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Successful entrepreneurs, much like Rome, can’t be built in a day. It takes a lifetime of dedication and hard work to make mistakes, learn, and grow. The four traits on this list are vital for any entrepreneur, whether you’re a seasoned professional or just finding your footing.

Creativity

What makes your idea different from all the others? Creativity is a skill that’s easy to inherit but hard to teach. Anyone can say they are (or want to be) an entrepreneur, but not everyone has the creative capacity to fill those shoes well. A creative individual needs plenty of time for introspection, but also the ability and resources to act on ideas. While creative minds may churn out a hundred ideas each day, creative minds can also consolidate those ideas and even link together seemingly far-fetched concepts to maximize productivity. 

Flexibility

The world of entrepreneurship is a fast-paced one. If a budding entrepreneur hopes to succeed, he or she needs the ability to roll with the punches. Entrepreneurs will face hardships in many shapes and sizes, so being limber enough to weave around them is vital. For the clinically organized, this may mean playing situations by ear; for those who crave immediate results, it may mean sacrificing instant gratification for slow but sure progress. Not only is this a great skill to have as an entrepreneur, but it’s a skill that can extend its reach into all aspects of life. 

Diligence

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Practice a little each day.” This maxim doesn’t just relate to drawing or learning the piano—entrepreneurs need daily practice to nurture their businesses and ideas. While creativity, as previously mentioned, cannot be taught, it can certainly be practiced. Rehearsing the ability to be creative and flexible can better prepare an entrepreneur for opportunities and issues that may arise in the future. A key element to being diligent is staying focused—I live by the mantra “Focus and Finish.” There are many distractions in running a successful business and you will find people along the way that try to take you off course. Beware of the crippling signs of distraction, as they can lead you astray.

Motivation

Staying “on” when being creative, flexible, and diligent can be exhausting. You may reach the two-month mark of your campaign, feel that you haven’t made a dent in your lengthy list of long-term goals, and turn your back on the whole venture. Perhaps a burst of creativity didn’t work out how it was supposed to; instead of throwing it all away, use the remnants of the effort as a learning experience. If a huge brick wall stands in the way, be flexible, and find a way around it. Most importantly, being motivated can help entrepreneurs maintain diligence. Instead of tiring of your efforts, you’ll keep your chin up and pay close attention to the little victories, however small they may be.