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One of the biggest aspirations of the American dream is to own your own business. However, most people will never realize this dream because they do not possess the character, skills, and motivation required to start and grow a successful business. An entrepreneur, as defined in the context of business, is one who is successful at starting and growing a business and is able to initiate change through business decisions and leadership in order to steer the business toward success. As an aspiring entrepreneur, I must examine what has helped other entrepreneurs be successful and determine if I share their characteristics and if there are character traits I need to develop further.
First, I need to understand what character traits are common to other successful entrepreneurs. A successful entrepreneur is a self-starter, good at following through, able to come up with creative ideas, able to lead others, stay focused, willing to take risks, and can identify what motivates others.
How it works
I am definitely a self-starter, creative, and willing to take risks. However, I am not good at following through, but I have been working on this and am getting much better at it. I am not a strong leader in general, but people tend to seek my expertise in areas that I am talented in. Because of this, I am able to lead others by being passionate about something and drawing others in who want to be part of what I am doing. Another area I need to improve in is my ability to stay focused on my objectives.
Another important character trait I have recently discovered is the ability to identify what motivates others and how to use that knowledge to bring about any needed actions or changes. For example, in marketing, it is important to identify what motivates my potential clients in their purchasing decisions. When negotiating a business-to-business network with another business owner, I should identify the owner’s motivations in order to use my services to help them and to make sure they have a good reason to refer their clients or customers to my business.
I do not consider myself to be a natural-born entrepreneur, but I can become one through the discipline of identifying my weaknesses and being intentional about turning them into strengths.
Another aspect of being an entrepreneur is being able to take risks. Typically, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. I am fairly comfortable with taking risks, but now that I have a family and two young children, it has become a little more difficult to take risks. However, I am still willing to take risks, accompanied by careful planning and consideration, in order to grow my business to the level of success I have a vision for in order to provide a good life for my family.
Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the faint of heart. However, if one truly desires to bring about change in their career and in the world around them, becoming an entrepreneur is a very rewarding endeavor. I am willing to pursue my goals!
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