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Do You Have What it Takes? The Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

written by: Lucinda Watrous•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/27/2010

Have you ever wanted to be a successful entrepreneur? Sure, it has its benefits, but it's not something everyone is cut out for. Read this to find out about the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.

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    Becoming an Entreprenuer

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    Becoming an Entrepreneur is not an easy task. It is something that takes time, dedication, and motivation, among other things. While we can't just snap our fingers and be successful entrepreneurs overnight, we can take time to study and learn things to help us to succeed.

    Let's take a look at five characteristics of entrepreneurs. Making sure you possess these characteristics will put you one step closer to successful entrepreneurship.

    While reading these characteristics, take time to consider whether or not you have them. If you have doubts, think about what you can do to build strength in these areas.Taking time to learn the skills you need to effectively run a business will only make you and the business stronger in the end.

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    The Characteristics of an Entrepreneur

    There are many different characteristics of an entrepreneur, but for the purpose of this article, we chose 5 common ones necessary for success.

    1. Discipline: Running your own business requires discipline. You must be willing to get up, go to work, and get things done without someone around to tell you it needs to be done. You are the boss. If you cannot maintain enough discipline to do things without being told to do them, then running a business may not be for you. You have to handle the less fun parts of running a business such as the bookkeeping and marketing in order to succeed until you are successful enough that you can hire someone to handle the less enjoyable tasks for you. If you skimp on these tasks, you will set yourself up for failure.

    2. Attention to Detail: Entrepreneurs must be able to pay attention to detail. Every expense must be carefully monitored to ensure the capital you have is being wisely spent toward investments that will make your business grow. If you pay attention to detail, you'll be able to carefully monitor finances to ensure you're working toward success. It will take time to go through everything with a fine tooth comb, and though you may not enjoy it, it is a necessary evil associated with entrepreneurship.

    3. Calm: Becoming an entrepreneur requires calm. You must be able to maintain yourself as difficult situations will arise throughout the course of your business life. In cases of crisis or emergency, if you panic or lose your temper, you are only going to make the problem worse. Staying calm regardless of the situation at hand is a must for all entrepreneurs. This is often the hardest part of becoming an entrepreneur.

    4. Balance: Perhaps the most important characteristic of a successful entrepreneur is balance. It is important not to take any part of your business or actions too far, because while it is good to pay attention to detail and remain calm, doing so too often will cause more harm to your business success than good. It is important to take time away from your business to focus on other parts of your life to help maintain this balance so you avoid burnout, as well.

    5. Risk Tolerance: All business ventures carry risk because you don't know what's going to happen. It doesn't matter how well things look and have tested. In order to handle the ups and downs associated with running a business, you should have a good risk tolerance. If not, you may find yourself in the middle of a nervous breakdown or suffering from other health issues as a result of the stress. This doesn't mean you should take every risk, or risks that you do not believe are worth it, but you shouldn't avoid risks, either.

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    Are Men More Likely to Be Entrepreneurs than Women?

    In my opinion, both men and women are capable of being successful entrepreneurs. Men and woman may be naturally predisposed to have different strengths or weaknesses, so both sexes will have to work on maintaining the balance. In the end, gender doesn't play much of a role in the success of an entrepreneur because men and women have different motivations.

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