Friday, September 08, 2006


Seven Characteristics Of A True Entrepreneur
By Brenda W Hargroves

The words creative and visionary immediately come to mind when you think of an artist. What words do you associate with an entrepreneur? Business owners are a special breed. They possess distinct characteristics that enable them to take that leap into the unknown. Starting and managing a business requires a great deal of faith and perseverance. Entrepreneurship is generally connected with the following personality traits:

Confident – Business ownership requires a high level of confidence. You must feel certain that your business is going to achieve success and allow you to reach your goals. You must understand that obstacles will occur that require the creation of a Plan B or even C. All along the way you must be convinced that what you are trying to achieve is worth the effort.

Driven – When my sister first referred to me as 'driven' I immediately panicked. I pictured a wild-haired crazy woman with weird looking eyes. She then explained her observation. She wasn't saying I was obsessed, but rather ambitious, motivated and determined to make my business a success. I felt better the next time someone used this word to describe me.

A business owner is single-minded in the pursuit of a goal to implement, manage and/or expand a venture. This is generally the entrepreneur's major life focus and most of his activities are somehow tied to this effort.

Knowledgeable – Knowledge of trends in your industry, as well as general business savvy are essential. Trade information provides first hand data concerning what is happening in your particular business and offers insight into your competitor's news as well. Knowing these details helps to keep you ahead of the game.

Following current events is particularly beneficial, especially news items that are of concern to or affect your clientele. This knowledge allows you to broaden discussions with your clients regarding topics other than your services. These conversations demonstrate that you are interested in and care about your clients.

Consistent – People are comfortable with and come to expect consistency. Make every attempt to do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it. Gaining the reputation of being unreliable can be a major contributor to the downfall of your business. The usefulness of and need for your product will not matter if clients lose faith in how you interact with them. On the other hand, your business will flourish if you build relationships with a foundation based on continued dependability.

Flexible – This is the one characteristic that cannot be emphasized enough. Many people choose entrepreneurship because they want to be in command of how the business operates. Situations are going to occur that you will not have control over. A large or small issue may cause you to have to rethink a business practice. You are going to have to adjust and be willing to make changes as circumstances require.

Patient – It is a popular theory that it takes a minimum investment of three to five years before a business begins to show signs of success. Patience becomes the operative word.
How many people do you know who are willing to wait a minimum of three to five years for desired results? And the truth is that not only does your business' overall success require this endurance, every aspect of your life along the way also demands similar tolerance. Marketing efforts will not provide positive results overnight. It will most likely be a while before you are in the position to pay yourself a competitive salary. If you are serious about growing your business, the bonus of leisure time will not present itself immediately So much requires patience. You alone decide your endurance level for gratification. Be aware that it will not be instant gratification.

Philanthropic – Most entrepreneurs receive assistance in various forms as their businesses mature. Therefore, they recognize the value of giving back to the communities they serve. Just as someone helped them along the way, they, in turn, pay it forward. Also, since performing philanthropic deeds can be another form of developing relationships, it is possible that you may secure business because of your efforts.

While other descriptive words are appropriate, those listed above capture many of the desired characteristics of a true entrepreneur. How do you measure up? Do these characteristics describe you? Are you a true entrepreneur?

Written by Brenda Weathers Hargroves, small business coach and author – Brenda's consulting firm, Business At Hand, is located in Lutz, Florida. Her mission is to share successful methods for implementing and operating a small business or social entrepreneurship venture. She offers individual/group entrepreneurship coaching sessions, small business workshops/seminars and encourages book signings.

To contact Brenda for assistance call (813) 962-8918 or send an email to To purchase her book, The Heart and Soul of Entrepreneurship, or for more information about her services visit her website at

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