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What Makes An Entrepreneur?

If boys are made of snails and puppy dog tails and girls made of sugar and spice, what are entrepreneurs made of?

Here are some suggestions.

1. Two big ears and one slightly smaller mouth
The old adage states that "God gave us two ears and one mouth and that they should be used in that proportion". While it is certainly true that entrepreneurs need to use both ears to good effect by listening to advice and keeping abreast of developments in their industry, the ability to use your mouth effectively is also definitely an asset. How you talk about your business will have a direct bearing upon how other people will see it.

2. A touch of madness
There is a very fine line between sanity and insanity and it is often no more than a difference in viewpoint. Mad people see the world from a perspective that is considered to be other than the norm. Being en entrepreneur is very similar in as much as you need to be able to identify an opportunity or way of doing things in an alternative (and hopefully better) way.

3. Thick skin
An entrepreneur has to be able to knock on the next door or to make the next phone call after a rejection. This is particularly true for sales but can also apply to gaining support for your venture or if you are looking for funding. If you are not careful, doubt can creep in when you or your proposition is criticised and this could affect the way that you treat subsequent approaches. It may help to create a list of all the positives/benefits of your proposition and use it perk yourself up when you feel that your confidence is slipping.

4. Optimism
Is the bottle half full or half empty? Some people may say that the bottle was the wrong size in the first place but an entrepreneur sees the part that needs to be filled as an opportunity!

5. Lucky disposition
I am often asked whether luck plays a major part in business success. There is plenty of evidence to back up this suggestion if you choose to see it that way. However, at the risk of relying too much on old clichés, I prefer to believe a quote attributed to Samuel Goldwyn, the harder the work, the luckier I get.

6. Confidence
Confidence is infectious, but only if it is genuine. If you truly believe in your product or service, that will shine through but never forget that many of the signs that we display are nothing to do with the words that come out of our mouth. How many times have you wondered whether someone was telling the truth even when the words sound convincing? Spend time perfecting your offering rather than putting yourself under pressure to exude false confidence to cover up doubt.

7. Good sense of humour
Running a business can bring periods of intense stress and sometimes appear to be far more serious than it should. Even the most difficult situations can be lightened if you are able to retain a sense of humor and the ability to keep things in perspective.

8. Determination
Having the resilience to keep going with an idea when you are exhausted and start to question whether all the effort will ever be worth it. Every business goes through highs and lows and having the determination and belief that everything will work out in the end is probably the biggest difference between business success and failure.

In conclusion, it is true that being an entrepreneur can have its drawbacks but the benefits can be enormous, especially if you are made from the right ingredients!

Andy Pringle

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