5 Entrepreneurial Traits That Will Assist You Reach a Disaster

“Everyone has a plan until they are slapped in the mouth.” Boxer Mike Tyson said, and I think it’s a quote most would agree, that it can be generously applied to 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic has weighed heavily on companies this year, but has also forced companies to adapt, improve and adopt a new mentality.

Much can be gained in times of crisis by adopting certain aspects of the entrepreneurial mindset. Based on my experience as a business leader myself, here are five common traits of entrepreneurs that can involve, empower, and nurture others to help guide your business through tough times.


Having thick skin is an entrepreneur’s job description. It’s a professional lifestyle that is often fraught with failure, rejection, and lots of metaphorical trash bins filled with crumpled paper, at least in the early stages. What forces you to do this is to pull up on your bootstraps and work out a game plan to keep going.

When my partner and I started dotcom distribution 20 years ago, our machines were just being bought and the paint on the walls was barely drying when the dotcom bubble burst, and 9/11 followed closely. We knew it would be a while before e-commerce was ready for our business model, but to be still in business at this point, we unexpectedly had to turn to a different, more traditional model. We had to get every favor, negotiate with every salesperson, and every payroll was a struggle. But as challenging as that time was, it made me think like a survivor, and now I know that there is nothing I cannot do in overcoming my business.


Necessity is the mother of invention. As a business owner, sometimes it is at those moments when you feel completely stuck and have no idea what to do next that your ingenuity kicks in and leads you to the next step.

According to advances in behavioral science and therapy, research shows that very resourceful people deal with stressful situations more effectively. For some, this is inherently the case, but it is also possible to build the skills through what psychologists refer to as learned ingenuity. This term encompasses a range of practiced behaviors, including self-regulating emotional and cognitive responses in stressful situations, using problem-solving skills, and delaying instant gratification in the interest of more meaningful future rewards.


It is often said that if you are the smartest person in the room, you are in the wrong room. Good leaders surround themselves with people who are the best at what they do and inspire them to reach their full potential.

In unknown circumstances, where no precedent has been set, there is no telling where the best and most innovative solutions might come from. Entertaining diverse facts and opinions not only provide a broader view of a situation, but also give founders and CEOs more scope to address urgent business matters that only he or she can.


Entrepreneurs create ideas, products, services and other solutions that did not exist before. This problem-solving mindset is a good sign for a company in the face of a crisis as the focus remains on finding a means to an end rather than engaging in the frustrations and fears surrounding obstacles and possible outcomes.


Being an entrepreneur usually brings a healthy dose of curiosity that not only raises answers to insightful questions and challenges norms, but also welcomes the unexpected. When curious about finding a solution, it expands the range of considerations so that you can discover what works best, and sometimes just as importantly, what doesn’t.

The uncertainty that founders and entrepreneurs usually face is very similar to the business climate of the pandemic. All companies face hurdles; The secret to erasing them is how you react. Applying some of these traits that help entrepreneurs deal with adversity and encouraging your employees to do the same can prepare you for any storm.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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