(NNPA)—If you want success, you must plan for success rather than failure. You don’t set out for Los Angeles from New York by walking eastward, do you? Of course not! You have to be walking in the right direction to get where you’re going.
Grasping the reality of this current hard-hitting full-blown economic downturn, and all-out crisis in your life is not an easy task. How you deal with it will determine your ultimate success.
Each moment can change the rest of your life and the course of your direction. If you are not intentional with your actions, you will plan to fail. Successful people operate from the beat of their own drum, but they are intentional. Successful people don’t become successful by accident–it’s sheer, practical application of their talents and traits.
1. Hard Working: running a business requires a lot of energy and drive. This involves the ability to work for long hours when necessary, to work intensely in spurts and to cope with less than a normal amount of sleep.
2. Self-Confident: to succeed, entrepreneurs have to believe in themselves and in their ability to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. This is often shown by a belief that “if you want something badly enough and are prepared to work at it, you’ll usually get it.”
3. Builds for the Future: the goal for most successful business people is to build a secure job and income for themselves which is based on their own abilities. This means entrepreneurs understand that it may take several years to build up business income to a reasonable standard.
4. Profit-Oriented: interest in generating money is a clear indicator of an entrepreneur’s suitability for being a business owner. This means recognizing that the business comes first.
5. Goal-Oriented: success in business depends upon being able to set realistic goals or targets and to work with determination to achieve them. This ability to set goals (for things the person thinks are worthwhile) and to work to achieve them is fundamental to being an entrepreneur.
6. Persistent: all businesses have their problems and disappointments. Being persistent in solving a problem is one of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur.
7. Copes with Failure: all business ventures inevitably contain disappointments and failures as well as successes. Coping with failures involves recognizing these failures, learning from them and seeking new opportunities. Without this characteristic, early failures may end a person’s attempt at self-employment.
8. Responds to Feedback: entrepreneurs are concerned to know how well they are doing and to keep track of their performance. Obtaining useful feedback and advice from others is another important characteristic of entrepreneurs.
9. Demonstrates Initiative: research shows that successful entrepreneurs take the initiative and put themselves in positions where they are personally responsible for success or failure.
10. Willing to Listen: the successful entrepreneur is not an inward looking person that never uses outside resources. Self-reliance does not exclude the ability to ask for help when needed from such people as bank officials, accountants and business advisers. Being able to listen to the advice of others is a key characteristic of an entrepreneur.
11. Sets Own Standards: setting standards of performance and then working to achieve them is another indicator of a successful entrepreneur. Most entrepreneurs want to do better each year, to set and achieve higher standards from year to year.
12. Copes with Uncertainty: being an entrepreneur is much more uncertain than employment. An ability to cope with this uncertainty without becoming too stressed is a necessary trait of being an entrepreneur.
13. Committed: starting and running an enterprise demands total commitment by the entrepreneur in terms of time, money and lifestyle. It has to be a major priority in the entrepreneur’s life.
14. Builds on Strengths: successful business people base their work upon the strength(s) they have, such as manual skills, interpersonal skills, selling skills, organizational skills, writing skills, knowledge of a particular product or service, knowledge of people in a trade and ability to make and use a network of contacts.
15. Reliable and Has Integrity: the qualities of honesty, fair dealing and reliability in terms of doing what one has promised to do are essential traits of an entrepreneur.
16. Risk-Taker: being an entrepreneur involves some risks. Entrepreneurs have the ability to take measured or calculated risks. Such risks involve working out the likely costs and gains, the chance of success and the belief in oneself to make the risk pay off.
(Dr. Farrah Gray is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or his website at http://www.drfarrahgray.com/.)