What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

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Answered by: Jeanne, An Expert in the Resources for Entrepreneurs Category
Not a lot of people are fit to work for themselves.

If you don’t like your job and think it would probably be interesting to be self-employed, you have to be ready to toil away an unreasonable amount of your time in the beginning on top of having to deal with ambiguous salary schedules.

So what does it really take to be a successful entrepreneur? Having researched and observed a number of people who I deem successfully self-employed, here are the top three characteristics that I believe fuel self-employment success. Read on and get to know what it takes to make the road to success a little less harrowing.



Work Hard AND Work Smart

You’ve probably heard the virtues of either working hard or working smart, each often extolled to the detriment of the other. Many are pitting the two together when in actuality, it’s perfectly possible to carry out the two together.

Michael Moroney, director of public affairs at Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, stated that, ‘The problem with the working hard vs. working smart dichotomy is that all too often we frame the choice as one in which we can only choose ‘hard’ or ‘smart.’ The question we should be asking is, 'why aren't we doing both?’



This is why it’s important to utilize both your physical and mental resources so you can put your maximum effort in every task that you set out to do. Without a doubt, this is a more efficient approach that affords you additional time to achieve more, while at the same time increasing the value of your output.

The More You Learn, The More You Earn

Two of the most distinctive traits that predict career success are an individual’s curiosity and willingness to learn. In other words, a hungry mind enables you to keep pushing the envelope and fighting skill set stagnation. Research on corporate learning has also further shown that people who knew how to learn and are motivated consistently outperform their peers.

What better way to do this than to broaden your expertise and learn new things along the way. Since the only constant thing in life is change, refusing to keep up with the times will keep you from being competitive.

The self-employment field has a high failure rate and in order to be excluded of that statistic, you have to be always ahead of the pack in order to stand out.

In this case, this saying couldn't be more apt: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”

Know What Success Is For You

Success should not be about what others see, but how you feel. It is a multifaceted chameleon that should reflect your wants and goals in life. While others may quantify it with money, for others it's about waking up everyday feeling zealously, committed to their work.

In the Oxford Handbook of Motivation, researchers found out that the framing of one’s goal is crucial to battling hurdles when attaining an objective since this prevents people from being easily distracted from their aims.

The key takeaway here is that if you’re not definite in setting your goals, then you don’t have anything clear-cut to achieve as well. For the reason that the road to success is a process, mapping out what it means for you gives you the right direction to target.

In closing

The good and bad thing about working for yourself is that failure and success all comes down to you. Should you fail, there is nobody else to blame. Remember that being your own boss is going to be no less filled with ups and downs. Integrating one or all of the things mentioned above is sure to increase your chances of being a successful entrepreneur.

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