Entrepreneur personality traits: Determination and its importance for getting through difficult times

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Starting a business is not easy. This article explores some of the reasons why determination may help with your entrepreneurial success. 

Missteps are inevitable: Not everything will go the way that you plan

Part of the reason that determination is important is that not everything is going to go to plan with launching your startup, and it is important that you are able to become comfortable with some degree of failure. You can’t take every setback personally – it is important to get back up and carry on. No matter how developed your business plan is, or how carefully you have considered changes in your business environment, there are things that you won’t foresee. Determination helps you get through these challenges – helping you keep going despite the setbacks. 

Not everyone will agree - there will be times when you need to push on

Couple with setbacks, you will inevitably face differences of opinion on the direction that you should pursue – or indeed, whether you should pursue your startup. Many successful companies were once rejected for funding – it is not unusual to receive many rejections before you take off. Similarly, you may receive negative feedback from potential customers, who don’t necessarily recognize the value of the product or service that you are providing, or simply there was not the match with their needs.

While obviously there may be a need to learn from pushback – determination does not mean simply plowing on and ignoring warning signs – it is also important to not let everyone’s criticism or cynicism impact you either. One thing to bear in mind is that if the opportunity that you are pursuing was each (i.e., low entry barrier), others would likely have done it. Big successes often require achieving something difficult – if everyone can see the opportunity, it is unlikely to be an attractive market (with others also rushing in). 

Starting a business requires a lot of effort

Beyond the setbacks and critiques that you may face, starting a business requires a lot of effort. There are a lot of skills that you will need to learn, and there is no set formula for launching a business. In addition, your success requires you to be self-motivated – being your own boss has a lot of advantages, but it also requires you to be self-motivated, and force yourself to do the difficult tasks. 

Determination helps you put in this extra effort. To be continually driving to make your business succeed. To be constantly searching for new ways that you can overcome problems, new customers that you can add, or new finance to help your firm grow. 

But, determination is not always helpful

Of course, while there is clearly a role of determination in enabling success, it is not always a good thing. It can lead to an escalation of commitment, where entrepreneurs continue with a path that is not yielding returns. It can result in throwing good money or time after bad – wasting effort on features, despite negative feedback. 

Overall, it is important to be willing to pivot the strategy – while determination can help get through setbacks, it is also important not to just ignore feedback – sometimes there may need to change made. Indeed, ultimately, not all businesses will be successful, and ultimately the underlying economics will influence whether your business does succeed. Determination may be helpful, but it is also important not to be beholden to it. 

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