Random entrepreneur traits (and how to develop them)

The business world’s a stage

Successful entrepreneurs have a number of traits in common. They are creative thinkers who embrace innovation. They are not afraid. They are willing to take risks. When they hit a dead end, they just keep going. Despite the many challenges, entrepreneurs find unique pathways to create a successful enterprise and rise above.

Sound familiar?

Here’s some really good news for entrepreneurs: any trait that will help you succeed in business can be nurtured.

Here are a few ways you can enhance your creativity, grow your perseverance, and build your confidence — so you can build a business that survives and thrives.

Increase your creativity

One of the best resources on the subject of nurturing creativity is Michael Michalko’s Creative Thinkering. According to Michalko, the basis for all creative thought is the ability to conceptually combine dissimilar objects (think of how oxygen and hydrogen combine to form something entirely different — water!). By looking at familiar patterns in unrelated subjects, you can get into a more creative mode instantly.

For example, try comparing two vastly different groups — your competitors and your customers. What do they have in common? Don’t have time to read a 250-page tome on creativity? Check out this Forbes article with more tips for increasing creativity.

Build your confidence

Would you feel more confident if you were able to think fast on your feet, communicate more effectively, and stay calm when the unexpected happens? You can master all of these skills, and more, by taking an improv class. Improv can help lessen the detrimental effect of butterflies.

The crossover skills between improv and entrepreneurship are closer than you think. For example, if you need to raise capital, you’re going to be pitching in front of investors — which can be very scary. But improv can really help you get rid of those jitters. Since you have no idea what will be going on in the scene, you easily learn to present and think at the same time. It’s like gauntlet training — I would recommend it to anyone. I know of several professional speakers who participate in improv to help improve their skills in thinking on their feet.

Grow your perseverance

According to the research of psychologist Martin Seligman, people who use positive self-talk tend to bounce back more quickly from setbacks. To nurture resilience and persevere through challenging times keep Seligman’s three “Ps” in mind:

Pervasiveness. Teach yourself to isolate a negative event. For example, tell yourself, “This project is a challenge” rather than, “Nothing in my business is going right.”

Permanence. Remember that setbacks are only temporary. Think “This time our marketing missed the mark” instead of “Our entire strategy is faulty.

Personalization. Recognize when things aren’t your fault. Don’t blame yourself for every mishap when there are other people and circumstances at work.

I hope these ideas help you nurture your creativity, perseverance and confidence, so you can be more effective in life and in business. What step will you take, right now, to get started?

Lawton Ursrey
Lawton Ursrey is a Sage One awareness guru and fellow entrepreneur with a healthy disrespect for the impossible and a passion for the little details. While running his own small business, he’s also passionate about helping other small business owners. When he’s not running his business or helping you run yours, he’s probably playing guitar. Follow Lawton on Twitter.