Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy. Without the Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson or Sam Ovens of this world, many of the brands and success stories we are all so familiar with would not have happened.

It takes a lot of guts to leave a salaried position and strike up on your own. As Sam Ovens freely admits, it was a tough call, but like many entrepreneurs, he felt compelled to take that step. If you are reading this and wondering whether you are made of the ‘right stuff’, let’s find out.

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The Qualities of an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are louder than life whereas others are introverts who prefer the company of a computer to a real human being. What all of these people share, however, is belief in their own abilities and a strong resolve to make their business work.

The business world is hugely competitive. It takes a lot of confidence to survive the early days when everything is hard and nothing seems to be working out how you expected it to. You may have felt stifled in the corporate world, but at least you had a steady salary and benefits. Suddenly you have no discernible income and the rent is due.

The Taste of Failure – it’s a Lesson Well Learned

This is where confidence, self-belief and the determination to see things to the bitter end comes in handy. Most entrepreneurs don’t find success first time out of the gate. In fact, many entrepreneurs have tasted the bitter flavour of failure several times over. People like Simon Cowell and Alan Sugar have all seen their businesses sink without a trace. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but sometimes we have to be a failure at least once to learn how to cope when things don’t go to plan.

To be successful, you need to be very self-aware. Brilliant entrepreneurs know their strengths and weaknesses. You will need more than one quality to succeed in business, so it’s important to recognise when you have the right skills, and when you need to hire someone else to help you out.

Evaluate Your Personal Qualities

It’s a good idea to evaluate your personal qualities at the start of your journey. Write a list of your skills, professional and personal, and use this to help you decide whether your preferred niche is actually right for your personality.

For example, if you are a true introvert who hates social gatherings and you find it hard to make conversation with strangers, it will be hard to make it in a sales oriented environment. You therefore have two choices. You can either work very hard at building your confidence over the phone and in person, or you can hire someone else to make sales while you work behind the scenes. The important thing is to be realistic about what you are good at, and don’t try to be someone you are not.

Introverts Make Great Entrepreneurs

Even if you are an introvert who finds it hard dealing with people or talking to a group, this doesn’t mean you will make a terrible entrepreneur. If anything, the exact opposite is true. Most introverts make very successful entrepreneurs because they are good listeners, self-aware, and more interested in the success of the business than personal gratification.

Anyone can be an entrepreneur, but you need to go into business with your eyes wide open and be alive to the possibility of failure. And if it does all go horribly wrong, pick yourself up and start again.