by Alejandro Cremades

Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? What can you work on to get more of it?

These are the characteristics and qualities of entrepreneurs with incredibly successful startups. Some you may be born with. Others you can develop.

1. Resourcefulness

You have to be resourceful as an entrepreneur. You need to be able to make something out of nothing. You have to pull together the funding to fuel your business, find resources to grow yourself as a leader, and make do with what you have to gain traction and sales and profits against the odds.

Big success is never about what you start out with in life. It’s about how resourceful you can be. If you didn’t grow up having to be resourceful, you can learn to think this way and ask more of the right questions.

2. If You Don’t Know The Answer, You Find Out

The hero at the end of your quest is going to be a lot wiser and more knowledgeable than you now. You can’t know it all before you start. You have to go through it.

To make it, you’ll have to do a lot of figuring out. You’ll have to figure out where to get the answers. You have to be willing to search and find out who can help.

There are fundraising courses, books, mentors, M&A advisors, startup accelerators, and peers who have recently been where you are that can all help. Different resources founders use to build a masterful business plan.

3. You Can Make Decisions & Take Action

You have to become good at decision making and taking action to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to get comfortable with making decisions on limited data and running with them – even if you can’t be sure they are the best choices.

Indecision is your enemy. In fact, being quick to make decisions is the one main competitive advantage you can own and leverage against the biggest players in your space.

Then, turn that into the speed of action. Something they are also probably not so good at.

4. You’re Willing To Take Risks

To be an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to try things and fail.

From the outside, it may look like entrepreneurs are all high risk-taking speculators who just get lucky, sometimes.

In reality, the truth is that they just have a different perspective on risk. When they do make bets, they’ve normally weighed the risks and are optimizing for the lowest downside and best upside exposure.

Not being an entrepreneur is a super high-risk today. There are no guarantees any employer and their 401k plan is going to be there tomorrow. There’s no promise that you’ll be able to get another job. Not even with a college degree. If you want to control your destiny, you take the calculated risk, bet on yourself, and start your own business.

5. You’re Willing To Embrace The Unknown

Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, you don’t know what the future holds. You might think that getting a job means you get to clock in tomorrow and get a check at the end of the month. That’s not always the case.

At least as an entrepreneur, when you willingly embrace the unknown you get to control your own future and create it. This comes into place especially during the unknown of the fundraising process where founders put a startup pitch deck together to present to angel investors for growth capital.

6. You Can Dream Big & Break Big Problems Down Into Small Tasks

To be an entrepreneur you must have imagination and vision. You have to be able to see how things could be. To be able to make that picture a reality, you must also be able to break that down into stages. Then break those down into the smallest actionable tasks. You have to be able to engineer in that way and have to focus and hustle to march through your list quickly.

7. You Are Self-Confident Enough To Hire & Delegate To Others

If you are so insecure that you can’t hire anyone and refuse to delegate and empower them to do the work, you won’t get far. You will get no further than being a very small business owner. Maybe even just creating a new freelance job for yourself. The best entrepreneurs hire the very best they can and get out of their way.

8. You Like Challenge

Perhaps, even more than liking challenges, you are motivated by challenge. You live to take on the biggest possible challenges. It’s what makes you feel alive. If you’re bored with all the challenges you have solved already, and those others are offering you to solve, then it may be time to go at it as a founder.

9. You’re Passionate, But Objective

To get funded, convince customers and hire top talent, you need to be charismatic about your mission. Yet, to make it through the challenges you also have to be able to step back, see the problem and not take it personally. You can’t have a fragile ego. You have to be resilient.

10. You’re Willing To Move Anywhere

One of the easiest ways to distinguish those with a strong entrepreneurial spirit is those who are willing to move anywhere and try something new. It’s one of the reasons we have so many entrepreneurs and such a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in America. Even if you were born and raised here, you may need to be willing to move across the country to start your business, get the most out of your advisors, and to embed yourself in the right atmosphere to give your startup the best chances of success. 

About Author: Alejandro Cremades is a serial entrepreneur and the author of The Art of Startup Fundraising. With a foreword by ‘Shark Tank‘ star Barbara Corcoran, and published by John Wiley & Sons, the book was named one of the best books for entrepreneurs. The book offers a step-by-step guide to today‘s way of raising money for entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Alejandro built and exited CoFoundersLab which is one of the largest communities of founders online.

Prior to CoFoundersLab, Alejandro worked as a lawyer at King & Spalding where he was involved in one of the biggest investment arbitration cases in history ($113 billion at stake).

Alejandro is an active speaker and has given guest lectures at the Wharton School of Business, Columbia Business School, and at NYU Stern School of Business.

Alejandro has been involved with the JOBS Act since inception and was invited to the White House and the US House of Representatives to provide his stands on the new regulatory changes concerning fundraising online.


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