It’s true—entrepreneurship isn’t cut out for everyone.
It requires a rare kind of tenacity and independence, a willingness to initiate and persevere through doubt and uncertainty.
While entrepreneurship will test you, it can also be incredibly rewarding. I’ve experienced my own journey as my single most powerful interface for personal growth.
If you’re considering entrepreneurship and you think you’ve got what it takes, I’ve created a list of seven traits that you can be sure will serve you well in this fast-paced environment.
To help me create the list, I consulted fellow entrepreneur Adam Rivietz, the co-founder and CSO of world-leading influencer marketing firm #Paid. #Paid connects top influencers with top brands including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Audi, Airbnb, and Visa using an artificial intelligence algorithm. Its database empowers over 15,000 influencers across 105 different countries to monetize their content and communities.
1. Your Gears Began Spinning Early. One common denominator of nearly every successful entrepreneur I’ve spoken to is that the gears of their “business mind” began spinning at a very young age. Designer eyewear brand Ellison founder Aristotle Loumis launched a “chores” business at age ten where he agreed to do his friends’ chores three times a week for $7 a visit. Word for this too-good-to-be-true service quickly spread beyond his circle of friends and soon, he had enough clients to make $500 a week. “My family didn’t have the most growing up but we prided ourselves on the fact that we worked so hard,” he says.
2. You Know How To Spot Trends. Entrepreneurs are constantly taking the pulse of their surroundings and looking for ways to satisfy rising demands. I remember in the summer of 2011 I noticed a wave of girls in my area wearing feathers in their hair. I decided to buy thousands of dollars worth of hair feathers from the fly fishing shops in my area to sell to salons online. Within weeks, my gut instinct turned out to be right; all of the fly fishing shops in the midwest were out of stock of feathers and I suddenly had a five-figure business on my hands.
3. You Think On A Big Scale. Where a “rational” or “practical” mind might seek to avoid risk and play on a more manageable scale, the entrepreneurial mind sees grand potential.
Case in point—Rivietz’ model for #Paid was tested on just one influencer before he expanded his service to tens of thousands. His first client was a girl he knew from high school who amassed 75,000 followers in a year. “We reached out to her and said, ‘we want to be your talent agency, let us help you.’ When we got her paid we said ok, our idea is validated now let’s find more influencers. We reached out to 700 more influencers on Instagram who had an email in their bio and within one week 500 of them said they were interested,” Rivietz reflects.
4. You Surround Yourself With Motivators. In the famous words of Tim Ferriss, “You are the average of the five people you most associate with.” Successful entrepreneurs know that having negative influences in your life can powerfully detract from your vision. Rivietz says, “You want to surround yourself with tailwinds, not headwinds. When a plane flies, it can cut a lot of time if it happens to get tailwinds that push it in the right direction forward. Headwinds make the plane take longer to get to its destination. Surround yourself with tailwinds—people who are gonna support you and motivate you—and you’ll reach your goal quicker.”
5. You Know How To Leverage Relationships. The average consumer is four times more likely to buy a product when referred by a friend. Great entrepreneurs live by this principle and are able to leverage the power of social networks to sell their products.
Zuckerberg’s Facebook spread like wildfire because it let its users take care of its referrals. Likewise, Rivietz’ #paid monetizes the relationship between influencer marketers and their audiences.
6. You’re A Rapid Executioner. One of the skills I emphasize at my business accelerator programs for entrepreneurs is that of rapid execution. You wouldn’t believe how many people wait an extraneous amount of time to get in action around the things they want to create.
The mark of a true entrepreneur is that they’re willing to say “yes, our doors are open for business,” far sooner than most would. This doesn’t mean they’re brash; on the contrary, they’re calculating the opportunity cost of waiting too long. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve whipped up a sales page on a night’s notice; that’s because entrepreneurs follow the 80/20 principle and seize the day.
7. You’re A Visionary. Entrepreneurs are experts at dreaming up ways to make things more efficient. Where others see limitations, they see possibility. Jobs’ famous iPod innovation with its “1,000 songs in your pocket” struck 2001 by surprise.
According to entrepreneur Zach Benson, being a visionary means having conviction that you can make what you desire a reality. “Lifestyle by design is real,” he says. “I work with hundreds of influencers on Instagram. People are actually living these lives even though what you see on Instagram seems impossible. I always dreamt of living this lifestyle… Fast forward today I have made it into a reality.”
Originally posted on Forbes by Jules Schroeder