3 Characteristics Every Successful Entrepreneur Should Have

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I recently came across an interesting graphic that represents a day in the life of an entrepreneur. As you can imagine, the line graph of thoughts and emotions was erratic, with data points representing a series of ups and downs related to business ownership.

At first glance, I laughed, as I assumed the diagram was a light-hearted interpretation of the struggles entrepreneurs commonly face, which I imagine was intended. Then I realized it wasn’t all that funny, but rather an accurate description of the harrowing roller coaster business owners experience on a daily or even hourly basis as they run and grow their companies.

The graphic was essentially a zigzag rendition of wins as, “Yeah, we knock this one out of the park!” And the losses, “Damn, we blew it!” For every positive statement, “Wow, it’s working!” there was an inevitable backlash. This included common mental garbage business owners telling themselves when they or their company fall short of expectations. Things like “I’m going broke!” and “Breed, this is the beginning of the end of my business!” And perhaps the most discouraging, “What am I doing? I suck at this.”

The truth of the matter is that entrepreneurship is hard. Even the best business leaders often struggle with doubt and frustration. They juggle hope with experience. They make big, important decisions based on sometimes limited information. They stick the neck out, maybe miss, then tuck the neck back in. Yes, entrepreneurship can be extremely stressful, but incredibly rewarding.

Related: Why doubt can be your secret weapon

If you aren’t comfortable with or at least open to the ups and downs of business ownership, you may not be cut out to be an entrepreneur. My experience is that most successful entrepreneurs are okay with the roller coaster. Or at least they are used to it.

This is why.

1. Entrepreneurs are optimistic

Regardless of those moments of doubt, entrepreneurs are an optimistic bunch. They are not naive, but rather embody the Stockdale Paradox, a concept coined by Jim Collins that states: “You must maintain unshakable faith that in the end you can and will prevail, regardless of the odds, while at the same time having the discipline.” to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever it may be.”

While optimism is often an innate personality trait, it can also be nurtured and developed by those who lack it innately. Even natural pessimists can train themselves to be more positive thinkers and doers by recognizing negative thought patterns and then actively seeking to replace them with healthier words and beliefs.

If you have mindset issues, there are many excellent books on developing optimism as an entrepreneur. I suggest you find one that makes sense to you.

Related: Business Owners, Put on Your Own Oxygen Mask First

2. Entrepreneurs believe in what they do

Entrepreneurs possess a strong sense of purpose beyond profit. While others may feel overwhelmed with all of the daily ups and downs of running and growing a successful business, entrepreneurs believe strongly in the importance of their mission. They also readily accept that they will have to overcome very substantial future hurdles to make their vision a reality.

Vision and mission are vital concepts for the most successful entrepreneurs. The mission is the definition of the business objectives that an entrepreneur wants to achieve and the values ​​that will get him there. Vision refers to how the entrepreneur plans for the organization to impact society at large. Both are key elements in the way entrepreneurs try to make a lasting, positive mark on the world. Some entrepreneurs call it legacy; others just think it feels like the right thing to do.

3. Entrepreneurs learn to manage their emotions

Unlike the crazy picture I referred to earlier, most entrepreneurs don’t go overboard in celebrating big wins or lamenting inevitable setbacks. They understand that both wins and losses are part of the journey they signed up for.

Entrepreneurs also value failure to some degree. While no one likes to lose, most entrepreneurs understand that every failure brings them one step closer to success. This harkens back to that optimism, but it also reflects the maturity of entrepreneurs to avoid letting disappointment consume them.

No one ever said that the life of an entrepreneur is easy. In fact, he is almost inherently plagued with ups and downs. But by embracing positivity, purpose, and poise, entrepreneurs are much more likely to enjoy their roller coaster ride to success.

Related: How Emotions Persuade Business Decision Making

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