I regularly read the Harvard Business School blog and many of the articles are for big businesses but one inspired me to give you my own thoughts.
If you are thinking about starting a small business, see how you measure up to these three personality traits:
First, if you’re starting a business, you need to understand that the world is very different from being employed.
There’s no one to look after you and do the things you don’t like to do or the things you don’t know how to do unless you find someone competent to delegate to. The brutal truth is that there are plenty of jobs that must get done and you’re the person who is going to have to do them.
That’s why you must be practical.
You can’t have your head in the sky without your feet firmly planted on the floor.
Ask yourself the difficult questions you might have been avoiding and get yourself a plan.
Yes it might change.
That’s what a plan is for – to get your thinking down on paper so you can think about the implications and consequences. It also acts as a great record of what you are thinking because your ideas will change as you learn more.
The second point is to be purposeful.
This comes back to planning too.
Have a clear destination.
Clients know that I use a short quote from Chinese philosopher Confucius to them – “a man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
It’s much better to decide which rabbit you want and focus your time, energy and money on getting it.
I believe that your big task as a new business owner is to find ways that you can create value for customers that’s different or better than your competitors.
The last trait is impatient.
I see two types of entrepreneurs.
The first is very patient and accepts that it takes time to develop a market, to make sales and especially to make money.
The second is impatient.
I prefer the second.
Focus your business on taking action and getting results.
You do need to do some thinking upfront. Otherwise, you can very quickly make expensive mistakes.
But you don’t know for sure that something is going to work until you’ve taken action and seen the response.
If it doesn’t work, check that you’re clear on the purpose and then change what you’re doing.
I like these three personality traits for starting a business. If you’d like to read the original article on the Harvard Business School blog, go to Three Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs