#176. What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Posted on | The Agurban

What it Takes to be a Successful Entrepreneur

Marc Kramer, a faculty member at the Wharton School of Business, recently posted his list of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. Common traits he noted among all entrepreneurs include:

1.Habit of reading. Every single successful entrepreneur I have met has been a voracious learner. They read biographies of other famous people, and devour books on strategy, product development and trends. They read newspapers and online sites, but rarely magazines.

2.Young start. They typically all sold products and services starting as teenagers. They loved to work and make money.

3.Driven. They always wanted to be good at something. Not all of them were academic stars, but they wanted to succeed.

4.Unique vision. They see things differently than everyone else. They have a gut instinct about trends and opportunities that have been honed through experience, observation and reading.

5.Love of travel. They love to travel and learn about other cultures. They aren’t so arrogant as to think the Western culture is the most intelligent.

6.Intellectual curiosity. All of them are interested in learning about other businesses, listening to other people’s stories and questioning why things are a certain way.

7.Don’t suffer fools. Successful entrepreneurs surround themselves with smart people who question their ideas and assumptions.

8.Good listeners. A lot of people like to hear the sound of their own voice, but successful people are good listeners.

9.Marathon workers. There is no such thing as a 40- hour work week. In fact, a 60-hour week would be considered a vacation. These people love to work.

10.”No” is not in their vocabulary. The only “no” these people remember is when their parents told them not to run in the street. Barriers are just challenges.

11.Big thinkers. All of these people thought about how they might have an impact on their industry, region and country.

12.Competitive spirit. They love competition. Typically these people liked to compete either athletically or through the arts. The tougher the competition, the more pumped up they become.

13.Fearless. These people don’t worry or shy away from adversity. They believe in the adage “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.

14.Fighting spirit. By all rights, Felix Zandman, a Holocaust survivor who had to live under the floorboards for more than a year and watched his family carted off to concentration camps, could have died mentally along with most of his family. His will to overcome adversity allowed him to start a family and build a global empire.

15.Risk-averse. “Wait a minute,” you’re probably thinking, “doesn’t he mean ‘risk-takers’?” You read correctly. These people focused on the opportunity, researched the market, spoke to customers and market experts and developed a variety of financial models to determine the chances of their ventures’ success.

Successful people are noncomplainers who are focused on goals, and money is a byproduct to be used to create more success.