characteristics of entrepreneur

Characteristics of Entrepreneur: Stubborn Tenacity Video

Characteristics of Entrepreneur: Stubborn Tenacity Transcript

I’m kicking off a new series about the characteristics of entrepreneurs.  I’m not going to give you the typical characteristics and this isn’t a listical type post.  I’m giving you the grit.  The real story.

You see, probably my very favorite thing about my entrepreneurial journey is the personal development that I’ve experienced.  I’ve grown so much as a person.  I’m a way better person now than I was a decade ago before we started working to build our own business.  This series is going to shed some light on the characteristics that have grown the most in me over the last 9 years but I’ve noticed them in other entrepreneurs who have stuck with it for at least 5 years.

So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and these characteristics don’t describe you, that’s totally fine.  Just be aware that these will be developed as they are demanded of you throughout your own entrepreneurial journey.  Especially if you’re a mission-driven entrepreneur putting your heart and soul into your business, chances are you will see tons of personal growth and development as you build your business and accomplish your mission.

So this week, the first characteristic is Stubborn Tenacity

When people talk about entrepreneurship, they seldom discuss just how many opportunities entrepreneurs have to throw in the towel.  At so many stages along the way, entrepreneurs have to make the choice to keep going or to give up.

One of the major characteristics of entrepreneurs is stubborn tenacity.  Even though there are many, many chances to do so, we never quit.  We stick with it and figure out how to keep moving forward.

Here are some examples of how stubborn tenacity can become one of your characteristics of entrepreneurship.

Characteristics of Entrepreneur: Have a Stubbornly Tenacious Partner

I remember one day in particular when Brandon was still working in his cubicle and I was trying to get our business open.  He came home and I was in tears, ready to bail out.  I didn’t think the coffee shop was ever going to open and that we’d given it a good go but should retreat now.  We went for a walk, grabbed a sandwich, and talked it through.  Obviously, we didn’t quit.

Sometimes when you feel like giving up, you need a partner who won’t let you.  There are many benefits to having a partner but this is one of my favorites.  He has stubborn tenacity when I don’t and visa versa.

This actually helps develop your stubborn tenacity because you’re reminded of why you’re doing this and you know you’re being held accountable by someone equally invested in your business.  You have to be stubbornly tenacious for the both of you and so does your partner.  It’s a virtuous cycle.

Characteristics of Entrepreneur: Treat Business Like a Game Where Those With Stubborn Tenacity Win

We had a roommate for a while who liked to watch Survivor.  We watched it with her for a season.  I’ll never forget their slogan, “Outwit. Outlast. Outplay.”  This phrase has gotten me through the hard times.  Business is a game of survival.  I just have to outwit, outlast, and outplay.

If you’ve ever watched Survivor, like me, you might get furious when people on the show just seem to give up.  We know it’s hard to imagine what they are going through, it’s a scripted show so we don’t see everything that’s going on, and the writers and producers want us to feel certain ways.  Yet, it’s still very upsetting when players just give up.  We can see around the bend in the road and know they are almost to an easy part.  We can see the path out of the valley but they can’t see it.

Remember this when you feel like giving up.  There is a path out of the valley.  There is an easy road just around the bend.  Business is a game where those with stubborn tenacity win.  With some creativity, you can re-invent the game you’re playing and develop a strategy to win.  You need to look for the opportunities no one else is seeing.  You just need to outwit, outlast, and outplay.

Characteristics of Entrepreneur: Just Keep Swimming in Stubborn Tenacity

Complete honesty here: There were more times than I care to admit when the only thing I could do is simply will myself to put 1 foot in front of the other.  Moving forward is ALWAYS better than standing still.  If you’ve ever heard the saying “This too shall pass,” it’s true.  In entrepreneurship, there are always ups and downs.  I have a friend who owns a 4th generation business.  Even he continues to go through ups and downs.

For me, now that I’m well into being an entrepreneur, what I’ve discovered is that the downs get a lot less worse.  Sure, there’s the chance that we’ll have another major down but mostly the downs are not as far as the downs in those 1st couple years.  If you’ve had a worst entrepreneurial moment, you know what I mean.  No matter how bad things get they aren’t likely to get worse than that worst moment.

Let me also say, if you’re going through a worst entrepreneurial moment right now and you can figure out a way to get through it, you’re going to develop emotional, mental, and spiritual muscles that will make every other down so much easier to get through.  You can do this.  Just keep swimming.

What do you think?

Next week, I’ll talk about another one of those emotional, mental, and spiritual muscles.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you.  Comment and share how stubborn tenacity has benefitted you in life or in business.