To get financial freedom, arguably the best way to reach your goals is through a business. A successful business allows for exponential income growth and the flexibility to let it operate with or without you. Surely, it’s the ultimate Filipino Dream.
But one can’t help but question, am I fit to be an entrepreneur? Are entrepreneurs born or nurtured? Am I up for the challenge? Actually, the background of entrepreneurs stems from different upbringings, income classes, education levels, and locations. There is no single way to profile entrepreneurs. But there are certainly commonalities for successful ones.
Here are six essential traits every entrepreneur should have.
Vision, Passion, and Drive
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” – Helen Keller
The first thing an aspiring entrepreneur should have is a vision. It’s having that end in mind. Where do you see yourself? What are the potential things that you can do that haven’t been done yet? Or if it has been done, how can you make it way better?
It all starts with this want of something. A desire to maybe make a difference that sparks your passion for your business. The passion might not come instantaneously. But as you progress and become better and more successful, it burns more.
This is why entrepreneurs are willing to work long hours (sometimes not even counting them) day-in and day-out just to achieve this goal. It’s the reason they have their drive and strong work ethic.
They want to bridge reality and the vision they have in their mind the soonest time possible. And amidst any setback, their vision and passion keep them moving forward.
They Are Not Afraid to Take (Calculated) Risks
The next thing is embracing calculated risks. All starting entrepreneurs are afraid before they began. In a business, there are so many uncertainties you have to manage. Will people buy the product? Is my location giving enough foot traffic? Am I good enough? Will I become successful?
Courage is not the absence of fear. Instead, it’s having fear but doing it anyway. Entrepreneurs took the risk. You may or may not succeed. And it’s ok because failure is part of the game. And for sure, you will learn from your business firsts. Heck, some of their successful businesses are attributable to their failed businesses in the past.
There are countless successful businessmen that failed. One very prominent figure in the Philippines is Henry Sy. We all know he had risen from business failure countless of times. And now he is a billionaire.
So take calculated risks. Go into a venture and at least understand how the business will work, what the money inflow and outflow would probably look like, and when to get out just in case it didn’t go well.
Money Management Skills
Whether it’s a passion project, a small capital business, or a big venture, an entrepreneur should know how to handle finances. I don’t intend to sound materialistic but in business, your financial bottom line is your top priority. Cash is King for your business to survive and thrive.
You have dreams to fund, liabilities to pay, and employees that have their families to feed. If you don’t build a profitable business, all can crumble to pieces.
Think about your financial decisions. Have your monthly cash flow in check. Do not overestimate your projected sales and underestimate your expenses.
Also, overspending made companies fall down faster than saying “faster”. Heavy capital outlay also for premature “expansion” let companies dry out. So plan your money matters really carefully.
Determined, Confident, and Self-Secured
After you decided to finally start your business, not all people will be happy with your venture to possible success. There will be multiple let downs. People will talk down to you. Sometimes, it’s even your family and friends.
Even if that happens, most successful entrepreneurs are confident and secure in who they are and their decisions. Believing in yourself is key to conquering all the challenges you will face (there will be many!). Who cares about their opinion? It’s my dream against their judgment. I better bank on what I want to achieve than succumb to their negativity.
Exuding that confidence and security will not only attract customers, but it is also a tool you’re sure to use when you develop business relationships with other people.
The Ability to Sell, to Promote, and to Create Business Relationships
Speaking of building relationships, there is a famous adage in business: “It’s not what you know, but who you know that counts.” Therefore, an entrepreneur should hone their people skills.
Every owner needs to know how to personally sell their product and promote them. I mean, where would you get the income without selling, right?
Also, expanding your business network is essential. You will never know who you will meet. The genuine relationships you build with other people might be a gateway to expand your business or maybe venture out to another future lucrative venture.
Flexibility, Adaptability, and Willingness to Learn
Not everything goes your way. Some of the data in your plans might unexpectedly blow up. For example, a sudden increase in gasoline prices might make your financials take a hit or that projected sales figure might be too unrealistic considering your performance today.
As entrepreneurs, we should maneuver and adjust accordingly. We should be flexible with the reality we are facing and align it today. The realization of their vision is not a straight path. So with what we currently have, we should adapt to the changes we want to see.
Do we do more marketing? Do we need more funding? What is causing the sales decline? We should answer these questions with a resounding solid strategy to put us back in the running.
And not only are they adaptable in the present, they also are open to ideas of the future. The companies that don’t innovate and ride the future trends most likely will be phased out. So the entrepreneurs of today are avid learners. They are constantly learning the ropes of new skills or new industries that might ultimately secure their business in the long run.
Do you have everything on the list? Worry not, you don’t need everything to start. I believe that entrepreneurship can be learned and for the traits you don’t have yet, there is still time to master them. You don’t need to be good at everything. You just need to have enough courage to start.
With that, good luck with your business!