Anyone who decides to develop their own start-up naturally has a spark of madness; it’s a truth universally acknowledged. Yet, beyond that little element of craziness, lie other important elements that make up the biology of an entrepreneur.
When start-up legends Zoe Pointon of OpenAgent and Rebekah Campbell of Hey You were asked what they think makes up a good entrepreneur at the recent 9 to Thrive Business Chicks event, their answers were a little surprising but, overall, inspiring.
See what they had to say below:
Be hands on.
For better or worse, an entrepreneur has the hand in every part of their start-up business. They’re not always in it for the easy ride and are always ready to get their hands dirty and work on every aspect of their creation.
Be an optimist.
Any individual who takes on the mammoth task of developing a business must have an innate ability to believe it will work. Too many doubts will only lead to failure and one must be able to believe in the work they are doing to make it a success.
Manage the psychology.
Not every part of entrepreneurship is easy. While it’s one thing to be the eternal optimist, it’s another thing to know how to deal with both the highs and lows. Being able to manage your ups and downs is crucial to staying level headed and keeping your sanity throughout the entire process.
Be a listener.
An entrepreneur is not just about acting on a hunch and getting lucky; it’s about constantly listening to people. If you make the effort to hear what others have to say, from your customers to employees, you will always be in touch with what works and what doesn’t. It’s also the only way to know what consumers want rather than what you think they want. An entrepreneur listens carefully and constantly, and is able to see where their market is heading in order to maintain relevance and market appeal.
Much like listening well, an entrepreneur should never settle or believe their work has reached its peak. They understand that the world and their market changes rapidly and are always looking and learning from the people and environment around them. They look to push the boundaries and question why something has to be done in a particular way. They make things work for them, in whatever way suits them best.
Win people over.
Some people just have the gift of the gab. Knowing how to pitch well is vital. Being able to win people over might take practice or it might come naturally, but it’s an important skill to have, not just for pitching your business plan to investors, but also to co-workers, customers and consumers.
Never give up.
Possibly the most important trait is one’s ability to never give up. When you believe in your cause and are driven and passionate enough to see it through, magical things will happen. Rebekah stated that, after adding up, she would have pitched her idea almost 2000 times (sometimes 8 times a day!) before she gained enough traction to make it work. It’s that ‘never say die’ attitude that defines the entrepreneur and sees them flourishing in a world of opportunities.