What are the personality traits that one needs in order to be an entrepreneur? This depends on who you ask but I firmly believe that the one thing that we need the most is to stop fearing failure. Failure is going to happen, especially when you start your own company. Show me an entrepreneur that hasn't experienced failures and I'll show you someone that is delusional. Failure is something that helps us learn. We can refine our brand, our pitch, and our products from these learnings. When I have a setback or mistake I always squeeze out every last bit of knowledge from the event. Then, it's time to move on and not dwell on the fact that I messed up. In time, some of my biggest disasters turn into great stories.
What other personality traits should an entrepreneur have? To me, other than being fearless about your actions (aka not afraid to fail) there are five traits that will help you in your journey.
1. Disciplined - You are your own boss and it's tempting to take very long lunches and stay in your sweatpants all day. Whether you wake up and shower or schedule meetings early in the day, find what works for you to keep you in the working mindset. Luck favors the disciplined.
2. Ambitious - This seems like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised at how many entrepreneurs I've met that really seem to be lacking this. Having a start-up is the latest thing with all ages and there are incubators, classes, and other resources out there to help. Don't take this abundance of resources in some cities for granted and think that if you simply go through the motions you'll be successful. Mark Zuckerberg didn't get lazy after Facebook's success and continues to push the company to innovate.
3. Defend Yourself - What I mean is to take care of your body and mind. There is no prize for those who burn themselves out working 16-20 hour days that are out of shape with dark circles under their eyes. Think GIGO: garbage in, garbage out. Drink plenty of water, eat right, exercise, and meditate. I find it best to start the day early with exercise.
4. Grateful - Be grateful for those small victories you experience every day. Did you win a gift card at the networking mixer? Did you get that client on the phone finally? Did you wake ups as your own boss? You get the point. Give yourself a break and celebrate something every day.
5. Negotiation Expert - I can't stress enough that you must not discount yourself. You must ask for what you and your company are worth. With confidence. If someone comes back with a counter either counter back or be ready to walk away. Period. You won't get every client so don't try to fit your price to get everyone. Remember, the client you gave the best deal to will always somehow be the one that is the most work and the most difficult.
What traits do you think are important for entrepreneurs to have?