Qualities to Harness as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Life

From my experience of starting, growing and maintaining a print business in the digital and knowledge age, I’ve come to distill the following qualities that an Entrepreneur should have or nurture in order to stay sane while growing a business.

Flexibility of Mind and Spirit

While it’s great and essential to be single-minded and fixated on that bull’s eye goal, every day brings with it challenges, mishaps and enthusiasm. Basically, every day, life has the ability to throw you off-centre and if your expectations are always at a certain level, one is bound to feel taxed emotionally. To put it physiologically, your cortisol hormone levels will be having a rage techno party which is not exactly the road to great health.

Hence, the need to have some flexibility in your mind with regards to expectations at work, to the people you deal and with yourself is so key to being able to regulate your own emotions.

It is definitely easier said than done. What I feel helps is to take an empathetic and realistic approach to how you view matters. Even though a mistake can be seen as silly and un-justifiable in your eyes, one has to remember that the way you see the world is different from others. And as such, it is different when viewed through the mistake-maker’s lenses. Now a days, instead of harping on the mistake, hoping it’ll be scarred into memory so that it won’t happen again, I try to understand what caused the error. And I’ve learned that no one likes to be lectured or have their mistakes mentioned again. I self-reflect as well to ensure in future, I contribute to the success of the outcome. If the other party is as careless or does not learn from their mistakes, then you can assuredly say that you’ve put in the effort to assist and that the other party might not be the best fit for your company.

Letting go of rigidity in thought – be it, that you need to hang on to that employee or that it is so important that they understand that they are in the wrong and they learn from their mistakes is setting yourself up for much disappointment. When people want to work with you and have the drive and stamina to work alongside you in a startup, it shows.

Minimize Ego

Reference first point. There are no winners or losers in arguments. They are just a loss of emotional energy and goodwill. While it is important to learn from mistakes, after that point is made, move on.

There is no use wanting to make yourself feel good about any action that involves making a person feel bad.

In the vibrant startup environment, there are so many high profile featured successful companies. You could compare and despair OR just put your head down and work.

Having a BRIGHT outlook

With all the uncertainty and curve balls that come my way, I try to maintain my positive disposition and remind myself on why I started this. It definitely helps to know that after a long productive day at work, you have family to go home to and a warm bed to sleep in. And of course, continuous thinking of that bright spark that keeps you going.

There are always rainbows after the rain.

Be a Self-Driver

Whilst it is great to delegate and assign people duties based on their specialized function, I only have myself to count on for driving my company. Nobody will ever care as much about your company as you do, nor will they be as enthused as you with regards to an idea. With many ideas, come accountability hacks, like putting in deadlines on tasks and ensuring each idea gets talked through before getting the lift or boot.

What is key is the ability to inspire and justify to the team if the juice is worth the squeeze.

Be Kind

Much like my favorite talk show (The Ellen Show), I like to remind myself to be kind to each other, because frankly it is quite challenging to do. Stress, deadlines, people, your shattered rose-tinted lenses are some of the deterrents to that quality. We might say that people make it challenging for us to be kind to them. Whatever it is, I find that it helps to just take deep breaths, have some perspective and remember that the person you’re dealing with is someone’s daughter, sister and wife. And at the end of it, we’re all the same with the same desires to be valued, loved and cared for.