Entrepreneurs inevitably encounter numerous obstacles from the first day they have a business dream.
It’s an arduous journey to make and just as inevitably many business people fall at the first hurdle, or the second or third. To make the transition from would-be entrepreneur to successful entrepreneur requires an abundance of positive character traits. In my judgment one of the key attributes of those who are winners is that they have emotional strength.
The best way to explain what I mean by that is to outline ten top characteristics that I believe are displayed by emotionally strong (and successful) entrepreneurs.
1. They Don’t Feel Sorry For Themselves
Emotionally strong people refuse to wallow in self pity. They don’t have time to indulge in an “Oh, woe is me” attitude. When things go wrong they are resilient. They don’t dwell on their misfortune. They know that life isn’t always fair. They chalk up the bad event to experience and look forward to something positive that’s around the corner—because they make the decision to make something positive happen.
2. They Don’t Do Things They Don’t Want To Do
Many people end up getting persuaded to take on tasks or do something out of a sense of guilt. Or maybe they just don’t have the strength of character to be able to simply say no. Those who are emotionally strong are able to politely but assertively explain why they can’t and why they won’t do something that doesn’t fit in with their own plans. They refuse to be controlled.
3. They Don’t Fear Change
Emotionally strong entrepreneurs don’t fear change. On the contrary they welcome it. They know that the world isn’t standing still and that the only way to secure a successful future is to be able to embrace new ideas and new situations. There’s no way they are going to stagnate. Emotionally strong people often thrive in an ever-changing environment.
4. They Don’t Hold Grudges
When you’re emotionally strong you don’t let resentment and ill-will fester and become a part of your life. If someone has done you wrong you take the high ground and forgive. Holding a grudge is only going to eat away at you and not get you anywhere. It is not good use of your energy.
5. They Don’t Feel the World “Owes Them a Living”
I’ve never understood why some individuals feel that they have an entitlement to something—whether it’s a job, a salary, benefits, or whatever. We get what we deserve based on our hard work and our abilities. Those who are emotionally secure understand that performance is paramount. They are paid by results.
6. They Always Give Back
The stronger you are emotionally the more you care about others—and the more you contribute to society, to those who are less fortunate and those who face mental and physical challenges. You elect to be a caring member of the human race whether through the gift of your money or the gift of your time. You stand up for the rights of others, especially if they can’t stand up for themselves.
7. They Decide To Be Happy
Emotionally strong people decide to be happy. They know that they can be sad or angry or fearful. But instead they choose happiness. And being happy is really important for your health. A 20-year long Harvard Public School of Health study of more than 6,000 men and women, for instance, showed that emotional vitality—“a sense of enthusiasm, of hopefulness, of engagement in life, and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance”—distinctly reduced the risk of heart disease.
8. They Don’t Squander Mental Energy On What They Can’t Control
There are things that happen in life, over which, whether we like it or not, we don’t have any control. Your flight gets canceled. Your luggage doesn’t arrive. A storm dumps a foot of snow. Your football team doesn’t make it to the Super Bowl. Whatever. There’s no point letting setbacks of this kind dominate your mood. It will only drag you down. If you can’t do anything about it—move on to something that you can do something about.
9. They Always Believe In Themselves
Emotionally strong people have secure egos. They don’t doubt themselves. They move confidently forward throughout their lives. If you don’t believe in yourself how can you expect anyone else to believe in you? Why would someone sign on to be a part of your dream it you’re always questioning what you’re doing?
10. They Aren’t Scared Of Taking Risks.
You have to be emotionally resilient when you’re entering big business. You’ve got to be prepared to take some risks—but calculated risks. Not everything you do is going to be a home run and you have to strike out a few times, for sure. Do your risks and benefits analysis and have the strength to be decisive.
So, are you emotionally strong? Do you have what it takes to be a leader that others will be prepared to follow? Recognizing the characteristics that are shared by many top entrepreneurs is a great first step.
Life can give you obstacles and bad days. It may even give you some failures. But it can’t take away your will to win. Defy the odds. Embrace the journey. And always look forward to what’s ahead.