5 Traits of an Entrepreneur states that the definition of an entrepreneur is ‘A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.”

I define an entrepreneur as “A person who can visualize an opportunity and has the focus and drive to get the job done, regardless of any imagined or actual roadblocks. To achieve their goals, they rely more on hard work and tenacity than on dollars and cents, and nothing is beneath them (within reason).”

If you’re thinking of starting a new venture or company, do you have what it takes to succeed? Below are a few important traits to consider before venturing out on your own.

1. Entrepreneurs have a Burning Desire

Have you discovered a unique opportunity that you can’t stop thinking about? Has your initial research indicated that there could be a strong need for this new venture and that people may be willing to pay for it? If so, you’re off to a great start!

All successful entrepreneurs are knowledge seekers and extremely focused. If the desire for a new business venture is burning strong, they will begin organizing their thoughts and ideas by doing extensive research and compiling the data within a Business Plan. This will allow them to consider all of the necessary steps and resources that will be required in order to proceed (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Be warned however that burning desire + flying by the seat of your pants = potential disaster. It’s very easy to become overly excited about a new idea, so much so that you neglect to consider all possible factors. If the opportunity is indeed a fantastic idea, taking the time to do ongoing research will continue to reinforce this fact.

2. Positive Mental Attitude

Every entrepreneur must have a ‘roll-up your sleeves and let’s get it done’ attitude, regardless the task at hand or the time of day. Running a successful business requires that you take charge and do whatever needs to be done.

Obstacles are to be expected, and are dealt with effectively, without dwelling on any failures. Great entrepreneurs are self-motivated and are not afraid of risk or challenges. They are also respected leaders, communicators and have the ability to motivate others to achieve their end goals. Surrounding themselves with other positive thinkers and motivated individuals is key. They often have made a conscientious choice to avoid associating with anyone who is overly negative.

3. High on Energy and Enthusiasm

A true entrepreneur believes in themselves and their business ventures. The reason for this is because they often have great self-confidence in their abilities. They have done the necessary research and planning to be confident in their product or offering. Their focus and drive allows them to be fully committed to ensuring their product is attractive to others. Every waking moment is spent improving, promoting, marketing and selling their ideas.

4. Rapidly Changing Environments

Entrepreneurs never stop looking for new opportunities. They realize they may not have all the knowledge or resources, but this doesn’t deter them from uncovering new opportunities and bringing them to market.

Entrepreneurs have a craving for learning from others. They are constantly networking with successful business owners, walking the trade show floors and talking to prospects, all while making mental notes about what others are doing and more importantly, what they should be doing.

Once an entrepreneur is aware of a potential opportunity worth pursuing, they act quickly and are able to bring the idea from concept to launch. On the flip side, entrepreneurs are quick to realize their mistakes, but rarely have remorse when something doesn’t work out as expected. Once they realize that a particular product or service isn’t successful, they initiate a plan to withdraw.

Everything is a learning opportunity for an entrepreneur, so they will always do a post-mortem to determine the reasons as to why certain ventures did not work, before moving onto their next opportunity.

5. Entrepreneurs Accept the Highs and Lows

Entrepreneurs are not afraid of taking risks and have enhanced skills for managing risk. Start-ups can be famine or feast, but a true entrepreneur will rarely give up during the famine stage. They will continually scrutinize their business and spend a great deal of time analyzing the reasons for successes and failures, and adjust accordingly. They may be on a continuous emotional roller-coaster ride, but that is what drives them.

Do You Have What it Takes to be an Entrepreneur?

Unfortunately, not all of us possess the numerous personal attributes of a great entrepreneur. Some of the skills are instinct, but many more can be obtained through research and education.

If you have a desire to be a business owner, you owe it to yourself to make sure you do things the right way. The key is in planning and perseverance. Plan for success and be sure to allow yourself time to do extensive research. Make an effort to surround yourself with bright, successful and competent people.

Successful entrepreneurs know when they can do things on their own, and when they need to rely a team approach. Don’t be deterred by mistakes and failures, as there will be many along the way.

There are many resources you can seek out that will help you become a great entrepreneur. You could hire a business coach, find a mentor, take business courses and read self-improvement books.