Owning a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. Entrepreneurship can be trying at times, however, the rewards often make it worthwhile. Those who succeed usually do so because they’ve been intentional in their approach. Following are four traits that differentiate entrepreneurs from small business owners. Entrepreneurs are rare and special because:
1. They think boldly. It takes grit and gravitas to start, grow and scale a venture. Courage means having a goal and a sticking with it no matter the obstacles. To truly create a company of enduring value and one with heart, it takes three forms of capital – financial, human and social.
2. They see the bigger picture. And act on it. Ever heard the expression “perfection is the enemy of progress”? No matter how much analysis you put in, there will never be a “right” time to start a business. No formula or chart can tell you when to start. It’s more of a Nike “Just Do It” approach than a mathematical calculation.
3. They surround themselves with trusted advisors and mentors who can make them and their business venture better – but not just any mentors. Take care in selecting whom you seek as a mentor. Otherwise, you may listen to those who feed your fears. They won’t allow you to move past them, but remain stagnant. Instead, you have to be open to hearing people who challenge your assumptions, push your thinking and feed your intellectual curiosity. Personal growth and maturation can often come from a place of challenge.
4. They exercise control and have strong self-awareness (aka high emotional intelligence). Maintaining proper control means staying true to your vision and trusting your gut in decisions. You know your business better than anyone else. That means you should be the one calling the shots – not some third party “expert.” After all, your business is your baby, and you wouldn’t trust just anyone with your baby, would you?
Whatever direction you take, follow the advice of the great Jedi Master Yoda: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”