What Does It Take to Be a Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs are dedicated to what they do, make decisions quickly, and develop solid relationships with vendors, customers, and business partners. They have the right set of skills to identify and seize opportunities and are quick to adapt and take on challenges.

Skills That Entrepreneurs Have

Money and Raising Capital

Running a successful business requires good money management skills. Persons who live paycheck to paycheck or beyond their means find it difficult to create and manage a business budget. Not only this but entrepreneurs are also good at convincing others that their venture is a risk worth taking. This is how they attract investors and make a good case to raise capital, whether from credit unions, banks, angel investors, etc.

Interpersonal Skills and Social Interaction

Being successful also requires interpersonal skills such as negotiation, leadership, active listening, and assertiveness. Other skills to develop are ability to structure problems and identify solutions, persuasion, and receptiveness to constructive feedback. Diplomacy skills are also good to have as they help handle conflict situations without hostility. Successful entrepreneurs also have respect for others, encourage them to give their best, and interact well in organizational settings. Obviously, it is important to have work ethics and treat others with fairness as to create long lasting relationships.

Personality Traits

The majority of researchers focus on 5 personality traits which form the basis of the so called Big-five factor personality model. These are risk attitudes, locus of control, innovativeness, self-efficacy, and entrepreneurial work. Traits that influence performance include agreeableness, extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to new experiences. Conscientiousness refers to one’s ability to control impulses while openness to experience is about one’s capacity for experimental behavior. Agreeableness involves a set of traits such as trust and tender-mindedness. Extroversion includes common traits such as assertiveness, activity, and sociability. Studies have found that in contrast to managers, entrepreneurs score higher on conscientiousness and openness to experience, lower on agreeableness, and similar when it comes to extraversion.

Environmental factors also play a role, including choice of industry, competition, and dynamism. However, the main factor that explains why some persons become successful entrepreneurs is proactivity. They have a proactive approach when it comes to learning, mistakes, feedback seeking, networking, and action planning. Researchers have also identified two types of entrepreneurs – necessity-driven when opportunities are more limited and growth-driven with a focus on innovation and opportunities.

What Entrepreneurs Study

Choosing the right degree program also helps develop knowledge and skills to run a successful business. Programs to look into include Finance, Business, Economics, Marketing, and Communications. A program in Entrepreneurship is also an excellent choice as students learn how to create a brand, identify trends and target markets, and develop marketing strategies to outrun the competition. Another option is to study Economics and learn about emerging markets, international relations, organizational behavior, and finance fundamentals. Students taking courses with a focus on communication learn how to influence others through discussion, negotiation, and persuasion. Finance fundamentals courses teach students to identify and analyze problems in finance and business and come up with feasible, working solutions. Programs in Business Administration feature a variety of courses that explore topics ranging from service and product management to innovation, leadership development, and decision making.

The Most Famous Canadian Entrepreneurs

Canada is a country in which entrepreneurs thrive and inspire others to put themselves on the road to success. Building power and wealth, famous businesspersons have left their mark though can-do initiatives and risk taking. The list of famous Canadian entrepreneurs includes names such as Garrett Camp, Stephen Lake, Bernard Sherman, Jeffrey Skoll, and many others.

Jeffrey Skoll

Born in Montreal, Jeffrey Skoll is the founder of the Capricorn Investment Group and Participant Media and a former president at eBay. Participant Media is a production company with a focus on social themes which has released over 100 documentary and feature films. Participant Media also specializes in digital short programming and episode television series, with Academy Award-winning pieces such as An Inconvenient Truth, A Fantastic Woman, and Roma. The Capricorn Investment Group is an investment firm that was founded in 2000 to create successful partnerships. Focus areas include energy efficiency, wellness, clean technology, renewable resources, and renewable energy infrastructure. Its founder, Jeffrey Skoll has a fortune of $5.5 billion.

Sarah Prevette

Founder and CEO of the Future Design School, Sarah Prevette made it to Canadian Business’s Top 20 Power Elite. The Future Design School offers students the opportunity to gain skills that enable them to solve real life problems. The focus is on experiential learning, personalized inquiry, leadership, and design thinking.

Stephen Lake

Stephen Lake is the co-founder and CEO of the Thalmic Labs Corporation, which was recently rebranded as North. Founded in 2012, it is a company specializing in wearable technology which is currently owned by Google. North Inc. manufactures technological solutions that measure muscles impulses as to operate digital devices such as phones and computers. Stephen Lake has been recognized as one of Canada’s Next 36 Entrepreneurial Leaders and made it to the Forbes’ 30 Under List.

Garrett Camp

Born in Calgary, Garett Camp has a fortune standing at $5.3 billion. He is the co-founder of Uber and StumbleUpon, the latter functioning as an advertisement and discovery platform until 2018. Its StumbleThru service enabled visitors to stumble within major platforms, including Wikipedia, The Onion, and YouTube. A number of big websites used the service, among which CNN, Blogger, and BBC. Founded in 2009 as UberCab, Uber started with just a few vehicles in San Francisco. Today the company offers cars for multiple uses, including courier services, package delivery, food delivery, hire, and even freight transportation.

Chip Wilson

Founder of athletic apparel company Lululemon Athletica, Chip Wilson has a fortune of $2.92 billion. He first founded Westbeach Snowboard Ltd in 1974, which offered apparel for snowboarding, skating, and surf. After selling the company in 1997, Wilson started Lululemon Athletica, which is currently headquartered in Vancouver. Originally specializing in yoga wear and pants, the company features a selection of athletic apparel such as socks, hats, gloves, scarves, and hair accessories. Wilson sold its market share to Under Armour and Nike in 2016.