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What are the Talents of Successful Entrepreneurs?

businesswomanbunThere’s an endless fascination as to what makes a successful entrepreneur. There are a number of studies and articles written to identify the traits and talents that propel an entrepreneur to success.

It is not easy to pinpoint exactly why one entrepreneur succeeds and the other doesn’t, but there are some characteristics that consistently show up in different studies and lists of traits of successful entrepreneurs.

Here are some lists of talents of successful entrepreneurs from top publications:

The research company Gallup conducted a study of 2,500 U.S. entrepreneurs, and created this list of the 10 talents that best explain success in entrepreneurship:

  • Business Focus: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
  • Confidence: You accurately know yourself and understand others.
  • Creative Thinker: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
  • Delegator: You recognize that you cannot do everything and are willing to contemplate a shift in style and control.
  • Determination: You persevere through difficult, even seemingly insurmountable, obstacles.
  • Independent: You are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to build a successful venture.
  • Knowledge-Seeker: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
  • Promoter: You are the best spokesperson for the business.
  • Relationship-Builder: You have high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the firm’s survival and growth.
  • Risk-Taker: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.

Inc. Magazine produces an annual list of the 500 fastest growing private companies in the United States. According to Inc.com, here are the 10 talents that the “average” Inc.com 500 entrepreneur demonstrates (according to importance):

  • Risk taker = enthusiastic about taking on challenges, have an overly optimistic perception of risk, yet take a rational approach to decision making in order to mitigate risk.
  • Business Focus = emphasize profits, goals, and metrics and align employees with company goals.
  • Determination = tremendous work ethics, confront and overcome obstacles, and are undeterred by failures or roadblocks.
  • Delegator = readily delegate authority and responsibility, proactively collaborate, and recognize and draw on other people’s abilities.
  • Creative Thinker = imagine beyond the boundaries of what exists now, constantly dream up new products or services, explore options, and think their way through problems.
  • Confidence = present themselves effectively, take initiative, and have conviction in their ability to build businesses.
  • Independence depend on themselves to get the job done, can handle multiple tasks successfully, and have a strong sense of responsibility.
  • Knowledge seekers = acquire in-depth information about every aspect of their businesses, use knowledge as a competitive advantage, and anticipate knowledge needs.
  • Promoter = speak boldly on behalf of their companies, make their cases effectively, and communicate their companies’ vision to customers and employees.
  • Relationship Builder = you have high social awareness and develops mutually beneficial relationships

Forbes.com has published a number of lists of the top talents and traits of successful entrepreneurs. In their article “Checklist of Traits of a Successful Entrepreneur” , they list down six traits:

  • Confidence = You must believe in yourself, and believe in your vision.
  • Self-motivation = you must be motivated to work toward the realization of your vision.
  • Tenacity = Successful entrepreneurs do not lay down in the face of adversity.
  • Understanding of your own limitations = you also need to be able to view your own abilities objectively
  • A healthy disrespect for the rules = Illicit risk-taking behavior is a common trait among entrepreneurs, and that translates into the ability to defy conventions that stand in your way
  • Willingness to fail = Successful entrepreneurs fail, then they go back to square one and try again.

Another Forbes.com article lists the 7 traits of incredibly successful entrepreneurs :

  • Abounding Curiosity = means asking questions, which in turn inspires learning resulting in domain knowledge and customer understanding
  • Bursting with Creativity = Not only do you have to be curious as an entrepreneur, you must also be creative.
  • Clarity of Vision = Crucial to have a crystal clear vision of who you are; what you want to do; and where you want to go.
  • Ability to Communicate = communication affects influence, relationships and results
  • Leadership Acumen = you must be able to lead your team – not just employees (you may not have them) – but vendors, partners, mentors, contractors and more
  • Loving Risk and Taking Action = in the end; you have to get off your tail and take action.
  • Tenacious Beyond Belief = true entrepreneurs never, never, never quit.

From the above lists of traits and talents, do you think you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur?

Recommended Books on the Talents of Successful Entrepreneurs:

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Category: Entrepreneurial Success

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