Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur

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Studies have shown that successful entrepreneurs possess these characteristics:

1. Self-confidence

This is that magical power of having confidence in oneself and in one's powers and abilities.

2. Achievement Orientated

Results are gained by focused and sustained effort. They concentrate on achieving a specific goal, not just accomplishing a string of unrelated tasks.

3. Risk Taker

They realize that there is a chance of loss inherent in achieving their goals, yet they have the confidence necessary to take calculated risks to achieve goals.

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Entrepreneurs are people who will make decisions, take action, and think that they can control their own destinies. They are often motivated by a spirit of independence which leads them to believe that their success depends on raw effort and hard work, not luck.

So which of these three main characteristics is the most important? believe it or not, it has to be self-confidence. Without self-confidence, nothing else is possible. If you don't believe in your abilities, then the first challenge that arises may knock you off the path to achieving your goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind for maintaining a higher level of self-confidence.

Positive Thinking

Well, it all starts with a positive attitude, doesn't it? Believing that something good will happen is the first step. Negative thinking simply is not allowed. You must truly believe that there are no circumstances strong enough to deter you from reaching your goals. Remember too, that positive thinking can be contagious. When positive thinking spreads, it can open doors to new ideas, customers, friends, etc.

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Persistent Action

Now all of the positive thinking and believing in the world is useless if it is not applied towards a goal. You have to take action, no excuses are allowed. This action must also be persistent. Trying once and then giving up is not going to be good enough. Keep at it one step at a time. If you can't get by a certain step, then find a creative way to try again or just go around it.

At the beginning of this article we identified a few traits that are common among successful entrepreneurs. You should be able to look ahead and see yourself where you want to be. Now just maintain a strong belief in yourself and your skills, stick with it, and don't give up. If you can do that, you're already half way there!

How to be a Creative Entrepreneur

There's a great line in Alice in Wonderland when the Queen says, "Sometimes I think of 6 impossible things before breakfast". I think you'll agree that this has to be creativity at its best! As a small business owner this is an ideal you really need to strive for... but how on earth can you open up your mind to get to the point where ideas just spill out?

Small business owners are expected to be creative and inventive, otherwise how could they run their own firm? If you have a sneaky feeling that creativity is not one of your strong points what can you do to stimulate your brain and get it kicked-started?

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Be Unlimited

Too many people are 'limited thinkers'. They have their world placed squarely in a box and nothing can exist outside of that. If the newspaper reports something then it must be right. If Joe next door says that something is impossible then he must be right. As a small business owner, you cannot afford to be a 'limited thinker'. You have to be an 'unlimited thinker'. Get into the habit of seeing no boundaries; decide that there are no taboos. Have the belief that with a bit of focus you can find a creative solution to all your problems. This is the foundation for a creative thought process.

Be Future-Focused

Creative ideas invariably come when you 'look' into the future. The feeling of propelling yourself forward and seeing the problem solved is a great motivator. Do you think you could achieve the same result if you were backward focused? I don't think so! Train yourself to be future-focused, always looking ahead, not a traditional thinker who tries to find answers in today's world.

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Be A Writer

Once you open your mind to the joys of creativity the ideas will quickly start flowing, as if someone has opened the flood gates! Just like flood water, unless you catch it the ideas are lost forever. Capture all your ideas by carrying a small pocket notebook with you. As soon as an idea pops into your mind, write it down. It doesn't matter how outlandish it is, you can look at it in the cold light of day later on.

The fact you are responding to the ideas by noting them will further encourage you to be even more creative - good deeds necourage more good deeds!

Be Clutter-Free

If you are naturally an untidy person, then get out of the habit! A cluttered office will lead to a cluttered mind. You cannot expect your brain to work effeciently when all it's doing is constantly reminding you how untidy your office is. To be creative remove all the clutter from your life and free your mind.

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Be Action-Oriented

All of these points are great, but if you don't take action with your ideas, then you may as well not have bothered. An idea is nothing but a thought unless you take specific action to help bring it to life. Periodically review your notebook and see if there are any hidden gems, or ideas which can be quickly actioned. A lot of your ideas may not suit at all but in there somewhere is probably an idea, which if acted upon, could change you or your business. Commit fully to move forward on as many of your ideas as you can.

Don't be afraid to break down the boundary walls. As John Stuart Mill said, "That which seems the height of absurdity in one generation often becomes the height of wisdom in the next".

Let me close with one question - can you be creative enough to be dismissed as a dreamer? No? Then get practicing!

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