started several successful restaurants in San Francisco — one of the most competitive markets in the country — and he confirms that your business will consume your life, especially at first. "It's your work and your leisure, too," Tuesta says. "If you don't enjoy what you are doing, the stress will overwhelm you."

 

Perseverance Is Key

Few new businesses go straight from the ground floor to being a successful enterprise without encountering a few obstacles that appear ready, willing and able to sink the ship. Call it perseverance or determination — the ability to hold on, plow ahead and keep your eyes on the goal, even in the face of adversity, is essential for those who set out to run a business. When a new business doesn't have a determined leader, it may fail sooner rather than later.

 

Willing to Take Risks and Even Fail

Successful entrepreneurs know that every new business has the potential for failure. They are risk-takers who are not afraid of failure. Entrepreneurs put money and energy on the line without any guarantee of future remuneration. This doesn't mean they're hotheaded or impulsive. Instead, they tend to be calculating and good at thinking on their feet, able to make the best decisions in even bad situations.

 

Driven to win, entrepreneurs also accept that even when you try your hardest, you may fail. Entrepreneurs believe in the old saying, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained." They boldly go where no one has gone before, knowing they might trip and fall along the way.

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