While there are certainly some things that entrepreneurs think that they need, that perhaps they really don't, there are some things that I would argue they DO need. One of these thoughts came to my mind a while back while talking to a good friend of mine about how his startup is going. He is in the grind of it at this time, for sure. While trying to take his company from staying alive to thriving and making big profits, he finds himself down in the dumps more often simply due to the volume of work and stress that sometimes dominates his mental state. While volume of work and stress may be a fact of life when it comes to starting a business, at the same time, I reflected on the question of, "why we are doing this to ourselves in the first place?" Most of the time, we are talking about the concept of the good 'ol American pursuit of happiness. So what have we found that successful and happy entrepreneurs share as traits?
Work on Things You Like
One of the biggest factors that an entrepreneur has as a trait is that they are actually incredibly happy to work and stress themselves out in the starting of their businesses they want to start. However, the entrepreneur isn't happy working on just any business. Starting some new project that you think will bring you absurd amounts of money, but you have no passion for and no drive behind is not the way to go. Your new business may not necessarily have to be something that you think is the "mother of all businesses," but it should be something that you can be happy with doing (any person, not just an entrepreneur should work at something they enjoy.) All too often, I see entrepreneurial minded individuals come up with a great idea that may make a good return, but they fail to realize that if the business idea does come to fruition, then they will be tied to a day in and day out job that they truly hate. Don't start a retail company if you hate retail. Most entrepreneurs know instinctively which businesses they can be happy in, or not, and they make it a priority.
Think about Your Motivations
Another trait that I see in the most satisfied and happy entrepreneurs is that they are happy with what they have. In other words, they are not motivated by "things." They are not in business so that they can buy a Lambo, or to have a certain dollar amount for their income, or anything else. After a certain point money does not buy happiness. Entrepreneurs already know that they will not always be making money hand over fist and they understand the feast-or-famine type of business. Entrepreneurs already consider that during lean times it's not worth feeling miserable, and they just get busy and get on to the next project. There isn't time to sit and feel sorry for yourself. I don' know about you, but I don't want my happiness tied to a materialistic ideal.
Live a Goal Driven Life
One trait that seems to separate the happy from the unhappy entrepreneur, and indeed the successful from the unsuccessful person, is living a goal-driven life. If a person doesn't have goals they can work towards and be accountable to, then they will rapidly find themselves getting bored with life (and obviously they will be less successful.) Not only is goal-driven living a trait of responsibility the average person often feels, but not being goal oriented and goal driven is truly poison for the entrepreneurial-minded individual. The entrepreneurial startup business type individual has the trait to typically be at their happiest when they are achieving landmarks and goals. It seems an inbred trait that the entrepreneur likes a challenge. An entrepreneur who don't have an active challenge in front of them, will start to see a drop in their happiness levels.
An entrepreneur has to make sure they take time for themselves to evaluate how happy they are in their current situation, identifying what can be changed right now, and what needs to be done in the long term to ensure happiness. Most entrepreneurs have the trait to maintain this check and balance system in the life their are playing the leading role in.