Research conducted by PanhandleProgress.com[i] found that successful entrepreneurs can be further defined by seven characteristics:
- Just went out and did it. Without question, this is the most significant trait. Successful people do not wait to have others do their work; they do it regardless of previous training. This trait cannot be taught.
- Had some prior experience in their field. Most have previously worked in their field before setting out on their own. They have knowledge of the market, potential buyers, and most importantly a sense of addressed need.
- Had some startup money. Most had some of their own startup money at risk. Regardless if the amount was $1,000 or $100,000 investing their own money kept the entrepreneurs focused on making wise choices.
- Self-funded startup to growth stages. With few exceptions, entrepreneurs grew their businesses from concept through startup to growth without outside funding. They were self-funded by leveraging business revenues.
- Had no formal entrepreneurship training. Typical entrepreneurship training focuses on resources to help the entrepreneur along the way without financial risk. Without this training, successful entrepreneurs just accomplished the task.
- Had no support from the startup ecosystem. When asked, the majority of successful entrepreneurs claim that the local ecosystem provided little or no useful support. They often refer to the system as an obstacle.
- Had support of a credible local person(s), who believed in the entrepreneur and helped them clear obstacles and navigate the business community. Such helpers do not generally provide money. After new doors were opened, then trait number one, spontaneity, enabled successful entrepreneurs to capitalize on opportunities. Support people tend not to be mentors but rather friends, fans, associates, or godfathers. They do not benefit from the entrepreneur’s success but who know their way around the community.
Another researcher, Adam Hayes[i], found that entrepreneurs share three common characteristics:
- Passion for Action: Entrepreneurs are industrious people diving into things they’re passionate about.
- Gets Hands Dirty: Initially entrepreneurs personally handle sales and other customer interactions to obtain honest feedback. This information could be about what the target market requires and what could be done better.
- Know When to Change Course: Few successful entrepreneurs find the perfect formula straight out of the gate. On the contrary, ideas experience transformation over time.