Over the past couple years, more than 25 million Americans ran or started their own businesses, according to Babson College's summary of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. And while some of these people have great aspirations on making it big, many will fall short of their goals. So, just what is it that sets a successful entrepreneur apart from the unsuccessful? The answer likely lies with certain abilities and attributes common to those who make it big in the business world.
Passion About Endeavor
The most successful entrepreneurs are almost always passionate about what they're doing. This motivates them to work long and hard hours to achieve their goals. It also forces them to see their visions through to fruition, overcoming inevitable adversities that may prompt the less visionary business owner to throw in the towel much sooner.
Ability to Select and Train the Right People
No matter how talented the entrepreneur, he or she can only accomplish so much in a day. That's why it's essential to hire employees that can help the company grow and flourish. An entrepreneur has to know how to leverage employees, vendors and resources to build a scalable enterprise. But in addition to hiring talented people, the successful entrepreneur knows how to train his staff on policies and procedures so everyone can perform at an optimal level.
Well Organized and Adaptable
People who are at the helm of enterprises must know how to organize their schedules and projects. Many of the skills are acquired from years of experience on lower-level jobs. Entrepreneurs with effective organizational skills know how to prioritize projects or tasks, shifting their schedules to meet important deadlines. Along the same lines, successful business owners know how to adapt to any situation. The sales director, for example, may be out one day, prompting the entrepreneur to run the department in his stead. Some successful entrepreneurs lack formal educations, meaning they may lack knowledge of a specific disciple. Whatever the situation, these savvy entrepreneurs know what they must do to bone up on certain pertinent, even if it means enrolling in gap year programs after high school.
Excellent Communication Skills
Entrepreneurs must be able to communicate with not only their top managers and employees but their customers, outside vendors, peers and shareholders. If business owners can't communicate the company's value to others, they can't succeed, according to Investopedia. Good communication skills include the ability to write and speak with people at all different levels. In either case, messages must be explicit and concise to eliminate any possible misunderstandings. An entrepreneur must also be able to speak with individuals, groups and with members of the community.
Open-Minded For Input
Even the most successful and intelligent entrepreneur knows he doesn't have all the answers. That's why he relies on input from employees with greater expertise. The owner of a growing software company, for example, wouldn't decide to expand his product line without the opinions of his product manager and financial officer. Similarly, even the most enterprising business tycoons seek input from employees on all levels to make the right choices.
Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Prowess
The most successful entrepreneurs are exceptional at evaluating each situation, overcoming obstacles and making the most pragmatic decisions. These decisions may not always be the most popular ones among workers but are usually right for the long-term success of the corporation. A business owner's decision may also run contrary to his own ambitions, but he knows when to change course. As entrepreneur Mark Cuban has often said, "Follow the green, not the dream."
Though the most successful entrepreneurs possess many of these traits, anyone can become a successful entrepreneur by taking the necessary steps to get there. Those who find themselves deficient in certain areas can seek input from others to achieve their goals. But one thing is certain, no entrepreneur achieves success without others.