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Qualities of Successful Entrepreneurs

Many people dream of eventually becoming self employed, whether their dreams revolve around starting their own traditional small business or launching a freelance career. Some people have what it takes to be self employed, and other simply don’t. When deciding if entrepreneurship is the right option for you, it’s a good idea to turn to some of the most common qualities of successful entrepreneurs to see if the odds are in your favor. Here are several common qualities of the successfully self employed:

Hard-working – Entrepreneurs can’t afford to be lazy. They need to be go-getters, and willing to put in more hours, not fewer, than they would if they were working for someone else, especially early on.

Confident – The chances of entrepreneurial success are slim if the business owner or freelancer constantly doubts their ability to succeed or lacks basic confidence.

Creative – A huge part of being an entrepreneur is to keep a constant flow of ideas coming in, but more importantly there needs to be some creativity to help set one entrepreneur’s business, products, or services apart from their competition. The entrepreneurs breaking new ground with creativity tend to be the most successful in the end.

Independent – If someone constantly needs someone else to tell them what to do before they can act, they won’t likely succeed as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are independent thinkers who come up with their own ideas and plans, and act on them.

Leadership Ability / Delegation – Many businesses can’t be run by just one person. A key to growing a business is knowing how to lead others, and knowing how to delegate responsibilities rather than taking on every menial task alone. This doesn’t have to mean hiring employees, but can also involve working with independent contractors when the workload is heavy.

Risk-Takers – To be a successful entrepreneur, someone has to be willing to take enough of a risk to leave the comfort of a traditional nine-to-five job in favor of a less certain income source. However, being a risk-taker doesn’t mean successful entrepreneurs are willing to gamble with their success. Instead, their risks are carefully calculated and planned.

Do you feel you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? What other qualities do you think business owners and independent contractors should have to increase their chances of success?

Note: This post was originally published on April 25, 2007. It was updated and republished on its currently-listed publication date.

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