Yesterday I shared 5 characteristics of a budding entrepreneur and I wanted to share 5 more that I felt were very strong as well that I didn’t get to expound on.
The first 5 were as follows:
- Team Player
You’ll want to read my descriptions of each here.
Here are the other 5 that I believe are just as important:
The growing entrepreneur has a good sense of not just their functional boundaries as it relates to time but also a good sense of where their skills are the strongest and where those skills end.
In other words, they have a frank and honest approach to their unique value proposition and they aren’t ashamed of it nor are they shy about what they are incredibly good at. It can take time to learn what this is and it can take even greater time to isolate and refine, but the growing entrepreneur is on a quest to not only do great work but become a greater worker.
Boundaries is something they are familiar with, even if they break them from time to time. Even for myself as I reflected on 2012 on my own software skills and how I’ve been moving distinctly in the direction of putting them aside in a serious way as a way of earning an income it can be hard to come to terms with. I’m still very much for side projects and have an active one currently, it’s not paying my mortgage.
This is myself practicing the fine art of boundaries.
The growing entrepreneur is also growing in integrity, as an individual, a team player, and even as a leader and communicator. Closely aligned with #1, the only way they can calmly and collectively ascertain their own boundaries is if they are brutally honest with themselves.
They are humble and honest, willing to get help when they need it and willing to stick their neck out when it might cost them dearly. But they are creating a whole person – a person who is the same behind closed doors and while out in public. They are creating a model of who they are for others to watch, observe, and even copy.
They are a person of integrity, not just moral fiber, but of skills, aptitudes, and qualifications. And they never stop growing. It’s hard to assess this at times, especially when I coach younger entrepreneurs, but you can nearly immediately tell whether or not the young person believes in what they are saying and believes in themself.
8. Business Sense
The pursuit of opportunity without regard to known resources is the hallmark of an entrepreneur but that doesn’t mean that they are unaware or ignorant of what it takes to grow a business.
In fact, a growing entrepreneur is training themselves up in the basics of good business practicum, learning what it means to balance a checkbook, not just personally but for a team that is counting on them as well as perhaps investors and financiers. They are learning how to make critical decisions based on logic and financial accountability rather than on just emotion and good will alone. They are even frugal.
They know where the money is going and it’s purpose – they understand the how to evaluate (e.g. identify and create explicit value for functions, roles, people) the workings of a startup, venture, and business and they know how to say “Yes” and “No” with clarity.
They are not MBA-trained nor do they have the makings of a CFO or financial leader – they don’t have to be, but they need to understand how to talk to their finance team and leadership without drawing a blank stare.
It’s fascinating to see how many startups fail because of fiscal management – not even mis-management, but rather the sheer basics of running a business. Even I can work on this more myself.
9. Forever a Student
Growing entrepreneurs are always students of their craft an they never stop learning. They are passionately curious about not only their field but also are looking for models and strategies from different industries and verticals so that they might also apply brilliant thinking into their own venture.
They have a positive stance on education and seek to understand more than execute. Entrepreneurs are dogmatic, arrogant, and incredible hard-headed by instinct and nature so it must be taught and worked into them that they must, at all times, continue to learn.
I’m so incredibly thankful for my teachers, my counselors, my mentors, and even my traditional educational training that has stoked the fire of education deep within my soul. I am a student of my craft and will always be. There is never enough time to learn all that there is, but the growing entrepreneur will try anyways.
10. Life Outside
Growing entrepreneurs have a life outside their explicit work although they may be thinking about their venture or business 24/7. They have hobbies, play video games, go cycling, spend time reading, or explore the fine art of brewing beer. They are in love with other activities and people.
This provides a sort of balance, a lifestyle that’s worth living, and gives them a breath of fresh air when they most need it. They also draw incredible inspiration from it. They live for their startups but they also find life in their activities outside of work.
It may not always been seen as balanced, but there is a quality of balance that exists in the growing entrepreneur as they, like all of us, understand what it is to be weary and fatigued. They live their lives full and they promote it wonderfully.
Don’t forget to read the first 5 characteristics of a growing entrepreneur here.