Any great entrepreneur will tell you that they're different than most and has a personality all their own. While this may be true to varying degrees, there are some traits that the majority of successful entrepreneurs share, and nearly all of these hard working individuals would be proud to confirm they possess them.

Are you a budding entrepreneur and wondering if you've got the make-up to see a prosperous future? Consider the traits below and see if you have any or all of them in your DNA. Chances are, if you're already on the path towards innovation and determination in your business idea, you'll see yourself reflected in this list.

Determination

Entrepreneurship is not easy. A successful entrepreneur must be determined to make it in the no-nonsense, hard-hitting, highly-competitive business world. Confidence, passion, and motivation are all part of the steadfast determination any smart and serious entrepreneur must possess.

Monster.com confirms, "Entrepreneurs are enthusiastic, optimistic, and future-oriented. They believe they'll be successful." Entrepreneur adds, "You have to be determined from the beginning to be successful -- before you even start. If you aren't fully determined to make it there is a good chance you will crumble under the pressure. Entrepreneurs that have a high level of confidence are able to get the job done even under the most stressful conditions. They understand that big challenges breed big rewards."

Does this sound like you? Without the initial drive and the fuel to continue to push you forward, you'll never make it past the starting line. There are lots of good ideas, but the force behind them is what yields the biggest impact.

Risk Taker

A successful entrepreneur knows of the liabilities they may encounter while working to develop their business. Not everything will be a home run no matter how good a player they may be. With risk comes reward though, if the right balance of fearlessness and fierceness for the end goal is found.

Monster has a method to make things as smooth as possible, "You can reduce your risk by thoroughly researching your business concept, industry and market. You can also test your concept on a small scale." Refer to family and friends for an initial sounding board before hitting the masses.

With risk-taking comes the chance for failure, but a driven entrepreneur won't give up without a fight. The Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce says, "Entrepreneurs are often successful because they are calculating and able to make the best decisions in even the worst of cases. Even if they make the best decision possible, things don't always go according to plan and may fail anyhow. There's not one successful entrepreneur out there sitting on his couch asking, 'what if?'"

And Entrepreneur reminds us of an important lesson from Richard Branson, "Few first ventures work out. It is how a beginning entrepreneur deals with failure that sets that person apart. In fact, failure is one of the secrets to success, since some of the best ideas arise from the ashes of a shuttered business."

If you know you'll need to put it all on the line with the chance your idea could flop and still believe you've got what it takes, you have the mindset of a true entrepreneur.

Eager to Learn

Entrepreneurs are smart and well-versed in their vision for a new endeavor. That said, any truly intelligent entrepreneur knows that there are always more to learn, new and different ways to do things, and changes they can make in order to be a bigger success.

Like Entrepreneur notes, "You have to stay sharp, and that requires that you are constantly learning. Industries constantly change and evolve -- only those that are also growing through constant learning will stay ahead. Read books and wake up earlier in the morning to read industry news -- do everything you can to constantly learn and absorb new information."

Minority Business Development Agency adds, "Successful people welcome change and often depend on it to improve their effectiveness as leaders and ultimately the success of their businesses as many business concepts rely on improving products, services and processes in order to win business."

Even if your business gets off the ground and begins to succeed, never forget to keep on taking in more information and advice with an open mind. Always be on your toes in order to stand the tallest!

Versatile

It's important to be able to think outside the lines when it comes to starting a business. Even the best laid plans will need to be repaved and reexamined as you go through the exciting, yet unpredictable adventure of your entrepreneurial endeavor. Creativity and flexibility are key to making your dreams a reality.

Monster says it well, "While entrepreneurs need a steadfast vision and direction, they will face a lot of unknowns. You will need to be ready to tweak any initial plans and strategies. New and better ways of doing things may come along as well."

Entrepreneur notes, "If you are extremely adaptable it gives you the ability to respond quickly in any situation. This allows you to make decisions that will navigate you out of trouble and allow you to thrive in environments that would sink those that aren't adaptable."

And don't sabotage yourself. Being open to a new way of approaching an idea or testing something that wasn't in the initial plans will help, not destroy your success. Sticking to a plan just because it took a long time to develop doesn't make it the one that's the best. Hone in on your natural creativity to foster a new and better outcome.

Persuasive

So you've created a business that has the capability to do well, but without the customers, clients, and partners to keep the business afloat and going strong, you may just sink.

Your business skills must be sharp and your leadership and networking skills on point. According to Business Insider, "Whether you're a born extrovert or introvert, as a founder/CEO, you'll find yourself always selling. You'll be selling your vision to prospective partners and funding sources. You'll be selling prospective recruits on why they should quit their day jobs and join this startup they've never heard of. You'll be selling your products and services."

The amount of time and passion put into developing your idea must be put towards convincing others how great it is as well. Under 30 CEO says, "The entrepreneur has strong communication skills to sell the product and motivate employees."

Of course, if your idea is groundbreaking, much of the attraction will come naturally, but even so, in order to reach your highest potential, a persuasive attitude will bring your business in front of the eyes that matter most. Be fearless, firm, and friendly. Your success depends on your ability to impress, influence, and entice those who will help make your business soar.

How much of an entrepreneurial spirit do you have based on these traits? Are you up for the challenge?

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What do you do when financial hardship hits and you can't make your monthly mortgage payments? This is a question on many homeowner's minds as nearly 17.8 million Americans are reportedly unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic.

When homeowners face financial hardship, such as the loss of a job, they often look to obtain a forbearance agreement from their lender. A forbearance happens when your lender grants you a temporary pause or reduction in monthly payments on your mortgage. Forbearance is not the same as payment forgiveness, in that you still have to pay the entire amount back by an agreed-upon time.

Mortgage lending institutions differ on their mortgage relief policies and qualifications; however, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act were signed into law in late March of this year to protect government-backed mortgages.

Federally backed mortgages include:

  • Fannie Mae
  • Freddie Mac
  • The Federal Housing Administration (FHA)
  • The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA)
  • The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Under the CARES Act, homeowners with a federally backed loan who either directly or indirectly suffer financial hardship due to coronavirus automatically qualify for mortgage forbearance.

Even if your mortgage is not secured by one of these agencies, you still can call and see if you qualify, as many lenders will still offer the option in order to avoid foreclosures.

Under the CARES act, homeowners can claim mortgage forbearance due to financial hardship from COVID-19 for up to 12 months without requiring any documentation or verification. During the forbearance period, mortgage lenders cannot charge late fees or penalties.

Additionally, as long as your mortgage is current at the time you claim forbearance, the lender is required to keep reporting your mortgage as paid current throughout the entire period.

At the end of the forbearance, the CARES act protects consumers from having to make a lump sum payment. Instead, you will be given a repayment plan from your provider. Since repayment options vary, it's important you ask your provider about all of your repayment options.

Possible Repayment Options:

You may be eligible for a loan modification at the end of your forbearance. With modification, the mortgage terms are changed in order to add payments that were missed during the forbearance onto the end of the loan, extending the term.

Another option that may work for some is a reduced payment option. This allows you to keep paying monthly payments at a reduced amount. The amount missed is usually added back into the monthly payments at the end of the forbearance.

For example:

Regular payment: $1000 per month

Reduced payment: $500 per month

Payment after forbearance period: $1500 (until caught up)

Balloon payments, or lump sum payments at the end of the forbearance, are prohibited under the CARES Act. However, mortgage lenders may require homeowners who are not protected under the CARES Act to make a balloon payment at the end, so again it is best to check first with your provider.

Mortgage forbearance should only be considered in true financial hardship. In other words, just because of the pandemic, you should not take a forbearance on your mortgage if you can still afford your payments. Likewise, if you are able to start making payments before the forbearance period is up, it's best to do so as soon as possible.

The Next Steps:

Before you get in touch with your mortgage servicer, save time by gathering as much documentation about the mortgage as you can. Also, be ready to list your income and monthly expenses. Due to an influx in calls, financial institutions are experiencing extremely long wait times right now, and having your information at the ready will help.

Have questions ready to ask. Here are some questions you should be asking:

  • What fees are associated with the forbearance?
  • What are all the repayment options available to you at the end of the forbearance?
  • Will you be charged interest during the forbearance period?

If your forbearance is approved, make sure to keep all documentation pertaining to it. Make sure to cancel any automatic payments to the mortgage during the forbearance period, and keep tabs on your credit report to make sure your lender doesn't report the loan as unpaid.


For more information on forbearance, contact your lender and discuss your options. If you need more assistance with understanding your options, you can contact a local agent for the housing counseling agency, or call their hotline at 1-800-569-4287.