My students, clients and friends often ask me what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Naturally, every so-called expert has his or her own list of attributes, but for me it boils down to three basic things:
1. Love. Sure, I know what you’re thinking. All the other guys have another name for it. Some call it “passion”. Some give it names like “drive” or “dedication” or “intensity”. But let’s call it like it is. Successful entrepreneurs love what they do. They can’t imagine NOT doing it. Those poets and philosophers who name love as the most powerful motivating force in the universe? Hey – maybe they’re on to something.
2. Dedication. Launching a new business is hard. Now there’s a simplistic statement for you! Dedication simply means that the entrepreneur remains undaunted in the face of setbacks and adversity. There WILL be setbacks. There WILL be challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles. It’s like I tell the attendees at my seminars: it may seem insurmountable. But it’s like eating an elephant. You can do it, but only if you consistently take one bite at a time.
3. Financial literacy. OK, so I’m biased! The main reason budding entrepreneurs fail is that have not done sufficient financial planning and/or that they underestimated their working capital. Sure, there are a million other reasons – inadequate skills, poor market timing, lack of #1 or #2 above – you name it. But assuming the new business owner does have the expertise and passion, financial literacy and understanding how to maximize the revenue streams and minimize the expenses of the business are the key to survival.
Like many of you, I read as much as I can and always look to gain insight and opinions from as many sources as possible. I recently came across a great article from BNET, which is the CBS interactive business network. The article by Donna Fenn outlines ten success factors for entrepreneurs: Successful Entrepreneurs