Perusing the internet, you’ll see lists of anywhere from nine to 25 traits that all successful entrepreneurs allegedly have in common. How can you tell if you’ve got what it takes when the lists are so long?
As we explored numerous lists of buzzwords and theories, there are three things that always rise to the top—and they aren’t all related to business.
When you’re passionate about your business, you feel a deeper calling to connect with your audience. At the end of the day, no matter the product or service, you want to better their lives. Most businesses started because the founders saw a need they wanted to address. Combine this need with your deeper calling for connection, and you’ve created a mission that motivates you to want to get to work every morning.
For many business owners, this passion runs deep:
- They enjoy what they’re doing so much, they can’t imagine doing anything else.
- They wake up ready to fully throw themselves into their work every day because they have so many ideas and see so many opportunities.
- They don’t find boredom or annoyance with the repetition of their business’ daily operations.
Of course, passion doesn’t equate to easy. Starting a business is hard work. If you’re not feeling a deep passion for the work you’re doing, you won’t find that inner fountain that will sustain you when you’re facing inevitable challenges. Make sure the business you start is one that leaves you feeling satisfied and full of purpose, even on the toughest days.
Entrepreneurs are out-of-the-box thinkers. They don’t just see a need—they mold a unique and innovative solution. They take proactive steps to develop products and services that will meet or eliminate that need in a new or unexpected way.
An innovative mindset is made up of a few key characteristics:
- Discernment: The first step for any innovator is to recognize a challenge. And these challenges aren’t always clear-cut right from the get-go. Someone with discernment takes this feedback—the subtle responses from others combined with their own experiences—and explores what changes would make the biggest difference.
- Vision: Entrepreneurs are able to see what isn’t there. They envision a system or solution that hasn’t yet existed, and imagine how it could be developed to address the problem.
- Creativity: Creativity is key. Whether you’re the first person to try addressing a challenge or you follow a long string of others, creative thinking allows you to develop a unique and workable solution to the challenge. It’s your creativity that sets your business apart.
- Flexibility: As much as we would like it to be true, not everything works on the first, second, or even third attempt. Flexibility allows you to learn from what didn’t work on the first go and adapt what did work for the next.
Neither passion nor innovation matters without drive. This is the spark that ignites you to take action. It’s what compels you to find what you’re passionate about in the first place. It’s what makes the early mornings and long nights go by in the blink of an eye. It’s what keeps you going when you’re on that second and third product iteration.
Like the first two characteristics, drive is about more than just one action. It’s about the desire to learn and continue developing your own skills and expertise in your field. To seek out information and resources from non-traditional sources. To take risks—and do so with gusto. It’s about staying the course with determination, perseverance, and excitement.
Here’s the thing about these characteristics: We all have them. Some of us just haven’t tapped their full potential yet.
You may have heard these words before—in fact you certainly have. But that doesn’t make them any less vital as an entrepreneur. If you’re thinking about starting your own business, dig deep and find what lights up your passion, innovation, and drive. Think about the areas of your life where you lose yourself; where a conversation about a particular topic goes on for hours; where you feel not only interested but called to help. That’s where you’ll find your purpose—and just maybe your next business venture.
Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.