Entrepreneur, businessOver the years of my law practice working with business people of every kind, I observed that successful entrepreneurs have three fundamental qualities. Undoubtedly, there are many other skills and traits that make a true entrepreneur. There are numerous blog articles, books, and writings about those traits. But I think, most frequently discussed traits can fit within these three fundamental qualities.

It is important to understand that an entrepreneur is not the same as a leader, manager, or a business person. Maybe an entrepreneur is a combination of all three. But I think it is much more. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risk of a business or enterprise.” There are many studies and debates on whether entrepreneurial spirit is a gene that some people are born with, or simply a skill that can be acquired. Professors can teach you formulas, but drive and desire to achieve can only come from within. Many people want to start their own business, but not all do. Reasons vary from “not the right timing” to “fear of failure”. Thus, it is without doubt that some people are more favorable to become successful entrepreneurs than others based on their personality traits. I think that, although some people are naturally predisposed in one way or another, all traits and skills can be acquired. Here is my list of three fundamental ingredients of a successful entrepreneur: 

Optimism

This is the most important quality differentiating a true entrepreneur from the rest of the crowd. One can lack optimism but become a successful manager or leader, but not an entrepreneur. I am not talking about a foolish hope that everything will end up great. An entrepreneurial spirit is guided by confidence, perseverance, and believing that nothing is impossible. Yes, it is a human nature to have fears and doubts sometimes, but born entrepreneurs will never let those insecurities blind their vision and passion to stop them from their mission. They will take risks because they believe in their vision. They are convinced that their product or services are what people need, and they are determined to deliver them at any cost. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that it wasn’t an easy road from the start. For an entrepreneur, hard times are simply challenges on the way to success. They are determined to overcome the obstacles and go forward, because they have a vision and confidence that they will succeed.

Curiosity

Most entrepreneurs are curious in nature. In business world, curiosity is good. I am not talking about the poking-in-other’s-life kind of curiosity. Entrepreneurs want to be involved. They like to know people, know interests, likes, characters, and personalities of people and what surrounds them. You can find an entrepreneur carefully listening to a random conversation, eavesdropping at a party, or reading a random book or magazine that may look odd to you. They are good listeners, genuinely interested in what you have got to say, no matter what is the subject of the conversation. 

Proactivity

I call it just-do-it-ness. The first sign of an entrepreneurial spirit is the adeptness to put thoughts into action. It is the courage to take that first step materializing your ideas. Many people conceptualize and have ideas, but claim to never find the right moment or circumstance to take action. Entrepreneurs have the vision, not just ideas. They see an opportunity, come up with an idea, draw a clear picture in their mind, put together an implantation plan, and follow it. Most people think. Entrepreneurs just do it.     

It takes a special blend of qualities to implement ideas and achieve dreams. But all of those qualities can be acquired one by one. How about you start with optimism?

Ismail T. Shahtakhtinski