If I had to pinpoint what the main characteristics of an entrepreneur are, it would have to be this: entrepreneurs are born with a different perspective on the world, and indeed life itself. They are leaders, molders of the future. They see how things can be better and strive to make it happen. Challenges make the entrepreneurial heart smile, and it spends a lifetime learning to overcome – and dreaming of the next challenge. Can you relate to the following characteristics of an entrepreneur?
1. A Vision to Change the World
Albert Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” The entrepreneur’s imagination fuels his vision, a vision of a world that is better in some way. The entrepreneurial spirit is an adventurous one, always looking out and seeing potential with that keen inner eye. The vison of the entrepreneur is about not letting that potential go to waste. This firestarter of the many characteristics of an entrepreneur will propel you to nurture that potential, to take it and make it blossom.
2. A Drive to Mold the Future
When you, as an entrepreneur, find potential that your vision can hold on to, your passion flares. The true entrepreneur is so driven to blaze a path to that better future that no odds are too great. Do you think the unthinkable and boldly trek forward into unknown territory? Your drive as an entrepreneur will carry you – this passion is the secret to success. The entrepreneur loves positive change and will fight for it. He loves building his envisioned future and this reflects in everything he says and does, infecting those around him.
3. Fearless of Opposing Authority
Many entrepreneurs seem to have a rebellious streak – just look at the “Robber Baron” Andrew Carnegie, Milton Berle, Sven Goran Eriksson, Jack White, Travis Kalanick, Steve Bartlett – the list goes on. Some may even be labeled anarchists, but only by those satisfied with the status quo. This rebelliousness, this tendency to defy authority, is one of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur. There is no change without you first pointing out that something is wrong, and then going out and pushing for it to be different.
4. A Problem Solver
Entrepreneurs look at the world differently, right? And this is sort of a glass-half-empty or -full thing. One of the characteristics of an entrepreneur that makes them change the world and oppose any established order that prevents positive change is problem solving. Entrepreneurs see things that can be improved and move to implement improvements. This can make you as an entrepreneur seem like you’re only focused on the negative. What it really means is that your vision is far ahead of everyone else’s. You might look at the status quo and say, hey, this can be so much better! You see the glass that’s half empty, but your brain is running hot on a plan to fill her up.
5. A Great Communicator
Great communication is key to a lot of things, but for an entrepreneur, it is essential. The entrepreneur in you is imagining and exploring and implementing. But you can’t do it all on your own. You must be able to communicate the needs that you see to people with equal passion so that you can seize the opportunity and make change happen together. It doesn’t have to be in words, either. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” By acting on opportunities and allowing people to see the plan in action, you are communicating at the level you need to be on to get them psyched.
6. Resilient in Crisis
There is actually no such thing as crisis in the mind of the true entrepreneur. What others see as a disaster or predicament is really just another opportunity for the true entrepreneur. Nelson Mandela was confined to a tiny prison cell for 18 years. What worse crisis could he face in his position with all that he had left to do? He may have not been able to implement as quickly as he had planned, but he was patient and never wavered. In the end, he possibly effected greater change in his country and the world than any other man of his time, all from behind those bars.
7. Views Roadblocks as Opportunities to Grow
Being in prison is certainly a good enough excuse for anyone to say he can’t. This situation is not just a roadblock but a complete game-changer for most. Entrepreneurs don’t accept defeat, however, and intrepidly push forward, solving the problems as they go, creating good from each “opportunity” they see. Growth is the only acceptable outcome. If you are an entrepreneur, you will understand it when I say that growth is the only real path that an entrepreneur can see laid out ahead.
8. A Lifelong Learner
The life of an entrepreneur begins and is sustained by learning. Learning is the only way that we can see problems and find solutions and act to transform our situation. The life of an entrepreneur is a constant struggle because of the vision and passion that never lets us sleep! But it is an exciting life that continues to give us change and growth when we hit the books. As an entrepreneur, you know that there is always something more to know, and you have great fun figuring it out. Even when it gets difficult, you are up for the challenge because you say why not and push to learn how.
As an entrepreneur, you are sometimes going to be bombarded with ideas and pulled in so many different directions. The best entrepreneurs always see so much and want to do even more. A great tip comes from St. Francis of Asisi: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Arthur Ashe had the same idea when he talked about starting where you are right now and using what you have to begin doing. If you have these typical characteristics of an entrepreneur, it won’t be long anyway before you feel the imperative to act!