Business start up – 7 entrepreneurial traits to start & 3 to succeed

The Empress, Victoria B.C.

Entrepreneurs are often described as impulsive, energetic, genius risk takers and charismatic leaders.  No doubt there have been quite a few of these personalities in business start ups throughout history.  But does that really help define the underlying traits of entrepreneurship?  I don’t think so!

When we think of entrepreneurs, we automatically think of successful entrepreneurs.  We tend not to associate the word ‘entrepreneur’ with failure or unsuccessful business people.

It is easy to laud successful entrepreneurs as heroes and visionaries.  It is just as easy to label unsuccessful entrepreneurs as egotistical losers.  To do so however, is to misconstrue the concept of entrepreneurship.

It is in a similar way that we misconstrue the concept of ‘risk’.  We focus only on the downside of risk – the risk of loss.  No one except trained finance boffins ever talks about upside risk or the risk of winning.  Yet risk is a positive and negative concept.

It is the same with entrepreneurship.  Some entrepreneurs are successful and some are unsuccessful.  And some try and fail many times before finally succeeding.

So merely exhibiting entrepreneurial traits is no guarantee of business success.  It merely defines the type of person most likely to get off their ass and give it a go.

So with that in mind, I have listed what I believe to be the 7 entrepreneurial traits required merely to give a business start up a go – with no guarantee of success:

  1. Uncomfortable working for others
  2. Enthusiasm and motivation to make it work
  3. An ethic of hard work
  4. Sees opportunity, not problems
  5. Can enlist others in their cause
  6. Has intuitive good judgment
  7. Can attract necessary knowledge and skill

Now here are the final three entrepreneurial traits that, in my experience, distinguish the successful from the unsuccessful:

  1. Has sharp awareness of own strengths and special skills; an honest recognition of own weaknesses plus an appreciation of what is lacking; doesn’t presume to know everything or do everything
  1. Takes much of the risk out of risky ventures by carefully matching products and services to consumer demand, by thorough business planning, by excellent team building and by adherence to sound business practices, particularly financial management
  1. Is doggedly persistent and not deterred by setbacks and failure; recognises that success is a journey, not an overnight outcome; always finds a way; has the ability to maintain a calm positive mind in the face of adversity; recognises that mind is everything; becomes creative to survive

Until next time!


For 100 top business start up ideas and lots more tips and traps for entrepreneurs, read my latest book at:

Business startup – female entrepreneurs rule!

Your seat?

Your seat?

Entrepreneurs are imaginative business creators and builders who are also good at enlisting others to their cause.  To date, the majority has been male but more and more females are taking on new business startup ventures and succeeding.

In my experience, female entrepreneurs are not better or worse than males.  They are different.  It is the gender differences that translate into different approaches to the conduct of business.

For example, walk into a female’s office and the décor is a little softer and a little more welcoming.  The space is a more organised and there is often evidence of a balanced life outside work.

In my experience, females are good listeners – the best listeners.  They tend to listen first and talk later, after they understand what’s important to others.

Women can be very shy but once engaged in a conversation, they are much more social and vocal.  Women network really well, particularly with other women.  It seems to make no difference whether it is play group or a business breakfast; women are capable of networking with each other many times faster than males.

In general I have always found a higher level of empathy among females.  It seems to go hand in hand with their willingness to engage and listen.  For mine, they are much better at putting themselves in another’s shoes, taking a genuine interest and taking the time to understand.

Women really get it!  They know business is about socializing.  They know it’s about listening, really listening; starting conversations, interacting, bringing people together and collaborating with each other.

There is a lot of ‘businessey’ stuff that many women don’t know.  Many men don’t know it either but women are more likely to ask for advice.  I find that they also heed good advice much better than males.

Women are smart enough to realise that they need help in certain areas and not afraid to ask.  They are also less likely to allow ego to get in the way.

I have found women to be very diligent with planning as well.  It is part of their need to be organised and knowing what is happening day to day.

One of Anita Roddick’s most famous quotes was, “Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking.”  It seems to me that women are a lot more practical in their approach and have a lot less ego driving their business decisions.

Women don’t always have the opportunity to spend 14 hours a day in the office because they have other priorities to balance in their lives.  In many cases, there are young children to consider, school hours to juggle, a home to manage and a partner to spend time with.

Opinion is divided on the value of a female’s ability to multi-task.  It is said that trying to do too many different things at once detracts from the singular focus needed to succeed.

However, I believe that females have an advantage with their ability to multi-task.  The reality of daily business is distraction.  It is rare that you get to do exactly what you want in the day with out distraction.

For me, women create a nicer style of business.  It is welcoming, collaborative, empathetic, and fair minded.  I find a lot more win-win activity and a lot less ego-drive win-lose competition.

There are a lot of guys out there who could learn some valuable business startup lessons from our entrepreneurial girls.

Until next time!


For 100 top business startup ideas and lots more tips and traps for newcomers, read my latest book at: