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Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. The only constants while striving as an entrepreneur are flexibility and instability, especially at the start-up phase. Many of those who choose this route have to wear so many hats all at once, it may prove to be too exhausting. You may have to serve as the founder, president, secretary, accountant, business developer, marketing manager, publicist and sometimes attorney (which I personally do NOT advise) at the same time, while seeking to make a name for yourself and your company, and while also trying to seek investor and raise money. Despite the many challenges associated with starting and running your own business, many people still decide to take this route because their passion for the products and services they are providing is just too strong to ignore.

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Notwithstanding the many battles that entrepreneurs have to face, what qualities separate the strong from the weak, and the successful from the unsuccessful?

According to Gallup Business Journal, there are ten behaviors exhibited by highly talented entrepreneurs that set them apart from the others.

  • Business Focus: You make decisions based on observed or anticipated effect on profit.
  • Confidence: You accurately know yourself and understand others.
  • Creative Thinker: You exhibit creativity in taking an existing idea or product and turning it into something better.
  • Delegator: You recognize that you cannot do everything and are willing to contemplate a shift in style and control.
  • Determination: You persevere through difficult, even seemingly insurmountable, obstacles.
  • Independent: You are prepared to do whatever needs to be done to build a successful venture.
  • Knowledge-Seeker: You constantly search for information that is relevant to growing your business.
  • Promoter: You are the best spokesperson for the business.
  • Relationship-Builder: You have high social awareness and an ability to build relationships that are beneficial for the firm’s survival and growth.
  • Risk-Taker: You instinctively know how to manage high-risk situations.

As noted within the study, over the last few years, Gallup’s assessment of 2,500 U.S. entrepreneurs found that higher levels of entrepreneurial talent significantly increase one’s odds of business success. As stated within the article, highly talented entrepreneurs, compared with their less talented peers, are:

  • three times more likely to build large businesses and to grow them significantly
  • four times more likely to create jobs
  • four times more likely to exceed profit goals
  • five times more likely to exceed sales goals

In another study of 111 small businesses in Nebraska, Gallup found that highly talented entrepreneurs exhibited distinctive behaviors. These behaviors caused the highly talented entrepreneurs to outperform others by 22 percentage points in year-over-year profit growth. Compared with their less talented peers, highly talented entrepreneurs:

  • were more likely to clearly articulate the competitive advantage of their companies to their clients
  • were more likely to make decisions about pricing and product or service development with their customers in mind
  • spent a great deal more time planning for growth and aligning employee responsibilities with company goals
  • were more likely to align employees’ strengths with their roles, thus maximizing employee engagement and increasing individual performance

It is evident from these studies, there is a clear positive relationship between entrepreneurial talents and business creation and success. By adopting and implementing the ten qualities and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs, you may, in turn, influence greater entrepreneurial outcomes on your behalf.

Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates ( She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.


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