Being an entrepreneur is a tricky business. It’s challenging. It requires a fair share of intellectual knowledge. oodles of discipline, and heaping helpings of motivation.
I’ve quite literally spent the last few days diligently working on two websites. Each represents a different aspect of my professional career. The first is an online portfolio site for my freelance writing business. The other this personal finance blog for women. Between the two, my head is spinning with new vocabulary, back-end web platform interfaces, and the unflinching pressure to make everything perfect. (Perfectionism is a related topic that I may touch upon later.) I’ve downloaded files, photos, plug-ins. I’ve subscribe to various resources to help me. My inbox is flooded with tips, videos, and e-books each claiming to holding the key to my future success. My outbox is full of cries of help to my colleagues who might be able to answer key questions.
I feel like a soggy sponge. My brain has soaked up more information that I’m surprised knowledge isn’t leaking out of my ears. And yet I know I have so much more to learn. Entrepreneurship is truly an exhausting proposition and not everyone is cut out for it.
Which makes me wonder if I am. I took a few steps back to weigh my skills, talents, and personality, I’d have to humbly admit that YES I AM cut out to be an entrepreneur.
There are a few traits I believe make a successful entrepreneur.
There are many ways to be smart. According to a Entrepreneur Magazine article, “Word-Smarts” or linguistic intelligence tops the list as the type of intelligence that is most applicable to the entrepreneurial role. The author, Martin Zwilling, believes that “people with a high linguistic intelligence display a high facility for word usage and languages. They are typically good at communicating ideas, reading, writing and telling stories. Good entrepreneurs need these skills to lead a team, sell ideas to customers and investors and write business plans.” I’m a seasoned marketing writer. So, I can safe say “check” in this category.
Entrepreneurs wants to make money on their own terms, operate under their own steam. However, it’s usually an underlying passion that truly drives them forward. For me, I love writing. I also love all sides of education. From learning to teaching to empowering to inspiring, knowledge is just flat-out sexy. “Passion” tops the list in a Forbes article titled 5 Personality Traits of an Entrepreneur. It states “entrepreneurs reward themselves internally by realizing that they’re on a mission for the greater good. No matter how bad it gets, it’s their passion that motivates them between paydays and during all the times when everyone else tells them to quit.”
For those who know me, I’ve taken some pretty big risks over my life. Some worked out. Some didn’t. Yet the fact remains that I am a pretty strong woman. Entrepreneurs need to feel confident putting themselves out there, opening themselves up to critique and criticism. Winston Churchill stated “success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” (Here’s a few more inspirational quotes.)
One of my newest favorite authors is James Altrucher. He introduced me to the phrase “idea sex.” I fracking LOVE that phrase because that’s how I often view creativity. On his webpage for his book How To Make Millions With Idea Sex, he explains “creativity is the logical combination of two or more existing elements that result in a new concept. The best way to make a living with your imagination is to develop innovative applications, not imagine completely new concepts.” This fits me just fine. From my career as a writer, I understand that much of what we consume are simply variations of a theme. Simply put, don’t mistake creativity with originality.
Entrepreneurs need a solid vision to work from. A strong strategy and tactical plan are great, too. Yet, it may be their ability to roll with the punches that sets them apart. Within the career advice article Nine Characteristics of Entrepreneurs, Monster.com lists flexibility as number 8. “You will need to be ready to tweak any initial plans and strategies. New and better ways of doing things may come along as well. Will you be open-minded and flexible in the face of change?” I am willing to listen to other’s advice and change when change is needed. And for anyone who’s dated me knows, I love a good surprise.
My brain is currently a swirl of newly-gained knowledge and my to-do list an arm long. But it’s OK. I chose this path for myself when I promised myself a profitable life. Being your boss is a lot to add into a women’s world. I, for one, am going to give it everything I got!
Are you cut out to be a lady entrepreneur? What personality trait do you have that will make you successful? Who is your favorite female role model?