Thinking about starting your own business? The majority of businesses fail within the first 2 years. So what does it take to persist and achieve long-term success? These 5 traits will certainly help you rise to the challenge. So before deciding what colors your logo will be or how many business cards to order, try mastering these 5 skills:
1. You’re driven. When you first start your biz, you’ll need to wake up early and stay up late to get things done. Everyone dreams of the entrepreneur lifestyle – working poolside at a luxurious resort, 3-day work weeks, tons of time to spend with your loved ones. But that kind of freedom doesn’t happen overnight. In order to succeed, you’ll have to put in the hours. And if you start your biz on the side while maintaining your day job, that means working before and after your 9-5. Fortunately, if you build an online business, there’s an amazing array of tools to help you schedule certain tasks throughout the day, not to mention 24-hour access to your target audience.
2. You’re easily bored or multi-passionate. If you already have a small fortune available to get started, you’ll be able to hire lots of help from day one. But your team won’t know what to do until you come up with a clear strategy. So whether you’re a solopreneur or an employer, you’ll need to wear many different hats to launch your business. Everything from creating your brand identity, marketing strategy, products and services, bookkeeping, invoicing, graphic design and the million other details needed to create a biz from scratch – all these ideas will initially need to come from you. This is your baby, you need to design it, organize it, strategize it, implement it, launch it, maintain it and grow it. Only then can you hand over some of the tasks to your team and expect them to continue what you’ve started.
3. A vivid imagination. Entrepreneurs are often a combination of dreamers and doers.
Imagination will help you create engaging marketing ideas, irresistable products and services and an end goal you can get excited about. You’ll need to DREAM BIG and be capable of envisioning your success long before you see any results. A concise strategy won’t attract customers if there’s no imagination behind it, no bigger vision directing your actions.
4. A balance of patience & impatience. This is one of my favorites. You will not see immediate results when you first start a business. You might post to Facebook consistently yet hear only crickets. You might blog consistently but your stats stay flat. There may be weeks or months when it feels like no one knows your business exists. But – no matter what – you can’t quit and you can’t slow down. You’ll need patience because successful businesses aren’t built overnight. But it’s impatience that will drive you to keep posting, keep blogging, keep improving your product and services until someone notices; until Google recognizes your site, until you get your 10,000th follower, until you’ve made your first $100k. If you can balance long term patience with short term impatience, you just might get there.
5. The ability to step back as needed. This is one of the hardest yet most necessary traits to master. It’s important to occasionally step back from your business and get a new perspective. This can be in the form of self-care to prevent burnout or simply stepping back to see the bigger picture. Your business will only grow as big as your own mindset, your own beliefs, your own perspective. Expanding your vision will help you see new opportunities, new areas for growth and new ways to have a bigger impact. But you’ll fail to find these opportunities if you’re stressed out, overwhelmed or focused on the minutiae of running the business. So never forget, your business is only has healthy and wealthy as your own mind, body and spirit. Taking care of one will take care of the other.
People with these 5 traits are more likely to have the creative energy, mental stamina and seemingly endless resourcefulness needed to survive the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
- Without #1, your business will never be more than an idea, a pipe dream.
- Without #2, your business will be lopsided, not well-rounded enough to gain momentum.
- Without #3, your business can’t grow into anything bigger than where you are now.
- Without #4, you’ll be one of the millions of people who get discouraged and quit at the first sign of trouble.
- Without #5, your business will never grow beyond the little bubble you currently occupy and you will get too burned out to notice.
Whatever career path you choose, good luck! Never stop dreaming and never stop trying new things! If you want help staying focused and developing a successful strategy, I suggest hiring a coach. There are marketing coaches, business coaches, career coaches, executive coaches, coaches for aspiring managers, coaches for engineers and coaches for everything under the sun! Why are there so many coaches? Because coaching gets results. Success often goes hand-in-hand with accountability, guidance and support – all traits of a great coaching relationship.