3 Entrepreneurial Characteristics Required to Achieve Success

3 Entrepreneurial Characteristics Required to Achieve Success

Do you have the entrepreneurial characteristics necessary to achieve success?

If you’re like me, I was taught that the way to make money was to get a job. I was programmed to be an employee. The problem, as it turns out, is that I am not good at being an employee!

At my first job right out of college, my boss fired me after nine months. Others in the company saw my potential, and they hired me back. This time it took only six months before I was fired again. It wasn’t for lack of ambition or brains. I just had a very hard time being told what to do and following so many rules. Yes, my parents raised an independent and spirited child — one with entrepreneurial characteristics.

When I met Robert five years later, he asked me on our first date, “What do you want to do with your life?”

I instantly said, “I want my own business!” And three months later I did.

It’s all a state of mind

It’s clear that there is a difference between the mentalities of a serial employee versus a serial entrepreneur. In order to mind your own business, you do not have to quit your job and become an entrepreneur. But you do need to learn how to think like one.

We are products of our environments. People, our surroundings, and the values we live by all influence who we become and how we think. The mindset of a longtime employee is different from the mindset of a staunch entrepreneur. One is not better than the other. One is not right or wrong. The thinking is simply different. Here are a few distinctions between the two:

Thinking like an employee:

  • Values the security and guarantee of a steady paycheck over the uncertainty of greater wealth
  • Prefers a job with few problems
  • Dreadfully fears making a mistake
  • Strives for a higher paycheck and job promotions
  • Values time on the job over results

Thinking like an entrepreneur:

  • Operates without a safety net and knows there is no guarantee of a paycheck and may work for years without paying herself
  • Gets paid for solving problems
  • Looks for new answers and new challenges and is always learning
  • Is willing to make mistakes and learn from them
  • Is driven by passion and purpose, and has a mission
  • Knows that results are what counts, no matter how much or how little time it takes

The 3 most important entrepreneurial characteristics

It’s not difficult to adopt more entrepreneurial characteristics even if you’ve been an employee for decades. From the previous entrepreneur list, let’s just focus on three traits:

  1. Understand your mission and purpose

    My friend, Kim Snider, a successful investor and outstanding educator, always asks her clients, “What is your money’s higher purpose?”

    What is the mission for you and your money? What do putting your money to work and minding your own business help you to achieve in your life? As you pursue your financial goals, always keep your mission and purpose at the forefront.

  2. Remember that results are what count

    You can talk, you can plan, you can research, you can keep very busy and put in a lot of time, but at the end of the day, the question to answer is: How much money did my money make me? In the world of business and investing, the bottom line is everything. And results require action. This is why, at some point, if you haven’t already, you’ve got to pull the trigger. You’ve got to get in the game. You’ve got to put some money on the line.

    When starting your own business, your focus must be on results, on the bottom line. We have a saying in our company: What you focus on expands. If you focus on the return on your investment, then your returns over time will most likely increase.

  3. Always keep learning

    Looking for new answers and new challenges? It’s simple. The smarter you are with your money, the better your success. The learning never ends because the markets are always changing. And they are more volatile today than ever. A new economy is emerging, and what that will look like, only time will tell. Yet, it’s clear that to be financially secure today takes new thinking, new ideas, and new education.

If you assume that the old economy is coming back or that what worked for you in the past will work again in the future, then chances are, you will find yourself in a financial struggle. If, on the other hand, you actively pursue your financial education and look for new answers, then you will start to see opportunities where others see doom and gloom. It’s all about thinking differently about your money.

Winning business systems have one thing in common

Are you sick of being an employee? Are you ready to become an entrepreneur? Then let’s start with a foundational concept you’ll need to understand before making that leap: The B-I Triangle, the holy grail for building a successful business. Why is this so important? Because you may think you have the most amazing product in the world, but that’s simply not enough to land on your feet.

rich dads bi triangle

Now that I’ve been a successful businesswoman for many decades, people constantly approach me to tell me all about their new product idea — one they believe is truly innovative and worth investing in. My response may seem a bit cold at first glance: “The world is full of great products,” I always say.

Why is that my stance? Because Robert’s rich dad said, “The product is the least important piece to inspect when evaluating a business.” And I’ll show you why in a minute.

Other people come to me seeking an investment because they think that their product is “the best” solution on the market. My response is that only those in the E (employee) and S (self-employed) quadrant of the CASHFLOW® Quadrant — where being the best or highest quality is important for success — think that having the best product is most important thing they can bring to the table.

In the B (big business) and I (investor) quadrant, however, the most important thing is the system behind the product or idea. For instance, most of us can easily cook a better hamburger than Burger King, how many of us can actually build a better business system? The answer is very few.

What matters is the mindset you bring to your business—your asset column

You see, Robert’s rich dad believed that a truly successful business was built on truly successful systems. As you already know from the Burger King example above, a company’s product doesn’t have to be the best if the systems are world class. Don’t get me wrong, it still has to be good — just not the best. That explains exactly why he always placed Product in the smallest portion of the B-I Triangle.

As you can see, the B-I Triangle represents what's required for any successful business system. supported by a team with a leader, all working toward a common goal. Here are three reasons why the B-I Triangle is important to this discussion:

  1. Money follows management. If any of the five levels (cash flow, communications, systems, legal and product) of a company are weak, the company will be weak. If your company isn’t enjoying the cash flow you’d like, identify where the weakness lies and address it. This may involve hiring someone else who can turn that weakness into a strength.

  2. Don’t be afraid to walk away. When looking at an investment opportunity, I urge you to walk away if any of the aforementioned five levels is weak and the management team is not prepared to strengthen them. If you hear arguments and defensiveness about those weaknesses instead of excitement to find and implement solutions, run.

  3. The digital age makes it easier to access great wealth. You probably already have all the tools you need to succeed: a computer, a phone, some brainpower and a little education. You don’t need to rely on anyone else. You can absolutely start a business in your garage or guest bedroom and turn into a multi-million-dollar company — assuming you adhere to the learnings of the B-I Triangle business system.

How to acquire the mindset of entrepreneur

When it comes to you and your money, it makes no difference if you are an employee, an entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time student. What matters is the mindset you bring to your business—your asset column. When it comes to your asset column, everyone can become a successful business owner. As we’ve just discussed, now it’s just a matter of thinking like one.

When you’re deciding whether or not to take on the challenge of entrepreneurship, here’s an extended list of character building questions to ask yourself.

  1. Are you focused on the mission? Do you fully understand your "why"?
  2. Do you need external motivation in order to get work done? Do you require praise once the job is done?
  3. Do you need to be right all the time?
  4. Are you always seeking new challenges?
  5. Are you looking for overnight success or do you have the patience to take your part-time gig into full-time endeavor?

If you want to get deeper into entrepreneurial characteristics, check out Robert’s post here.

Original publish date: February 13, 2014