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The Attributes of a Successful Entrepreneur

By Hector Cisneros
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Have you ever wondered what makes the perfect entrepreneur? Is it knowledge? Technical skill? Connections? The ability to communicate or motivate? Just what is it that makes great entrepreneurs great? In my opinion, it's not just one thing; it’s a whole host of attributes that make great entrepreneurs great. One attribute that overshadows all the others is a desire for self-improvement. In my search to understand and describe the ultimate entrepreneur, I have discovered many attributes that are ascribed to many a great entrepreneur. In this episode of Working the Web to Win, we will explore these attributes from the perspective of my personal search. So read on and find out what we should all be aspiring to learn and emulate.  

I have been a self-improvement junkie most of my life.  I guess I needed to address the many perceived flaws, issues and the multitude of missing skills I knew I needed to remedy. I have always wanted to help others. But I knew that a high level of knowledge, communications and discipline were needed to achieve this. My search has taken hundreds of turns. Some of the help I have received has come from mentors, hard and long study, self-reflection and even technology. The rest of this article provides what I discovered during my 61-year journey of self-improvement. I hope what I share helps you on yours.
The Three Spheres of Competency

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When I look back at my journey, I noticed that my discoveries were not unique to me. However, my perspective caused me to reorganize what I learned into three main spheres of influence. Order, Skills, and Selflessness. Each one of these spheres has several subcategories that need to be nurtured. Some of the items in each sphere need to be learned, and some are just hidden talents that need to be unearthed because they are inherent in all of us. All three spheres are important to the success of any endeavor. More importantly, they are all critical to living a life of fulfillment.

OrderThis sphere of discipline encompasses all your organizational factors. These include being proactive, focused, disciplined, self-motivated and driven. Let’s look at each of these attributes.

  • ProactiveBeing proactive is critical to the success of anything you do short of receiving the grace of God. Waiting for good things to happen is why a lot of people miss opportunities. If you want to catch fish, you not only have to get ready to go fishing (planning), you must go fishing (do it)! If you want to win in business, you have to do more than just plan; you must execute the plan.
  • Focus One of the most common problems all entrepreneurs have is a lack of focus, especially if they are constantly looking for the next great trend. Don’t get me wrong. Spotting trends is an important skill. However, once you decide on a direction, it is vital that all your effort is concentrated on the completion of all the tasks needed to successfully reach your goal.
  • Self-disciplineSelf-discipline is necessary for the completion of any task. To get things done, a person must be able to say no to other tasks and demands placed in the way. They need to understand that to get to item B you must finish item A, first. This goes back to being focused, but also to be able to defer self-gratification. You need to willing to work through all the tasks needed to win the prize, even if these tasks are unpleasant or disliked.
  • Self-Motivated People of great potential don’t need to be prodded to get started. Many don’t have an off key. For some, they just need to learn that to conquer a mountain only requires you take the first step, then take a second and third and so on. For most just getting started is the hard part. Being self-motivated means, you’re always willing to take that first step without being asked to do so.
  • Driven Great entrepreneurs are compelled to reach their goals. It’s almost like there
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    is a task master inside them cracking a whip or beating a drum to keep them on task. For those who don’t have their own mental task master, they learn to stay driven by keeping the task top of mind. They accomplish this by posting notes showing their goal everywhere or creating story/dream boards displaying the final goal. They externalize the drive.
  • VisionThey say that there is nothing more powerful than that an idea whose time has come. Well, this is true, if the idea is very clear in a person's mind’s eye. Have a clear vision of your goal is critical to your success. The clearer your concept, the better it can be tested, developed and implemented. Great entrepreneurs create S.M.A.R.T goals. If your vision is clouded or incomplete, it becomes easy to get lost or end up going in the wrong direction.

Skills – This sphere encompasses the attributes that make things happen. These are necessary to bring value to the table and to convert ideas into reality.

  • Willingness to learn – To acquire any skill, a person must be open to learning. If you go around thinking you already know enough, it blocks your capability to learn new things. Learn to live in the moment. Be an empty vessel like a child ready to learn. Let your cup be empty so that you can fill it with new knowledge and skills. Willingness to learn is what leads to self-mastery. 
  • Technical skills – Anyone looking to succeed in life needs to acquire various technical skills. Fifty years ago, you needed to learn how to read, write and do math. Today you need to learn how to use a computer, smartphone, and tablet. Then you need to learn software applications, word processing, spreadsheets and data management of various kinds. You may even need to learn accounting. Today, you can’t live without these technical skills. 
  • Skilled at Networking – When I say, skilled at networking, I mean word of mouth
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    networking. You must learn the basics, like networking etiquette, how to skillfully deliver an elevator pitch, how to identify the right people to network with, how to track your performance and how to build a team of referral partners. Networking skills allow you to leverage your network to expand your reach and influence. You can’t grow your business without it. 
  • Skilled Communicator – Great entrepreneurs are great communicators. Some are born with this skill; others learn it the hard way by practicing – a lot! The best way to become a great speaker or writer is to speak in front of people as often as possible and write as much as possible. Join a networking group where you must deliver a 30 to 60-second presentations every week. This will improve your speaking skill if you are proactive with your preparations. Want to learn how to write? Create a blog and write about a subject you're passionate and knowledgeable about, actively practice. Over time, your writing skills will improve, and its value will become more useful. 
  • Expertise in their chosen field – It’s hard to become an expert in one thing if you love to learn about everything. Most of us have an industry we have chosen. If not, find a field we are passionate about and learn everything we can about it. Learn every way there is to make a living in this field. Your livelihood depends on it. Learn about the history, the advancements, the trends, and directions of the industry. Write about it and talk about it every chance you get. Find a way to love your work, and it will not be work at all. Expertise in a field is a valuable commodity. Let your love of the industry give you joy. 
  • Self-Mastery – A person who endeavors to learn as much as they can will achieve self-mastery. They will not need others masters, bosses or other experts to tell them what and how to think. They will open their minds and absorb the world of knowledge and skills as often as it is needed. Self-mastery leads to the sharing of knowledge and skills. Knowledge and skills are limited in that they are not shared with others. 

Selflessness - This sphere allows the entrepreneur to bring value to the masses. It frees them from ego and the limitations that self-aggrandizement brings.

  • Willingness to share – Sharing what you know is a reward unto itself! To be selfless, a person must share their knowledge and skills. This does not mean that you must give everything away. It does mean you must have a giving attitude. Be willing to help others without expecting payment for everything you share and do. A great way to build your credibility is to share your knowledge in articles and presentations. If you become really good at it, people will want to pay you for it. They will ask for more than what’s in the article or what was in your talk. 
  • Empathy – To understand and help others you must learn to walk in their shoes, feel their pain, understand their problems, see the world from their perspective. The ability to change your perspective is not easy. It's hard to leave your ego and to inhabit someone else’s. However, your ability to understand another point of view is critical for selflessness. Listen intently to what others are saying. Don’t prejudge or be looking for an answer while they are speaking. Be open and provide feedback to others. This will go a long way towards reaching empathy. 
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  • Passion – To have the drive to succeed, a person needs the energy necessary to reach their goal and to keep on giving. They also need to feel strongly enough to share their life’s ambition with others. Most givers have a passion for giving. Giving feeds their passion and their passion, in turn, drives their giving. Passion is the visible expression of the energy created when giving and receiving meet. 
  • Humble – A selfless person does not seek reward for helping others. They are not boastful or self-aggrandizing. They don’t help other because it makes them feel special. They help others because it’s the right thing to do. Often when asked, what they think of themselves, they answer, “I’m nobody special other than I just want to help.” 
  • Generous – A selfless entrepreneur is generous. They like rewarding others who have contributed to their success. They have no need to take credit for all their successes. They know that it takes a legion of people to truly succeed on a massive scale. Sure, they will tell you that they worked hard, but they will never leave out the contributions of others. 
  • Ethical – A selfless entrepreneur believes in honesty and integrity. They do not lie, cheat, steal or stretch the truth. They take ownership of problems and seek solutions. They believe in taking care of the customer because that is who they serve and who ultimately provides they livelihood. 
  • Balanced – A selfless entrepreneur believes in taking the time to understand failure and celebrate success. They know that they need time for themselves and time to share with family, friends, and co-workers. They are not an island unto themselves. They are not workaholics who prefer work over spending time with loved ones and friends. They truly understand why they help others, but also know that they must take the time to renew and reenergize. Otherwise, they can’t fulfill their goals.

I hope that you will work hard to grow and take the time learn more about what motivates you.
Take the time to give back to your customers and others in the community, and you will be rewarded. I also want you to remember to spend quality time with your family and friends. Be humble in your achievements, as they are rarely built by oneself.  Please share this article with your friends and family and leave me your relevant comment’s in the comment section below. If I have inspired you to take action and explore who you are and how you can do better, I have achieved my goal.
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That’s my opinion; I look forward to hearing yours.

In this article, I have explored three spheres that influence an entrepreneur’s ability to succeed on a massive scale. I have included my three spheres’ (Order, Skills, and Selfless) along with 19 subcategories of skills needs to succeed.

If you’d like to read more articles like this, enter the term “Success” in the search box at the top of this blog. I recommend reading Seven Habits of Highly Successful Internet Marketers for starters.

If you feel your business could use some marketing help, contact us at 904-410-2091, and we will provide a free marketing analysis to help, you get better results. If you found this article useful, please share it with friends, family, coworkers and associates.  If you have something to add related to this article or have a different opinion, place them in the Comments section below. 

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Hector Cisneros is a partner, COO and Social Media Director for the award-winning, Internet-based marketing firm, Working the Web to Win, in Jacksonville, FL. You can connect with him on TwitterFacebookGoogle+, LinkedIn, and YouTube. He’s also the co-host of BlogTalkRadio’s “Working the Web to Win,” where he Carl Weiss, make working the web to win simple for every business. He's a published author of two books, "60 Seconds to Success"(available at Amazon and B&N), and "Internet Marketing for the 21st Century," which you can get by filling out the form above.  He’s also the co-author of the book, “Working the Web to Win,” which is now available on

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