Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes, but the successful ones usually have a few things in common. Some new insight from Corrine Sandler, CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp., a global business intelligence group, pinpoints exactly what those "things" might be.
Sandler, a successful entrepreneur herself, has spent 20-plus years rubbing elbows with the world's most influential movers and shakers. She believes that all effective entrepreneurs owe their success, at least in part, to these five personality traits:
No. 1: Confidence
"Any natural entrepreneur is bursting with confidence, both in him or herself and in the conditions they control," said Sandler in a recent article on the foundations of entrepreneurial success.
"Entrepreneurs need risk to thrive, so believing in themselves and the people they've put in positions of responsibility is essential. There's no room for doubt and second-guessing yourself."
Sandler recommends that aspiring entrepreneurs learn their own strengths and put them to good use. But she also stresses the importance of knowing one's own weaknesses.
As an entrepreneur, you need to hire the right people to handle the jobs that don't play to your strengths, Sandler said. And this is just as important as fulfilling whatever role you choose for yourself, she said.
No. 2: Passion
The next personality trait on Sandler's list can't be taught at your typical leadership-training workshop: passion. But the great thing about this intrinsic quality, Sandler explains, is that everyone has the capacity to develop it. So what is passion, really?
"It's the source of incredible energy that feeds on one of our most powerful emotions and compels entrepreneurs forward with excitement and enthusiasm," Sandler said.
No. 3: A fighter's instinct
Like a seasoned boxer, a successful entrepreneur knows that winning takes more than a few swift punches. Both in the boxing ring and in business, the best fighters, Sandler explains, study their competition to identify opponents' strengths and weaknesses, and then use that knowledge to develop a strategy to beat them.
"When things are going well, the entrepreneur who thinks the fight is over and he has won will quickly find himself knocked to the mat," Sandler said. "Equally important is having the mental fortitude to keep fighting when you're at the bottom, bruised and bloodied." [Accepting Failure: When It's Time to Give Up on Being an Entrepreneur]
No. 4: Vision
While entrepreneurs need to be deeply enmeshed in the here and now of their current ventures, they also need a sense of the bigger picture.
Successful entrepreneurs, Sandler explains, are always thinking ahead, planning the future with equal measures of imagination and wisdom. And in case "planning the future" seems like a daunting task, Sandler has a few tips.
Her go-to resource for future planning? Strategic coaches. These professionals, as Sandler explains, can help you define your vision.
Sandler herself relies on something else to help crystalize her vision of the future. The BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) from "Mastering the Rockefeller Habits" (Gazelles, Inc., 2011) by Verne Harnish, is Sandler's favorite strategizing tool.
No. 5: A rebellious streak
Sandler, whose catch phrase is, "What you visualize will materialize," clearly believes that entrepreneurs can create their own realities. So if you're a conformist, you might consider another career path. Entrepreneurs, Sandler said, need to be agents of change.
"You can't be content with maintaining the status quo," Sandler said. "You must push the limits. Dare to be different!"
Originally published on Business News Daily.