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[Video] Small Business Success: Am I an entrepreneur?

What does it take to be an entrepreneur? You may be asking yourself this question if you’re considering opening your own business. Fortunately, diversity is key on Main Street and there isn’t one specific personality type or set of skills that make an entrepreneur great. If you’re hoping to find out if small business ownership is right for you, check out our next video in the Small Business Success series. Guidant CEO, David Nilssen, discusses the three common characteristics that help any small business owner find success.

No time for a quick video? Here’s the transcript:

David Nilssen: As I travel the country talking to people about small business ownership, one of the most common questions I’m asked is, “How do I know if I’m an entrepreneur?” I think that’s a question that many people ask themselves over their lifetime, but very few people take the action necessary to understand whether it’s true or not.

My personal belief is that anyone can be an entrepreneur. There have been a lot of articles and videos that have been created over time that define the common characteristics of an entrepreneur. The reality is, most of the entrepreneurs that I know are very, very different, but I would say that there are three common characteristics that have helped them be successful over time.

The first is a thirst for learning. An intellectual curiosity as the business throws its challenges, and as obstacles appear, the ability to overcome them by seeking knowledge.

The second is resilience. One of my favorite quotes from Mike Tyson is “everyone has got a plan until they get punched in the face.”  And it’s true about business too. We create these business plans and we put them into work — the question is what do we do when we find out that once we wrote the business plan it was wrong. Do we get back up and fight the good fight? Do we recover quickly? It’s all about resilience.

And then the last is simply, discipline. The greatest football teams in the world don’t win constantly because of one great play. They win because they are willing to do the blocking and tackling necessary, and attacking each game with fervor to win the ball game ultimately. The same thing is true for an entrepreneur. While we get distracted by the shiny new toy, the most important thing that we can do is to focus on those things that are important and not urgent.

The last I would just say, fear in general is something that every entrepreneur feels, and it’s not something we should worry about if it’s there. That fear of mediocrity, that fear of failing, that’s a powerful motivator for a small business, and quite frankly if you embrace it, it could be what makes you great.

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