Will people buy from you if you are not a good person?
Then does it matter if an entrepreneur is a good person or not?
Yes it does.
Over the past few years I have stumbled across a dozen or so articles which listed the traits of successful entrepreneurs. You know these, you’ve read the lists and have figured out ways to implement these ideas into your life.
• and Creativity are some of the big ones which come mind.
Don’t get me wrong, these are essential to success as an entrepreneur. But what about success as a human being?
Entrepreneurship, at its core, is about people being authentic.
Brilliant, motivated people creating solutions for the masses because they want to put their mark on the world – that’s how I see entrepreneurship. It’s a sacred chase.We have to keep in mind that while we are building, we are also becoming. Whether you are creating the latest app or transforming the way people buy a cup of coffee, you are influencing the world with your character.
Character consists of more than how ambitious we are or how well we can bounce back from failure. Character is our ultimate message to the tomorrow we are building, even more than our business.
Here are four character traits every entrepreneur should practice becoming while they are building:
This is the ability to bring what we know and put it into action. Entrepreneurs have to be skilled at learning from experiences, understanding the situations they are in, and figuring out the next step. This is more than just a business skill, it’s a life skill.
Wisdom keeps us from getting stuck, whether it’s a bad deal or a bad relationship. Knowledge gives us the facts, wisdom shows us the steps.
If you are an entrepreneur than you have undoubtedly faced your share of fears and painful situations to get to where you are.
Courage is more than starting risky ventures or fulfilling some primal urges to wrest wild animals (I’d recommend staying away from the second option).
Courage comes into play when you find out your partner was stealing from your business, how do you approach that situation? You’re only employee just quit on you, what do you do?
Courage accepts difficulty, knowing there is always a reward to be gained from it.
Unless you run an organization or a non-profit dealing with social issues, the word justice probably doesn’t come across your list of necessary character traits.
Justice also reaches simpler things than humanitarian issues. Are you paying your employees fairly? Are you creating a company culture which treats customer, workers and even competitors well? And do you play by the rules, the legal ones?
The practice of justice shows onlookers, and yourself, that you didn’t take any shortcuts to get where you are so you won’t take any with them.
The last one is definitely an oddball for American culture where the mindset of more dominates.
Moderation is not about material restraint; although that is just smart planning. It’s also about emotional restraint. What do you do when a customer or investor really ticks you off? Are you impulsive with your ideas or do you take advice from your mentors? Are you the person whose ego needs an entire conference room to itself?
Moderation is not about small thinking, it’s about control. Practicing moderation makes sure you are the driving force behind your life and business related decisions. It saves you from being reactionary by ensuring there is always a reserve available.
Becoming a person of character might not immediately increase your number of customers. However, it’s something you can never lose, no matter how the economy or life rumbles. You will take your character with you every where you go, make sure its worth bringing along.
While you’re building your dreams, don’t forget to build yourself.