What are the characteristics that make entrepreneurs?

Can everybody be an entrepreneur? Many people would say that yes, technically anybody could be an entrepreneur, but that perhaps some people are better at it than others. So what is it that makes someone best suited to being an entrepreneur? Here are five characteristics that every entrepreneur needs…

1. Resilience

Being an entrepreneur comes with challenges, that's a well-known fact, so it’s important that entrepreneurs are able to learn from them and come back from failure. "You'll face complex financial problems, decision-based dilemmas, long hours, sudden changes, and predictions that egregiously fail," says Jayson Demers, founder and CEO of Audience Bloom. "You must remember that all these challenges, while difficult to face, are a natural part of being an entrepreneur. Success in business ownership is rarely a matter of how many challenges you face so much as it is a matter of how you face those challenges."

2. Self-awareness

One thing that sets successful entrepreneurs apart from the rest is that they have the ability to recognise their strengths and weaknesses. 

"Successful people have discovered their unique selling point, they've identified their strengths early on," Dr Hamira Riaz says.

"If you ask their friends and family, by the time they get to their teenage years, it's already evident.

"Once you know what you're good at, it’s about also understanding your blind spots, and then mitigating the risk of those blind spots getting in the way of your success by building a team around you that's going to help compliment your strengths and also make sure the right checks and balances are in place."

3. Passion

Perhaps the most important thing that an entrepreneur can have is passion. Without passion, an entrepreneur is not going to get their ideas off the ground, especially when it means a lot of work for very little money at times.

According to research by VC and entrepreneur Tony Tjan, 65 per cent of business founders have been identified as driven by heart - saying that these entrepreneurs have an "authentic vision" and are fuelled "by an unshakeable sense of purpose".

Tjan says that passionate entrepreneurs who are driven by heart make for excellent pitchers, he adds: "This is a guy you want on your side when you’re looking for investors."

4. Patience

As the saying goes, 'patience is a virtue'. But it’s also very hard to practise. For entrepreneurs however, there are a number of benefits to practising patience - from improved relationships to smart decision-making to a positive team culture. 

"To be successful, we need patience when it comes to employee relations, business negotiations and communications, as well as achievement of the strategic goals we've set," psychologist Sherrie Campbell says. "Further, we have to remain calm amid the big and small twists and turns that come with life. It is only through being patient that we can truly learn from the curveballs which get thrown in our path."

5. Persistence 

While patience is important as an entrepreneur, it’s equally important to be persistent.

As serial entrepreneur Nellie Akalp says: "Start-up founders need persistence because everything always takes longer than expected — often two to three times longer. It can be difficult to keep things going when you're not seeing instant traction and success.

"Many smart people never succeed as entrepreneurs. We often chalk this up to bad luck, but one of the main reasons why entrepreneurs never get their ventures off the ground is that they wait for things to come to them."

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