What are the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur? If you realize this topic mainly focusses on the qualities of a leader.
I do not claim to know it all but generally, allow me to summarize into these few characters based on what I have seen and experienced. I hope to give the readers a more realistic view via practical examples.
Character 1: Never Give Up
They have the spirit of never giving up in what they strive to do. Take for example when I was setting up my 1st haircut shop and I was going to give up due to consecutive losses throughout the 1st 6 months. However, it was my coach’s advice and my personal instincts that told me to go on even though my haircut was suffering financially. I believed many people would have given up the business after three months of consecutive losses. Just want to add what I said, if the business continued to suffer longer terms losses, then I might switched or used other methods to salvage the situation. The difference between entrepreneur and employee is divided by a small margin when it comes to the crunch, they still bite the bullet and entrepreneur mindset will likely have the extra “push” in seeing that they can complete the finishing line. My advice to the readers would be “Don’t give up until you have exhausted all or most of your resources“.
Character 2: Passion
In this aspect, I call it the “believe”. An example would be my believe in my core values, and I do my best to stick to them. Similarly, when you set up a company, if you see my main page you will notice that I emphasized on having higher calling for your mission statements rather than just mere earning money alone. It is the drive and passion on your beliefs that will “wake” you up every day to remind you what you need to do. I hope those who are reading this article will find something passionate so much so you will dream and talk about it every now and then.
Character 3: Trust
I cannot say this will apply to all entrepreneurs, but those entrepreneurs who are of similar character will attest that Trust element is very high. I always want to ensure that my reputation and my name is forever Trustworthy towards my customers, suppliers, bankers, etc. Once my partners or affiliates trust what I do, then it will be much easier to talk about deals or get finance from bankers. As a result, I am bound by this rule of trust where I do not take advantage of my partners or anyone for short-term gain, and I will lose big time in the long run, if I do that. It is not easy to maintain a good name for yourself in the market, and I strongly urge the readers to bear this in mind that it is easy to tear down a reputation within mins or days, but it takes years to build up a good and reliable reputation.
Character 4: Salesman
All entrepreneurs need to be a good salesman. As Robert Kiyosaki, author of richdad always say, “if you don’t know how to sell then how can you sell products or services for your company?” Regardless of the nature of the business, one needs to learn the skill of selling, and I am referring to being a good salesman. Give you an example, I was once working in a small distributor company where my bosses were not able to sell the product (IBM motherboard and PCMCIA card) from the supplier, IBM in 1994. Back then, I didn’t have the luxury of internet or emails, so I had to rely on fax machines and cold calling. Every day I made a point to call at least ten customers per day from one of the company listings. As I made various cold calls, I learnt from my mistakes and improved on my skills to handle rejections thereby improving the acceptance rate. Slowly I gained the confidence of targeting the right segment of customers via understanding the market. Eventually, I became one of the top salesmen in that company.
As an above average salesman, you need to use appropriate techniques for occasions. I realize that there are many people who use the same technique over and over again without understanding the customer’s needs. For another example, it may be appropriate to use in specific situation but certainly not applicable to another. I was working in a telecom company in Singapore, and I was tasked to grow this account, Morgan Stanley. Soon I realized that this company had dealings with the company that I worked. To me, this is call seizing the opportunity to “demand” for reciprocal business. I took the advantage to call up Morgan Stanley (S.E. Asia) office and look for their CEO! Obviously, it was not first called that I can meet up with the big boss. To cut the story short, it was my determination and the willingness of the Morgan Stanley (SE Asia), CEO – Mr Michael Dee to look into improving the relations between 2 companies. As a result, I was awarded a deal for my ex-employer that lasted for a number of years. Below was the picture taken between Michael and me in Texas, USA.
My advice to the readers not to be discouraged by your initial results we will have our failures every now and then, it is through our determination and perseverance to see the fruits of our labour.
I hope this article will spur the readers to pursue your dreams and don’t waste your time away. For those who want to consider living your dreams and may want to consider an online business. Do visit this page as I have conducted a review.
Note: I may likely write another post on salesmanship as I have lots of things to discuss in this topic.
Do drop me your comments if you have questions.