Great Entrepreneurs Share These Six Traits – And Some May Surprise You

What does it take to be successful as an entrepreneur? It’s a frequently asked question. Common answers are passion, smarts, audacity—not to mention the ability to work 70-hour weeks with no end in sight.

However, there are other traits that can be just as advantageous but might not fit into our typical profile of the high-flying entrepreneur. In particular, here are six characteristics that can help you thrive in your entrepreneurial pursuits:

1. You are genuine

In a world where everyone wants to build their brand, be an expert, and get attention on social media, just being a genuine person is an increasingly rare quality. It’s also a huge competitive advantage, as no one wants to work with a phony. You should pursue a business if you genuinely care about solving a problem or improving people’s lives in some way. Forget about all the hype surrounding “launching a startup” and just be yourself.

2. You can take a break

Most people think that the best entrepreneurs live, eat, sleep, and breathe the business. However, it’s usually the opposite. Great business owners are typically grounded, well rested, and healthy. By taking care of yourself, you are better able to take care of your business, employees, and customers.

There are numerous ways to take a break from the business. Keep your exercise routine up, no matter how hectic your schedule gets. Hang out with friends and family. Meditate, go to a museum, take a long walk, or just put your phone aside. Any of these activities will give you the physical and emotional boost needed to make it through the tough weeks.

3. You know when to cut your losses

I will be the first to admit that nothing came particularly easy to me as an entrepreneur, and I needed to persevere through some very tough times. Grit and determination are critical, but you also need to know when to cut your losses and move on. Clinging to a bad decision is a surefire way to run your business into the ground.

When something isn’t working and circumstances are stacked against you, it’s best to stop, change gears, and move forward in a different direction. After all, the best decision is the one that works, not necessarily the first one.

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4. You don’t know everything

The most successful entrepreneurs aren’t know-it-alls. They aren’t even the smartest people. So how do they do it? They know when to ask for help and surround themselves with smart, talented people.

Some entrepreneurs may think they have no weak points, but it’s simply not possible to be an expert in all things. The key is to identify where your weaknesses are: operations, sales, marketing, employee management, etc. Then rely on someone else for those areas. Remember, you don’t have to be a financial guru to hire a great accountant or CFO.

5. You can say no

When you are new to entrepreneurship, it is tempting to go for any and every opportunity that comes your way, whether it’s a last-minute client request or new potential market. However, success doesn’t come from taking on everything, but rather your ability to prioritize all of these opportunities. As Steve Jobs said, “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Set your priorities and use them as a guide for evaluating each new opportunity and request. Most importantly, keep in mind that saying no to something doesn’t mean you are not a nice person. You’re just setting your own priorities and boundaries.

6. You’re empathetic

Great entrepreneurs understand that business is more about people than money or sales. Instead of just creating new features and pushing new products, successful entrepreneurs build long-term relationships with employees and customers, think about their needs, and how they can help. Rather than rushing through your day, take the extra 15 minutes when talking to a customer or associate to really listen. It could end up being the most valuable 15 minutes of your whole week.

Do you agree? Are there other important traits to have as an entrepreneur?

Read all of Nellie Akalp’s articles on

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About Paul Champion

Some have called me a leader, and a entrepreneur, they say I have integrity, presence and skills to ensure continuous improvement and success in whatever challenges I face. They also tell me that I am positive, resilient and motivating. I say, I'm just a normaI guy from Gateshead in the North of England, who started as an apprentice engineer. I have been in the right place at the right time and in the wrong place at the wrong time! I have successfully initiated and led complex organizations and situations to completion and success, and I have been in some jobs where success seemed untouchable. Mainly though, I have tried to learn everyday, help people to progress and learn the skills they need to be successful. I have had the privilege of working with some great people locally across the UK and more recently internationally in Asia, Europe and now USA, where I am lucky enough to work for where I am head of 3aaa USA. This website is just me having an outlet to talk about all those thoughts, ideas and things I learn that pass through my head every day when I face the challenge of doing business. I will also rant on about how great apprenticeships are, and how you can help change peoples lives through them. After all thats how I got to do the great things that I have done, and also I am still an apprentice everyday! All I ask is that if you find it interesting then leave a comment and share what you read. THANK YOU.

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