While lockdowns and restrictions have been hard for many businesses, a study finds that nearly 2 million Canadians became entrepreneurs in the 12 months following the start of the pandemic.

The primary reasons these entrepreneurs started a business were having more spare time, increased financial pressures due to the pandemic, or being laid off. In addition, some of these new companies are home-based businesses.

Becoming an entrepreneur can have its ups as well as its downs. According to Statistics Canada, approximately one-third of businesses are no longer around after five years. And more than half don’t last longer than 10 years.

There’s also a lot more work to do when you’re the boss, such as handling bookkeeping and getting business insurance.

A young entrepreneur

Despite the negatives, entrepreneurs share some traits that help them become successful. Here are a few of the characteristics that every entrepreneur should have:

1. Passion

Entrepreneurs must be passionate about what they want to do. The more you love your job, the more likely you’ll be successful. Being passionate will keep you motivated to keep going no matter how difficult it is to start and run a business. Not liking what you do is a recipe for disaster, especially if you’re running the show.

2. Strong work ethic

Managing your own business means the 40-hour workweek is a thing of the past. Working on evenings, weekends, and holidays will likely be part of the job because you’ll have much more work to do. Also, your responsibilities will increase. As your business grows and you employ more people, there will be issues around employment contracts, bookkeeping, and payroll you’ll have to handle.

3. Being an effective leader

Having this quality is crucial because you serve a dual role. You’re the business owner, but you’re also responsible for managing the company. You also need to work with people both outside and inside the business. You must build relationships with investors, clients, and suppliers to be successful. Internally, you must find the right talent and inspire and motivate them to help your business succeed.

4. Decisiveness

Some decisions will be straightforward, while others will be challenging. However, there will always be decisions that need to be made. You must be confident in making the most difficult decisions. If the decision ends up being a mistake, it’s just as important that you recognize the problem and decide how to rectify the situation. Also, overthinking and indecisiveness can lead to inaction, which also is costly if you’re in a competitive market.

5. Willingness to learn

Owning and running a business isn’t easy. At first, you may be on your own and need to learn how to market your business and manage the books. Over time, you may be able to hire experts so you can focus on the day-to-day operations. You may even want to consider finding a business mentor. They can help teach you what it takes to be successful, provide advice on how to get funding, what government incentives and programs may be available to you, and what you can do to find new clients.

6. Creativity

While having a unique idea is why you decided to strike out on your own, creativity is also essential to finding solutions to issues while running a business. That will be important when marketing your business, managing employees, getting financing, and finding creative ways to solve everyday problems.

7. Confidence

You want to reach specific goals and achieve your dreams. Becoming an entrepreneur is risky. It means leaving or changing your career. There’s also the potential of losing a lot of money should your business not be successful at first or at all. But some entrepreneurs believe the most significant risk may not be taking any risk at all. You need to stay positive in both the good times and bad.

8. Willingness to fail

The odds of your business surviving the first few years are good but steadily decrease over time. There’s a chance your business might not survive due to increased competition, unforeseen events, high levels of debt, or a flawed business model. Some risks can be avoided, but others cannot. You should be comfortable with the possibility of failure because it can lead to success in the future. Some famous entrepreneurs who failed and then succeeded include Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Henry Ford, and Soichiro Honda.

Protecting Your Startup Business

These are just a few of the traits required to succeed as a business owner. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a self-employed professional, you need to be prepared for the ups and downs that come with the territory.

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