Going it Alone

The most successful entrepreneurs have certain traits in common. Take this quiz to find out if you have them, too.

directions and like to work in a box are disadvantaged when it comes to start-ups.
4. The need for achievement ranks near the top of entrepreneurial traits. Setting clear goals is part of this; making money for the sake of making money is self-defeating in the long run. One surprising trait shared by entrepreneurs is that once the goals are reached, they get bored and start looking for new ways to test themselves.
5. Entrepreneurs are moderate risk takers. They bet on themselves and realize that winning at business isn’t a matter of luck.
6. Having good judgment beats being brilliant any day. Good street smarts is important, followed closely by the ability to be decisive. Those who pride themselves on being really smart have a tough time in business–though they thrive as professionals.
7. Tenacity is a desirable trait. Easygoing people are fun, but may give up too soon.
8. Entrepreneurs crave feedback, and the faster and more specific, the better. They set goals to measure progress, like quick results and actively seek out constructive criticism.
9. Good communication skills are vital You constantly and clearly sell: your ideas to employees and investors and other stakeholders; your products and services to your markets and your value to potential purchasers. Some experts say this is the No. 1 trait shared by successful entrepreneurs.
10. Future orientation is another characteristic often shown by successful entrepreneurs. They make their future rather than suffer it-but don’t endlessly consult tea leaves.
11. You can’t beat experience in the business. All businesse
s look terrific from the outside. Experience shows you the warts and blemishes, as well as the tricks of that particular trade. Inexperience in the business is a killer.
12. Being a good employee and team player is fine, but an entrepreneur functions as the coach and leader.
13. A tolerance for ambiguity helps you sleep. In business, there are seldom any “correct” answers, and there will never be complete information to base decisions upon. So you learn to make decisions under uncertainty and ambiguity.
14. If you don’t have passion for the business, you will fail. If your sole motivation is to get rich, chances are you’re in the wrong business.
15. Knowing how to raise money is the key to building a substantial business. (This is the trick: it means that you can put together a team, know the financial players, have a profitable product fit with your market, communicate it well and have a proven track record of success.)
16. Reliability is a big help. You need other people to make good; “trust but verify” is a good entrepreneurial motto. A results orientation is a plus, just not as big a plus.
17. Responsibility and willingness to accept and learn from mistakes are important.
18. Entrepreneurs have to be self-confident. Their egos are on the line constantly, and they have to trust their own judgment when going against conventional patterns. Entrepreneurs never lose, they just run out of time.
19. Entrepreneurs tend to be creative and innovative. They plan ahead, but if they have to change

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