Not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. Some people are more than happy to have set hours in a job where their boss asks them to do something and they do it. Others, however, thrive on not knowing what each working day may bring. They seek challenges, new ventures, job satisfaction and wealth. Entrepreneurs set themselves apart from the pack with a collection of traits that give them their edge. Do you?


Perhaps the most important trait of entrepreneurs is self-motivation. Entrepreneurs have a vision and the only person going to get them there is themselves. They’re not answerable to anyone, so need to be dedicated enough to stick to their plan and keep pushing forward, despite setbacks. They look at the bigger picture and don’t allow distractions to throw them off their path.

How to Stay Motivated: Recognise what your motivation is. Is it money? Job satisfaction? Making the world a better place? If you find yourself losing motivation, go back to the beginning and remember why you started your project in the first place.

Creativity Entrepreneurs think outside the box. Then maybe remodel said box, rebrand it, and sell it for a profit. Their brains are constantly whirring with concepts, designs, plans, schemes, solutions, questions, and ideas of how things could be done better.

How to be More Creative: Explore. Go to museums, art galleries, the theatre, random events you don’t know anything about. Walk the scenic route home. Chat to a stranger on the train. The more experiences you have, the more inspiration your brain has to work with.

Vision Always keeping one eye on the big picture, successful entrepreneurs use their vision to plan strategically and stay one step ahead of the competition. They ask themselves: What direction is the industry going in? What challenges may I face? How can I manage the day-to-day responsibilities while remaining focused on my long-term goals? This time next year, Rodney…

How to Achieve Your Vision: If you find yourself getting bogged down with the minutiae, take a step back and try to picture yourself – and your business – in five years’ time. You may even want to create a ‘vision board’ (a collage of pictures, affirmations and images) to help with this. Pritt Sticks at the ready!

Persuasiveness Many entrepreneurs have the ‘gift of the gab’. Throughout their journey to success, they have to persuade a lot of people to believe in what they’re offering and, above all, to believe in them. Entrepreneurs have to use their persuasive skills to negotiate the best prices, convince people to invest, encourage employees not to quit when times get tough, talk clients out of sacking them when deadlines aren’t met… Yes, the art of persuasion is all-important to an entrepreneur.

How to be Persuasive: There’s a difference between being persuasive and being pushy. Don’t be pushy! Find common ground with the person you are trying to persuade. Try to solve a problem for them. Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Versatility An entrepreneur doesn’t have a ‘job title’, which means they don’t have a ‘job description’ either. They will do what is necessary to get to where they’re going: one minute they may be managing the books, the next they could be at a trade fair drumming up business, the next perhaps they are writing marketing Facebook posts… They get stuck in and, if they’re not versatile and flexible, they’re most likely not going to be a success.

How to be Versatile: Don’t stand in your own way by saying, “This isn’t what I signed up for.” Whatever is thrown at you, take a deep breath, roll up your sleeves, and go with the flow.

Decisiveness Well, we could do this?… or, how about that?… Oh, I dunno!” These are words you’ll probably not hear coming from an entrepreneur’s lips. If a decision needs to be made, they make it with a minimum amount of dallying and procrastination. That isn’t to say they’re impulsive – they’re simply able to look at the facts, weigh their options quickly and come to a conclusion in a decisive manner.

How to be Decisive: Evaluate the worst and best that can happen when your decision has been implemented. Then, whatever happens, don’t look back.